The London Observer Hoax on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND
As much as I hope to see The Other Side of the Wind finished, I was shocked to read the report in The London Observer about an imminent deal to finish the film, as I knew is was totally false. The article was so full of errors and false statements, as to be nothing less than a complete HOAX!
Dalya Alberge's report was a complete disgrace, as there was clearly no understanding of the true facts behind the situation. Apparently, The Observer and The Guardian no longer have any "fact checkers" on their staff, as this story is really quite preposterous.
Sadly, I recently had to point out to an inept Guardian reporter that his story about Patti Smith winning a National Book Award for her "first Book," Just Kids was totally absurd, as Patti Smith had her first book of poems published in 1972, and has had more than 20 books published since then, so it would seem rather strange for The Guardian to call Just Kids her first book. Likewise, it seems even stranger for The Observer to report that a deal is near for The Other Side of the Wind to be completed, when they should know that is clearly not the case.
The Observer also couldn't even find a picture of Orson Welles from the filming of OSOTW to run with their report, which included this fictitious caption: "The Other Side of the Wind portrays the last hours of film director Orson Welles." Well, that is certainly news to me, as well as to Oja Kodar, who I called after reading the article that tells of her “selling her interest in the film” to confirm if it was actually true or not. This is something that Dalya Alberge obviously didn’t bother to do. While I didn't hear back from Ms. Kodar, she has now already spoken out about the story, saying, “It is true that Jacqueline Boushehri, the wife of the Iranian producer and I are interested in the film being finally completed. But from Showtime we still have not received the details of a budget. Without it I won't give the rights to anyone." This echoes what Ms. Kodar told me, earlier, saying she would never sell the rights to OSOTW without the proper controls, saying it would be like pulling out her teeth.
Wellesnet will certainly be among the first to know and report if and when The Other Side of the Wind is ever going to be finished and shown. Not the idiotic reporters at The Guardian and The Observer, who like Pauline Kael don't bother to check their facts. Come to think of it, I believe that great Welles hack or scholar, depending on your view, Mr. David Thomson also writes for The Guardian. His latest piece of nonsense on Welles (in Sight and Sound), argues that Citizen Kane should not be considered the best movie in Sight and Sound’s upcoming 2012 poll of the greatest movies ever made.
Like Mr. Thomson's book, Rosebud, the story on OSOTW in The Observer has so many errors, I can only suggest that Dalya Alberge should be immediately fired, or at least reassigned to the fiction desk. Sadly, this ridiculous story was picked up by many entertainment websites, one who actually used the headline "The Other Side of the Wind to be finished in two weeks." Now, while you can expect fake stories from a website, how do you justify reporters getting their facts so wrong from a major newspaper like The Observer?