5 Comments

  1. Concerned Critic November 9, 2018 8:05 am 

    Howdy, Davey. You published this thing: https://www.losangelesblade.com/2018/11/07/gone-with-the-wind-of-orson-welles/?fbclid=IwAR2rLijyOJFFEzz_QrNsU7RNOmEkxR_bU6uok7UWJhln6bTYM4ELBKTQqp8.

    You ought to be ashamed of this review. I’m replying here, since your publication won’t allow me to reply in the comments’ section: I guess you can dish it out but you can’t take it.

    “And then there are the gay fictional character that dot the Welles oeuvre: Glenn Anders sinister “George Grisby” in “The Lady From Shanghai,” Mercedes McCambridge’s lesbian gang leader in “Touch of Evil” and the young Prince Hal and his boytoy Pons in “Chimes at Midnight” (which inspired Gus Van Sant’s “My Own Private Idaho”).”

    Grisby isn’t explicitly gay and Prince Hal and Pons definitely are not. Also, Van Sant based his work on the same source material for CHIMES, not CHIMES itself.

    “Finally, there’s “The Big Brass Ring” ( a Welles script adapted by several others and brought to the screen by George Hickenlooper in 1999) which features a gay advisor to a high-ranking politician. None of these characters fall under the heading of “Positive Role Models” but they’re not cheap jokes at the expense of the LGBT either. They have albeit fitful life to them.”

    Kim Menaker isn’t Blake Pellarin’s “advisor”; he’s Pellarin’s mentor who sacrificed his love for the man in order to bring out the best in him as a person. None of Welles’s characters can really be called completely “positive role models”, but Menaker, despite his flaws, is an essentially good person.

    Enough being pedantic. Let’s move on to your review…

    “Besides Foster other longtime Orson Welles associates swept up by “The Wind” included Paul Stewart (Raymond the Butler in “Citizen Kane”), Mercedes McCambridge (“Touch of Evil”), and Dan Tobin (“The Fountain of Youth”), not to mention acolytes of more recent vintage like Peter Bogdanovich and Henry Jaglom. In addition, we see such Hollywood veterans as Susan Strasberg, Paul Mazursky, Cameron Mitchell, and Edmund O’Brien, plus Lili Palmer, Claude Chabrol, Stephane Audran, and in his acting debut film critic and sometime screenwriter (“Rock n Roll High School”) Joseph McBride. Like almost everyone in the film they pop in bark a presumed-to-be-witty line or two then vanish.”

    Of all those people, Jaglom, Chabrol, and Audran are the only ones who “pop in bark a presumed-to-be-witty line then vanish”. Their appearances are cameos, while all the others you mentioned play Hannaford’s friends or critics — main characters in the film. Bogdanovich himself is on screen almost as much as Huston.

    “What we get a lot more of is a wordless Oja wandering about in scenes resembling the softcore porn films that cinematographer Gary Graver worked on for the bulk of his career (he shot and/or directed some 200 of them) In 1970 when shooting began Welles might well have thought himself either “ahead of the curve” or “Keeping Up With the Russ Meyers.” For that softcore king had won a contract with 20th Century Fox to make “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” and “The Seven Minutes.” But while “Wind” languished, “Porno Chic” was made fashionable by the success of “Deep Throat” and in 1972 “Last Tango in Paris” brought anal intercourse to the “Art House.” Oja’s “Birthday Suit” promenades in “Wind” are studied affairs, of little interest to those not already obsessed with her. In short, Welles was making a film for an audience of himself alone.”

    Let me make this very clear: At “Hanneford’s” party, they screen parts of the recent film he’s made, which is what includes Oja Kodar’s character prancing around. The movie Hannaford has made is designed to be slow and Antonioni-esque, a concoction of art house and porn that “Hanneford” has made in a desperate attempt to connect to a younger audience. The scenes you refer to only occupy half of the film-within-the-film, which itself occupies half Welles’s movie. The other half is Huston and Bogdanovich and all the critics questioning Hannaford’s sexuality.

    As to why there’s so much of the film-within-a-film included, its slow pace provides the audience to catch a breath after the info gleaned from the crazy party footage, and it gives us a weird glimpse into Hannaford’s psyche. In the lingering shots of Kodar, for example, we see his overcompensating attempts to appear heterosexual.

    “There was never a plot, just a premise — the birthday party for “Hanneford” followed by his death in a car accident. And that is all. There’s no forward development, nor any backward either to explain how this director became as “legendary” as everyone in the film keeps saying.”

    Why does the film have to show this? There are several lines filling us in that Hannaford is a John Ford or Howard Hawks type – a macho Hollywood director loved by cineastes. The main story itself is that, on said birthday party, he realizes that his career and livelihood are over, mostly due to his friend-alienating, overcompensatingly macho lifestyle. Every bit of bad news (from Stewart et al., Bogdanovich, or Dan Tobin’s characters) drives him closer to the edge of despair.

    Yeah, no through-line there.

    The film-within-a-film, running concurrently with these events at his party, features Kodar and Random moving through cityscapes that become bleaker and bleaker, more and more dilapidated (including the movie set), and ending on an empty desert field. Hannaford’s attempt at self-expression for the new flower child generation leads to his movie being not only empty, but also a reflection of the hollowness of its creator.

    But who cares about what actually happens in the movie when Welles shows his girlfriend naked a lot? Do naked women just offend you?

    “In other word “The Other Side of the Wind” is trapped in anarrative “fugue state” Could it be that there was nothing more? Could it be that Welles after having created a character and a situation had no idea of what to do with it? Did Welles have “early onset”Alzheimer’s? It’s a depressing thought but not an unreasonable one.”

    Looking at the ton of typos and errors in your review, I can’t help but think the same about you.

    “Perhaps Simon Callow, who has just begun to write Volume Four of his massive biographical study of Welles will come up with something”

    Simon Callow is a pretentious idiot (like you) who thinks Welles had no hand in writing the WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast and barely any hand in writing CITIZEN KANE despite the sources he cites contradicting this. Recently, he said on the Criterion OTHELLO DVD that Welles’s doc FILMING OTHELLO was made in the 60s and unfinished… even though the finished film is ON THE SAME DVD.

    But even worse, he’s a creep. When writing about how Welles was sexually harassed by men as a 15-year-old, he concludes that Welles “must have put on certain signals”.

    “The trouble with Welles isn’t that he was loved after his death, it was his being loved — and consequently indulged in — far too much when he was alive.”

    You hateful, pompous piece of shit. I’d tell you to go fuck yourself, but you’re probably doing that already — stop jerking off and actually be a film critic.

    Nic

    • Concerned Critic November 9, 2018 9:42 am 

      Then reply to my points.

    • Concerned Critic November 12, 2018 4:49 am 

      Of course you don’t.

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