Joseph McBride and Peter Bogdanovich on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND
The new issue of Gary Morris's Bright Lights online film magazine has a terrific interview with Joe McBride and Peter Bogdanovich, by Damien Love, about their work on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND. It can be accessed here:
OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND
Here is a brilliant piece of writing from Welles's script, which contains numerous in-jokes. Just the fact that Welles calls all the guests at the party taking place at Jake's ranch house "Citizens" would seem to be enough reason to finish the film.
But the naysayers, led by David Thomson, say it's not a Welles' masterpiece. Well, maybe it's not, but having read the script, I say it is a masterpiece... of screenwriting acumen, if nothing else, and it could still possibly be one of Welles greatest works, if it were finished properly.
As evidence, I submit this script excerpt. At the very least, there are fabulous performances from John Huston and Lilli Palmer. I'd rather see even a very rough version of an unfinished Orson Welles film, than any of the the crappy movies Hollywood is willing to lavish 10 to 100 million on these days... it's really a sad comment when $4 million can't be found to finish this film. Even if it were $10 million, there is absolutely no excuse for this situation.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND - Script Excerpt
THE SIDE TERRACE - JAKE'S RANCH HOUSE
A minority group of well-established Hollywood citizens.
(winding up a little speech) ...Screen Director’s Guild waiting around on their tired old asses for the phone to ring. His ass is tired too, but he don’t sit on it. Jake gets out and HUSTLES. SECOND CITIZEN Sure – just to keep up all of this... THIRD CITIZEN
Who says he’s keeping it up? I hear he’s
Look at the dictators... Symphony conductor – look at THEM. Power – that’s then answer.
You don’t keep going just by playing GOLF.
Get a country under you, or a whole orchestra – that charges up the old batteries...
He stops – catching sight of JAKE, who has come up behind them, drink in hand...
(continuing, to Jake)
How about it?
(a sardonic lifting
of one eye-brow)
Give me an orchestra and we’ll see...
(who has been lurking in
And go on playing the same old piece?
(with perfect serenity)
Nice to see you, kid.
JAKE smiles sweetly at him.
We do chug along a little, Mr. Simon,
with the times...
Which times? – and who are YOU?
There never was an artist yet who didn’t
work from memory.
The Baron is in charge of metaphysics.
(turning on Simon)
And who got HIM an invitation?
“Confrontation” is the word, Abie. Take
it up with our hostess.
Zarah? She must be nuts.
JAKE has just caught sight of the cute blonde again
Mother seems to think a little young
Blood’ll be good for us -
(lecherously registering the
She could be right at that!
She’s always right... Excuse me, fellas,
But I think we got ourselves a confrontation...
JAKE starts moving in on his target. The CITIZENS chuckle appreciatively as they sit watching his progress.
He’s got another motivation --
I’ll say --
The one that matters. He’s in love --
Get off it, he’s too old for that –
Some people never are. You’d be surprised
at how mustard’s being cut in the old
So who’s he in love with – Zarah?
JULIETTE RICHE’S GROUP
JULIETTE’S group includes several journalist colleagues, along with ROGER and DENISE KLEE, a film-making partnership.
(in his solemn Dutch accent)
I dig... It’s not that he did not MAKE
female stars – it is just that he did not
make them STARS --
That’s my whole THESIS --
Great thesis, the old man can still score –
Who says so? --
HOW he scores – WHO he scores WITH...
That, my friends, gets us into some
very interesting country...
THE BLONDE ACTRESS (IN A TIGHT GROUP SHOT)
Jake – I think you know Ossawatomie
JAKE lays a hand on OSSIE’S Shoulder.
I’ll meet by candlelight, proud Titania!
(he turns to the blonde) Ossie... we
like your little friend...
(putting his arm around her)
Not his, Skipper. She’s mine.
(disregarding this, bending
his good ear to her and
What’s your name Sweetie?
JULIETTE RICHE’S GROUP
...Oh, yes, his partners are FEMALE.
Certainly... But which females?
You tell US – albinos with wooden legs?
Tomorrow’s Sunday, Mavis... you’ll be
flying with us down to Mexico.
Dangerous breed, Sweetie.
One of them once killed a friend of
(closing in for the kill)
Tomorrow we’re going to see what
happens to our NEW boy.
JULIETTE RICHE AND COMPANY
(losing his patience)
So the old man has a kink or two –
What of it?
The old man is a destroyer.
What he creates, he has to WRECK. It’s a
It’s a theory.
I’ve got names and dates...
The folder she’s holding is, indeed, rather suggestive of a dossier. But before we can hear more of this we...
Gee, I don’t know... I’ve got school on
(grinning to the others)
I’ll write a note to the teacher.