Orson Welles’s Last Movie: The Making of The Other Side of the Wind, Josh Karp (St. Martin’s Press)

welles

Picture Orson Welles, the director of Citizen KaneThe Magnificent Ambersons, and Touch of Evil, scrounging for money, filming in rented houses, and lying his way onto shooting locations, spending more than a decade trying to get a movie made. The saga of Welles’ last (and as yet unreleased) movie, The Other Side of the Wind, is an often-shocking portrait of a great artist on his last creative legs. Karp, who pieced together the story from interviews with some of the people involved in the movie’s production (which spanned the 1970s) and various other sources, charts the course of the movie from its early days as Welles’ would-be comeback vehicle; through its difficult, on-again, off-again production; to its rather dismal fate as an unfinished might-have-been. The text also charts the course of the end of Welles’ life, as his declining health and his frustrations at not being able to get his movie made without begging for money and equipment took their toll on him. A fascinating story, much more than your typical making-of book.

This review originally appeared in Booklist, March 2015.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s