Yesterday, Showtime screened a rough assembly of Orson Welles' legendary uncompleted film The Other Side Of the Wind,
which Peter Bogdanovich is restoring for the cable channel. The
select group of critics in attendance were stunned to find that the
film bore no relation whatsoever to the brief excerpts from the film or
to the script pages which have previously seen the light of day.
The film unveiled was in fact a shot-by-shot remake of Citizen Kane using sock-puppets in place of the original actors. Citizen Kane
is considered Welles' masterpiece, and many have pronounced it the
greatest movie ever made — a stunning debut which Welles never managed
to live up to in the course of his subsequent career.
Bogdanovich explained the “very Wellesian” ruse involved — “He shot
fake footage and wrote a bogus script to keep his real plans a
secret. 'Everybody wants another Kane,' he told me, 'so I'm going to give it to them. I'm going to shove it up their ass.'”
Bogdanovich believes that the sock-puppet Kane
will eventually be recognized as a greater work than the original —
“though it may take awhile. Orson was always years ahead of his
Bogdanovich hopes that the restoration of the Kane
remake will be completed towards the end of this year and screened by
Showtime in 2009. It will appear under the name Welles chose for
it shortly before his death — Kane You Believe It?