More to my earlier suggestions:
It's funny how a few words, a change in perspective, may reveal the obvious. That can be nowhere more true than in looking at the seemingly jumbled kaleidescope of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND.
For instance, in the interview with Orson Welles which Larry French has just posted on the Main Page, look at the description Welles gives of his proposed film, The Sacred Beasts, widely accepted as the template for TOSOTW:
"…If you see a man on his way to death, and you must have known people like that. I don’t mean on his way to death by reason of a fatal disease, but on his way to death, truly. You see that man, you see how people react. I think, you may have many choices about how it will happen, but that end is as clear as anything in the world. When people decided on their death, they’ve got it, and there’s a terrible pull toward it, and here you’ve got two people…
"This is a picture about the love of death.
"So we have a picture about those people who watch a [a movie being made], following one [movie-maker/movie] or another. What are they doing? They are waiting for [him to complete his movie]. They are waiting to see him rise into heaven like a saint. What strange instincts are motivating these people? Those people, who are lightheaded and nonsensical and seriously evil, living off of the idea of [movies].
"So we have a picture about the people who live off [movie-making], because they want money, and the people who live off of [movie-making] for emotional reasons, because they are living second-hand. They are experiencing life and death and sex, in a second-hand way. And those people are our cast. "
Suddenly, for me at least, though I've read the description many times, the way THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND should be completed, the way Welles would have done it, falls into place. The "bullfighter" -- Hemingway, George Steven, or Welles himself, if you will -- and "bull-fighting" or "death" is suddenly replaced with "movie-maker" or "movie-making" or "movie." By that act, in the film Welles actually shot, he interposed one set of central images for another. He gave us this schema, and in typical Wellsian fashion, all the footage from the picture we have seen so far illustrates that schema, except that as he suggests in the interview, he has turned his actors into individual and literal versions of "I Am a Camera."
It becomes clear that the heart of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND is the bullfight, that is, the movie. J.J. Hannaford is alternatively the torredor and the bull, as is Johnny Dale. The Girl (Oja Kodar) is their prize. All the crazy people who make the movie are the corrida, and all the people going to the premiere of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND are the spectators going to the bullfight. And the Drive-in Movie Theater is the bullfight palace, where the aficianados gather. And then, interspliced, there are those producers and critics who watch the rushes, the process.
It is both a celebration and a funeral.
One remove from reality. And then another remove from reality. And then, another remove from reality. Always one more remove from "reality."
So, the race to the Drive-in Movie Theater -- by car, bus, or by motorcycle -- is the movie maker's race to death, toward the finality of the finished film. During which, and afterward, everyone standing around, the spectators, will "shoot" each other.
And of course, the schema is also a metaphor for Life because this pursuit of the great beast, TOSOTW, is what everyone involved, including ourselves, I suppose, have been doing for at least the last thirty years.
I hope that Bogdanovich and his group of intrepid film hunters can bring this ancient monster out of its cave into the light before the dogs of time have devoured it.