Director: Morgan Neville
Year Released: 2018
Completely captivating documentary centering on famed filmmaker Orson Welles doing his damnedest to complete his last feature, The Other Side of the Wind, and the issues that surrounded its (legendarily troubled) production (including having the negative held captive by the Iranians ... and Oja Kodar ... and heaven knows who else). Neville's portrait of Welles is not completely positive - he was controlling and petty, he was obsessed with the notion of betrayal, he didn't know when his welcome was up - but it does show several shades of the man, including the sad side that would resort to begging for money to continue his project (he received none) and the helpful one that would edit a scene in a porn film, 3 A.M., directed by his devoted cinematographer Gary Graver. The "finished copy" of Welles' work is underwhelming and certainly not "great" (Rich Little was right in bolting: he had no fixed idea where Orson was going with it) but this assemblage of interviews, clips of Welles' other (finished) movies and narration by the incomparable Alan Cumming is Cinematic Gold, giving the audience a glimpse into what made the Kid from Kenosha tick. Was he a genius? Unquestionably yes. Did he know he was a genius? Also yes ... but that might have been one of his major problems.