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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Documentary on the last film Orson Welles tried to make. No real positive messages -- centered on the incredible creative and financial problems Welles and the film crew and actors he worked with faced while trying to shoot this picture.
Positive Role Models
In some ways a biopic of Orson Welles as it centers on the struggles he endured while trying to finish his final film. Shows the challenges that film directors, cast, and crew face when trying to make a film.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief female nudity: breasts, buttocks. Footage of extended erotic scene in a moving car where woman removes her clothes, straddles a man in the passenger seat. Quick shot of a woman reaching her hand down her shorts. Footage of pornographic films one of the cameramen shot while trying to make ends meet working for Welles: two women kissing in a shower, a woman in short shorts on a tennis court bending over.
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"F--k" used a few times. "Bulls--t," "s--t," "pr--k." Middle-finger gesture. Some talk of sex, and talk of a sex scene in a movie.
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Products & Purchases
Talk of how much Orson Welles loved Fudgesicles. Talk of a time when Welles and Peter Bogdanovich shared a bag of Fritos.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Welles almost always shown smoking a cigar. Whiskey drinking. Footage and archival photographs of Welles drinking in restaurants. Cigarette smoking. Marijuana smoking -- footage of Dennis Hopper stoned and talking in a semi-coherent manner.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that They'll Love Me When I'm Dead is a 2018 documentary about the personal, creative, and financial challenges Orson Welles faced while making his unfinished final movie, The Other Side of the Wind. Brief nudity includes female breasts and buttocks. An extended erotic scene is shown and discussed at length: A woman in a moving car takes off her clothes and straddles the man in the passenger seat. There's a brief shot of a woman reaching her hand down her shorts, and brief footage of the pornographic films one of the cameramen worked on to make ends meet when not working with Welles: shots of two women passionately kissing in a shower, and a shot of a woman in short-shorts on a tennis court bending over. Profanity includes "f--k," and there's some marijuana smoking, including footage of Dennis Hopper stoned and talking in a semi-coherent manner. Welles is almost always shown smoking a cigar. Some drinking is seen. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
In the words of Orson Welles, "It's all in the editing." With They'll Love Me When I'm Dead, it's clear the filmmakers took this to heart. There's a chaos in the editing and the overall style of the documentary that seems intended to mirror the chaos that went into Welles' unfinished final film, The Other Side of the Wind, both in front of and behind the camera. The appreciation of this chaotic approach is, like taste in anything, entirely subjective. Those wanting a more straightforward story of what happened will find it disjointed and confusing; those who are in the spirit of the thing will find, once they get used to the stylistic shifts and ever-present editing, that this is a documentary that turns out to be much more informative than if it had been a straightforward presentation.
When processing the sheer totality of the information presented, it becomes obvious upon reflection that this documentary could not be filmed any other way. They'll Love Me When I'm Dead manages to tell the story of how a movie without a conventional script and years of false starts and money problems didn't end up getting made, as much as Welles wanted it to be his swan song masterpiece, but it does more than that. It places The Other Side of the Wind in the context of Welles' life and work before and after -- from Citizen Kane to his battles with and exile from Hollywood to his TV appearances as more of a pop-culture oddity rather than one of America's greatest auteurs. It also shows the mercurial relationship he had with Peter Bogdanovich, a friend and disciple of Welles whose meteoric rise as a film director happened while Welles struggled, and the great lengths cinematographers like Gary Graver went to continue trying to bring Welles' vision to life as the years went on. Now, decades later, Netflix has released a posthumous version of The Other Side of the Wind, and this documentary is an engaging companion to the movie, and a good indication of what to expect from it.
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