If I might interject, Joshua, my understanding of Bogdanovich's remarks in his interview with Larry French (which he taped) was that some work has been done, but that THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND would take probably a year longer to edit fully, that he was working so far with Oja Kodar's copy in the LA vault, and given the full negative in Paris, he was sure that there was plenty of material. He suggested recent snags would be worked out, but in the meantime, he will also be quite busy on current new projects.
For instance, he announced to the audience at the Castro Theater on Sunday night that he is in the process of preparing a picture called KILLER JOE, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jeff Daniels, from a script by Tracy Letts, based on the latter's gripping trailer-trash play, hopefully due out before Christmas, or at least in 2009. Also, in a recent time frame, he and Gore Vidal had put together (out of five drafts left behind) Tennessee Williams' final, unfinished play, Masks Outrageous and Austere (title courtesy of a poem by Elinor Wylie). Bogdanovich plans to stage the drama in the Fall on Broadway, and hopes that Cybill Shepherd will star in it.
Nevertheless, Bogdanovich assured us in Larry's interview that work on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND would continue. Then, he repeated the story of how he was having lunch one day with Welles and some people -- I can't remember who; Larry has it -- when Welles suddenly turned to him, and said something like, "You know, Peter, if anything should happen to me, you are the only one who knows enough about this picture to finish it. Promise me that you will." Bogdanovich protested that nothing was going to happen, but Welles said that things do, and so Bogdanovich had promised. Welles said, "Then, we shall have no more talk of this," but a year or so later he was dead.
Bogdanovich intimated that THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND might be done, in voice over style, using a framing device, with himself as the seventy year-old Brooks Otterlake looking back on the tragic end, in 1976 or so, of his colleague and mentor, the legendary Director J.J. "Jake" Hannaford.
He said the picture would be full of cross-cutting, a documentary-style presentation of a mockumentary prepared during the making of Hannaford's last picture, "The Other Side of the Wind," parts of which would be dotted throughout the other levels of the film, and if Bogdanovich could not fit certain things in, or if anything were missing, old Brooks Otterlake would simply say to the audience, we don't know what our secretive pro genius Hannaford might have intended for that section. He, Otterlake, could only present the scattered record now collected thirty years after the Director's tragic accident.
Bogdanovich dropped that Welles had wanted a jazzy, infectious score for the picture . . . Nina Rota . . . La Dolce Vita -- Michel Legrand, Larry suggested, as in F FOR FAKE -- and that he was considering a number of possibilities.
The Director also dismissed the idea that John Huston had been disappointed in the film, remarking that Huston had actually tried to complete the picture himself after Welles' death, partly because he knew that his own performance was so good, but could not pull it off owing to failing health.
I made one of my few intrusions by saying: "It has long been a dream of mine that one year Orson Welles would be nominated for an Oscar for directing THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND, that Huston would get one for Best Actor, and that there would also be a Special Oscar for you, sir."
Bogdanovich smiled ruefully, and replied, "I don't know about the Academy, what they would give." We would have to see.
He spoke with Larry for nearly half an hour, and he could not have been more gracious.
We really owe Larry French and Todd Baesen a round of applause, not to mention, Peter Bogdanovich our prayers, as you will all see, if Larry publishes the entire transcript of our interview.