Netflix releases the trailer and poster for They'll Love Me When I'm Dead. To complement the long-awaited release of Orson Welles’ final film, The Other Side of the Wind, Netflix produced a documentary about the backstory. The trailer for They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead shows a cinema icon hoping for one more theatrical hit.
Last month, Netflix released The Other Side of the Wind’s trailer. Shot from 1970 to 1976, the film stars John Huston as director Jake Hannaford, described as “the Ernest Hemingway of the cinema.” Through a mockumentary narrative style, The Other Side of the Wind examines the subject’s final days and seemingly parallels real-life events. Unfortunately, the film was uncompleted when Welles passed away in 1985, yet it was ultimately revived by filmmaker/actor Peter Bogdanovich, based on his fellow director’s own wishes. On Aug. 31, The Other Side of the Wind premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
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Today, Netflix released the trailer for They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, a documentary that sheds light on Welles’ personality, vision, and hopes for The Other Side of the Wind. For those unfamiliar with the iconic director’s public persona, the clip begins with Welles acknowledging “a departure in movie-making” before transitioning to voiceover narration that identifies Welles as “the ultimate independent filmmaker” and “somewhere between Zen master and God.”
From there, the trailer highlights Welles’ ambitious approach to cinema, and how he blurred the lines between reality and cinema through The Other Side of the Wind. Most notably, They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead shows a Golden Age icon staying true to his style while collaborating with notable American New Wave figures such as Dennis Hopper and the aforementioned Bogdanovich, approximately 30 years after releasing what many consider to be the best film ever made, Citizen Kane (1941).
Known as one of cinema’s greatest auteur directors, Welles made other classics such as The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Lady from Shanghai (1947), and Touch of Evil (1958). Not only did Welles inspire the innovative minds of the French New Wave movement, but also independent American directors like Bogdanovich, who was hand-selected by New York City’s Museum of Modern Art to curate the first Welles retrospective in the United States. In fact, it was Bogdanovich to whom Welles uttered the famous line: “they’ll love me when I’m dead.”
The trailer for They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead is a fascinating brief look at high-concept production, and it will inevitably re-ignite discussions about Welles’ legacy and pop culture image.
They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead will be released November 2 on Netflix and in select theaters.