Even Netflix knows The Other Side of the Wind is too big to simply stream.
Movie buffs alert: the most lusted-after, long-awaited cinematic event of the past several decades is happening in Vancouver this Sunday, Nov. 4. Yes, for one night only, VIFF Vancity Theatre will screen the finished version of legendary director Orson Welles' final film—The Other Side of the Wind—for free! Shot in the 1970s, the film was never finished and, after Welles' death in 1985, more than a thousand reels of footage began gathering dust in a Paris vault. The original producers launched an Indiegogo campaign in 2017 to revive the project and cut the movie and, after US$400,000 was raised, Netflix jumped on board with the rest of the financing. Of course, we'll never know exactly what the film would have become if Welles had been able to fulfil his vision—so far, critics are most definitely divided on the issue—but cinephiles are rightly ecstatic that they have a chance to get a decent taste of it. More than that, the fact Netflix have agreed to a (very) few theatrical screenings is hugely exciting (naming no names, but some of us were planning a 14-hour round trip to Portland this weekend before the Vancouver screening was given the go ahead. No joke.) And if that's not enough to get you downtown on a Sunday night—yes, there's more—VIFF has arranged a pre-screening Skype interview with Josh Karp, the man who literally wrote the book on the entire saga, Orson Welles's Last Movie: The Making of the Other Side of the Wind. Those of us who love our movies in large format are cheered by Netflix's decision to get into the cinema game: this year's Cannes Film Festival winner, Alfonso Cuaron's Roma, will also screen at Vancity in December, as the streaming service recognizes it needs to go big or go home empty from the Oscars. The Other Side of the Wind, 9 p.m., Nov. 5, Vancity Theatre. Register for free tickets (seats are first come, first served) at viff.org.