Orson Welles was only 25 years old when he had the greatest success of his career: co-writing, directing and starring in Citizen Kane. For that film, he also had final cut, which was unprecedented at that time, especially for a first time director.
After Kane, things got trickier. Welles was horrible with money, had poor taste in producing partners, and refused to work within the studio system.
Skip forward several decades from Kane. It's 1970 and Welles is just returning to the US after more than a decade in Europe. He's going to make a comeback film...about a director making a comeback film.
Josh Karp's new book, Orson Welles's Last Movie: The Making of the Other Side of the Wind chronicles the misadventures that followed.
Karp tells us why talent flocked to Welles, but not financiers. Welles ended up getting funding from the Shah of Iran's brother-in-law, but perhaps unsurprisingly, that arrangement proved problematic as well. While Welles shot plenty of footage, the film remains unfinished and unseen to this day.
The troubles that haunt the film haven't stopped people from trying to resurrect it though. There's a new effort afoot to finally finish the movie. Some big names in cinema, including Frank Marshall and Peter Bogdanovich, are involved in a crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo.