THE GREAT BUSTER
2018, Cohen Media, 102 min, USA, Dir: Peter Bogdanovich

Acclaimed director Peter Bogdanovich is also a cinema historian who has authored landmark studies of John Ford and Orson Welles, and here he turns his eye to the life and career of Buster Keaton. From Keaton’s beginnings on the vaudeville circuit to the development of his trademark deadpan expression to his career-high years as the director, writer, producer and star of his own shorts and features, this documentary charts the rise of one of America’s most influential and celebrated filmmakers and comedians. Filled with stunningly restored archival Keaton footage and interviews with nearly two dozen collaborators, filmmakers, performers and friends (including Mel Brooks, Quentin Tarantino, Werner Herzog, Dick Van Dyke and Johnny Knoxville), this is the definitive portrait of a true visionary of the silent era.


THEY’LL LOVE ME WHEN I’M DEAD
2018, Netflix, 98 min, USA, Dir: Morgan Neville

When Orson Welles returned to America after a self-imposed exile in the early 1970s, he began working on what he felt would be his magnum opus, The Other Side of the Wind. The film wasn’t completed in his lifetime, and in this documentary Morgan Neville follows the movie’s near 50-year journey to the screen, interviewing many of the actors and filmmakers who accompanied Welles on his adventure, as well as those who sought to bring his masterpiece to completion. The result is a portrait of both a great, flawed genius and the labyrinthine aesthetic, economic and political problems that plagued what should have been Welles’ last great triumph.


THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND
2018, Netflix, 122 min, USA/France/Iran, Dir: Orson Welles

Legendary director Jake Hannaford (John Huston) celebrates his 70th birthday - which also happens to be the final day of his life - with a Hollywood party to end all Hollywood parties, a gathering in which the aging filmmaker confronts friends, enemies and his own demons in a whirlwind of vibrant celebration and scathing bitterness. Director Orson Welles calls back to his own CITIZEN KANE with another portrait of a larger-than-life titan, while also riffing on European art cinema of the era and looking forward to the new Hollywood that was already eclipsing his own. Peter Bogdanovich stars as a fictionalized version of himself - a hot young director surpassing his idol in terms of success and prestige - as do other major filmmakers and historians like Paul Mazursky, Dennis Hopper, Henry Jaglom and Joseph McBride. A love and hate letter to Hollywood that still looks modern more than 40 years after Welles began it, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND is a late masterpiece by one of the greatest directors who ever lived.


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