Attending the Sedona International Film Festival this year was a major treat for The DM Zone. One of the highlights for me was spending a few moments with Beatrice Welles, daughter of Orson Welles. The occasion at the festival was a panel discussion of the book by Josh Karp, “Orson Welles’s Last Movie:The Making of the Other Side of the Wind,” The film has never been released and very few have seen the unfinished, partly edited footage. Beatrice was the host for the event. Besides Josh Karp, who moderated the panel, there were two Phoenix notables participating who had acting roles in the film. First was long time Valley of the Sun celebrity, Pat McMahon, who was part of the Wallace and Ladmo Show airing on television the time the film was being shot. He was handpicked by Orson Welles for his role after Mr. Welles had seen him on the local TV show. On the other hand, Reality-based novelist, Frank Fiore, had a speaking “extra” role because he was dating Peter Bogdanovich’s sister, Anna and had helped gather the rest of the college student ‘extras’ for a scene shot in Carefree, Arizona.
My interview with Beatrice was especially poignant because she seldom appears in public and considers herself a recluse. It was hard to believe because she was so well spoken, and knew what she wanted to convey about the last film of her father. Her passion about her father’s films was evident. At the end of the interview Ms. Welles shared that if the film never gets a theater release, she would love for it to be used as a teaching vehicle – a wonderful thought. But, I would personally rather see the film released so that we can all enjoy the genius of Orson Welles one last time.
Each of the Sedona International Film Festival interviews – there are ten in all – covered the films, the filmmakers and some of the stars in them. I will provide a brief blog for each of the interviews. Enjoy!