by Rob Boylan
It was during the 2007 Florida Film Festival when Peter Bagdanovich made an announcement that the deal for the world might finally see The Other Side of the Wind was "99.9% finished." It was an exciting moment for film fans everywhere. Orson Welles and John Huston together!
And then nothing happened.
The story has popped up again and again over the years, and the news has become less and less exciting every time. It seems to be Welles' final trick, and we're falling for it like suckers, just like every April Fools Day I fall for the trick that someone has found the missing footage of Kurosawa's The Idiot or Welles' Magnificent Ambersons. Much like Mulder, I want to believe.
And, so it has happened again when this morning the UK paper The Guardian reported that a deal was close, quoting a lawyer in the negotiations, Kenneth Sidle, as saying:
We are in negotiations for the picture, which would lead to the finishing and public exhibition. Hopefully within the next few weeks we will know.
Hopefully it's more than 99.9% percent close.
This time, though, no matter how close the news articles say the release is, until the ticket is in my hand and the projector starts flickering Welles' big, round mug I'm not buying it.
And you shouldn't either.