Orson Welles’ last epic is at Netflix and it has everything from the 70’s you can possibly imagine.  If you’re a movie nut like me, you’ll want to really like this movie.  You should probably lower your expectations.

Welles apparently shot something like ten hours of footage and never finished the film.  While he had edited some scenes and had notes on others, it wasn’t actually finished.  The people at Netflix tried to stay true to whatever vision they could discern from the tea leaves.  But even so, the movie feels unfinished, long and self-indulgent.  There are interesting moments and what might be considered flashes of brilliance—  Maybe?  There’s a lot of subtext for sure, but plot?  Hmmm.

Basically, you’re watching a movie about an aging director that hasn’t finished his last movie before he died, which was shot by an aging director that hadn’t finished his last movie before he died.  Just about every 70’s movie cliche is here—  Hippies, naked girls, smoking, random conversations that seem deep, overly interesting camera juxtaposition and scene after scene with no dialogue.  The most boring parts are the scenes of the movie that the character is trying to finish, even though it has nudity.

It’s some kind of take on the movie industry being that you’re watching a movie within a movie while a movie is being shot.  But like the movie that isn’t finished in the movie, this movie doesn’t feel finished either.  Look for brief cameos by Dennis Hopper and Rich Little, if you can believe it.

Is it worth watching?  Well, if you’re a movie nut, you’re going to watch it.  I mean, it’s Welles.  If you’re not a Welles or a movie fanatic, I can’t really see you enjoying much of this.  Good try, Netflix.  I’m sure film aesthetic classes everywhere are eternally grateful.  For me, it was just interesting to watch a “new” 1970’s Orson Welles flicks with old actors I recognize.

I give The Other Side of the Wind 4 out of 10 keggers