All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
F for Fake
A documentary about fraud and fakery.
In 1977 when I was living in Orson Welles' garage, he let me watch his personal print of F for Fake. Here is an excerpt from the review I published at the time: img18.imageshack.us/img18/2886/rd1h.jpg
The silver screen. The projector lights up and we tune in. Visuals, sound, and collective communion flow out of the screen like an intense heat wave. These images, these feelings, these ideas; how real are they really? The cinema has always been praised for its spectacular bursts of originality and imagination, carrying the worries, pains, and troubles of the audience away into a clouded fog, a fog that vanishes simultaneously along with the remembrance of reality.
However, what if the fog itself is an illusion, crumbling the very fabric of the cinema into a dusty whiff of salty popcorn? Orson Welles' F for Fake doesn't just tear the concept of deception to shreds, but it also assembles a new form;…
Well. Uh... This was a documentary.
My brain is fucked
Still an enthralling trap door of a film, dropping the viewer into a haunting labyrinth of soothing narration, entrancing imagery and magical poetry. Worth watching just to witness the stream of impressions flash by like a scattering family of rabbits.
I started at the top and have been working my way down ever since.
I couldn't understand why people would call this a "film essay" as apposed to a documentary. Now that I've seen it, I clearly understand the distinction, but I'll be damned if I could explain it to anyone. It's less a documentary and more like overhearing a conversation at a party. You have Orson Welles telling you a story, almost as it comes to him, in the most entertaining way he knows how.
The film really does feel like a half hazard conversation that Welles is telling you as he remembers random facts, but it's too expertly put together to REALLY be so random. Sure…
I once was asked how I felt about Orson Welles. I didn't know where to start, how to begin, or if it was even possible to sum up into words exactly how I felt about him. I could not summon the right words to describe the great conjurer of images. I explained that Orson Welles was a renaissance man, that he was a one of a kind individual, a prodigy, and an absolute genius. I described a behemoth of a man that was the undisputed master of art, the overlord of film, and the ruler of of the senses. I explained how he saved my life time and time again with his art. I described an unending genius that grows…
It kind of drags through the middle but the last thirty minutes is worth it.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
I think I just have to rematch this at home, when I can catch exactly when Welles enters pathological liar mode. Of course, that "hour of truth" Welles promised is more like "an hour of documentary footage woven into a narrative of my own making, interjected by me doing things that totally aren't fake or self-mythologizing at all because I wear this black cloak all the time, durr." So maybe I shouldn't waste my time trying to find the artist's signature on Chartres.
Welles is at his charismatic and eloquent best. I love the film essay genre and this was the movie that introduced me to it. My 2nd viewing was not as great as my 1st, but the casualness and laconic and constant brilliance throughout the film is proof that Welles was himself a fascinating thinker and performer. Don't listen to him though, he does not tell the truth! (The editing in this film itself is creating a constant illusion, but I guess that's the point of this project.) I think I will revisit Close Up next by Kiarostami, a wonderful film about the nature of ownership and art.
Orson Welles' final film is a mildly bizarre documentary/video essay about fakery and the importance of authorship and expertise in art. The film recalls the exploits of a number of professional hoaxers, most importantly Elmyr De Hory, a notorious and prolific art forger, and Clifford Irving, famous for his biography of the aforementioned Elmyr and a hoax biography of the infamous celebrity recluse Howard Hughes.
The movie is comprised mostly of footage from interviews with both men and some footage from their lives; partying in Mediterranean villas, dining in small Italian cafes, frivolously burning forged Picassos, that kind of thing. This footage is interspersed with musings and reminiscences from Welles and a couple of friends who raise questions about the…
Holy shit. This was super duper complex. If anything can be called a "semi-documentary" it's this. Really, the film is like a roller coaster type of essay that Orson Welles kind of tells you rather than being a 'movie'. For real though, this shit was intense for an hour and a half.
Overall really good, I liked it alot, I'd recommend if you're into avant garde, intellectual, filmy shit. And if you watch you really have to participate, otherwise it'll be dumb hard to follow.
Edit: forgot to mention the editing. Which was really cool the way they structured the entire film, but scene by scene it was really dynamic and carried the entire thing along nicely. Lots of cool cuts.
Orson Welles's film essay is masterfully edited and is told with the ever-present wit and sheer poetry of the great director. In this film, Welles challenges the audience to always question the value of art and the constant delusion of authenticity.
Totally wonderful mindfuck of a documentary that openly makes you question whether or not it is a documentary. There is no fourth wall.
My head's still spinning. What was this film not about? Trickery and lies, sure. About art in general, the conception of art, the worth of art, truth in art, an artists authenticity, and fabricated truth. About filmmaking and editing, about nostalgia, storytelling, life choices, and many more.
It's a crazy film, with Welles at his most charming and charismatic. The editing alone is worth a second watch. And I will do just that very soon.
This movie is really weird but has fantastic editing and an interesting story.
Great 60-90 min films (for those days when you just don't have the energy to watch a 3 hour masterpiece)
Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)