No, this isn’t some fancy-pants options trading suggestion about NFLX. It’s actually about a couple of items on Netflix, the video streaming service, which I’d like to recommend.
I’m a big cinema and documentary buff, and both of these items are documentaries about filmmaking – – so, a double win. The first is called They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, It’s about the creation of Orson Welles’ last unreleased movie, The Other Side of the Wind. I must say, the movie itself looks absolutely dreadful (Netflix did its best to complete the production of the film and has simultaneously released the movie itself), but the documentary about its creation is absolutely engaging. It seems like one of those self-indulgent vanity projects that only already-successful creative types can get away with, and I suspect Citizen Kane’s place on the mantle is quite secure.
The second item, which I enjoyed even more, is Filmworker, which is about Leon Vitali, Stanley Kubrick’s long-time assistant. I had always thought a director’s assistant just grabbed him coffee or picked up his dry cleaning. Not so with Leon Vitali, who was basically a miniature Kubrick. He did everything, including acting, editing, post-production, dealing with Warner Brothers. The poor guy worked seven days a week, almost 20 hours a day sometimes, all in the service of Kubrick. What’s terribly sad is that he had nothing financial to show for it. It’s actually thanks to his children that he didn’t wind up homeless. In any case, it’s a riveting watch.