Any fan of cinema must be, I think, necessarily interested in Orson Welles. And for anyone interested in Welles, there are two holy grails. One is the footage cut from his original version of The Magnificent Ambersons. That footage, sadly, simply doesn’t exist any longer. The other grail is The Other Side of the Wind, which is the long-uncompleted final film from Welles.

The movie stars John Huston as declining film director Jake Hannaford, and features a huge cast including Peter Bogdanovich, Bob Random, Susan Strasberg, Joseph McBride, Mercedes McCambirdge, Lilli Palmer, Oja Kodar, Dennis Hopper and a host of filmmakers appearing as (more or less) themselves, including Henry Jaglom, Paul Mazursky, and Claude Chabrol. Featuring many improvised scenes, and shot with an off-the-cuff style, it would have been a free-form experiment unlike anything else in Welles’ catalogue.

Due to a combination of factors, most notably the passing of Welles and a very complicated string of rights negotiations that followed, The Other Side of the Wind has never been finished and released, despite continued efforts to complete it. Some small portions have been shown over the years, but now twenty minutes of additional footage has been made available online. Read More »

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Chris Maybach has been enjoying excellent buzz for producing Sundance favorite Martha Marcy May Marlene, but don’t think he’s been resting on his laurels. Maybach has two more films in post-production — Sean Baker’s Starlet and Andrew Dosunmu’s Mother of George — and is in the process of casting yet another project, which he will direct himself.

The new drama, titled The Low Road, follows a young drifter who returns to his hometown and gets wrapped up in a conflict involving two old men on the verge of losing their farm. Maybach told Screen Daily that he has put out offers to Nick Nolte and Tom Waits for the parts of the two older men, though as The Playlist points out, the $1 million budget means that getting both actors may be a bit of a stretch. (Waits has done a song called ‘Lowside of the Road,’ though, so that’s one more reason to think of him for the role.) The film is scheduled to begin shooting in late 2011 or early 2012.

After the jump, Peter Bogdanovich signs on for a supernatural thriller with Super 8 star Joel Courtney, and Colin Salmon looks for Retributon.

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I’m still waiting for Peter Bogdanovich to fulfill the mandate handed him by the late Orson Welles to finish the legendary director’s final film, The Other Side of the Wind. But that film is the victim of a long list of legal and technical troubles, so I can forgive him for the decades the project has taken.

In the meantime, let’s be content with a new film from Mr. Bogdanovich. His last theatrical dramatic feature was the decent The Cat’s Meow in 2001, but now he’s working on a new picture, Squirrels to the Nuts (ahem), with Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach co-producing. OK, he’s got my attention. Read More »

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