Combustible Celluloid
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With: Peter Bogdanovich, Steve Ecclesine, Henry Jaglom, Peter Jason, Oja Kodar, Rich Little, Frank Marshall, Joseph McBride, Beatrice Welles, Alan Cumming
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Morgan Neville
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 98
Date: 11/02/2018

They'll Love Me When I'm Dead (2018)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

End Welles

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

To accompany Netflix's release of Orson Welles' completed The Other Side of the Wind, Morgan Neville directed the documentary They'll Love Me When I'm Dead to explain the complex behind-the-scenes of this monumental film, and the final years of Welles' life. Neville was faced with the problem of how to make a film that might compliment Welles' visual genius, and he comes up with several solutions that work. He interviews his key players from strange angles, in black-and-white, and cuts together their sound bites in ways that are fascinatingly conflicting. Alan Cumming is here as host and narrator, and he also appears in black-and-white, at editing bays and in other arty shots full of reflections and other playful concepts. The documentary itself is full of information, such as the casting and cutting of Rich Little in the Brooks Otterlake role that Peter Bogdanovich eventually took over, or the fact that Welles himself served as a stand-in for the Jake Hannaford role until John Huston was hired to embody it. Thankfully, Neville is ultimately not concerned with celebrating Welles' genius, but in trying to understand the human being behind it. He winds up with a surprisingly touching film, and one that makes you want to go back and look at The Other Side of the Wind some more.

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