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Parents' Guide to

They'll Love Me When I'm Dead

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Docu about Welles' unfinished final film; sex, nudity.

Movie NR 2018 98 minutes
They'll Love Me When I'm Dead Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 1 parent review

age 6+

Ourrages movie with tons of nude but OK for older kids

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

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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