This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
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
I think maybe we – collectively, as a species – need to come to terms with the idea that Orson Welles was the best person ever.
He speaks with import but without arrogance. He's brilliant, he KNOWS he's brilliant, but he behaves as though you're on the same page. He gives you that credit, and not to embarrass you. He's the antithesis of pretension. "I began at the top, and I've been working my way down ever since," he says in this, his final film. That's still a mighty high bar.
F for Fake is the most unconventional and fascinating documentaries I've ever seen. Orson Welles uses a fractured narrative combined with dazzling illusions and intricate interviews to weave a complex tale of blurring the lines. Magic, forgery, fraud, everything false is covered and dissected in this short but very real documentary. Welles utilizes certain stories of historical figures to help blur reality into his story as well, providing an edifying history lesson that is equally entertaining. A dizzying carnival fun house of trickery and documentary.
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.
My first Welles. (I know, I know.) A strange, jumpy essay of a film that has a handful of quite enjoyable sections and some very intriguing and experimental technique on display, but the dull final act and obvious pseudo-twist conclusion bring it down a bit.
Watched with comedian Courtney Maginnis for my podcast Only the Best for Hayden Maxwell
A obra-prima de Welles junta toda a falsidade do mundo e a realidade da arte para criar uma mistura de paixão e irreverencia com a magica.
Interesting film. I bet it will grow on me.
This would be a great double feature along side Exit Through the Gift Shop.
Is this one of the earliest examples of the Vimeo-style film essay?
A meditation on the dharma doll nature of fraud and trickery in art, both explored through function (the biographies of famous art and literary frauds / forgers) and form (the inherent falsities of film as a construct). Welles constantly presents his film and then, immediately after, presents the artifice of it - the film we're watching playing on a TV, or the crew and lighting equipment included in the edit in quick cutaways. He even finds a way to circle back to his own career, finding parallels amongst his own early work to fraud (the Worlds broadcast) and forgery (KANE's Hughes parallels).
Everything is a construct. Lies on top of lies on top of lies. It's fakery all the way down.
I think I liked this movie. I'm not sure. It was a little too sophisticated for me, I think. A lot of it went over my head. I'm glad I watched it in a crowded theatre where I was cued by the laughs of other patrons on what parts were funny. I think I need another watch, or two. I'm not completely writing it off..
Everything I hoped it would be, and yet nothing like I could have expected.
I never shy away from confessing a love for Orson Welles' style of filmmaking. The term 'enfant terrible' applies so perfectly to his work of the 1940s, this brash kid who gets a huge Hollywood set to play with, and is arrogant enough to use it to the hilt.
This film delivered to me on the prospect of "what would an Orson Welles film made in the 1970s be like?" What would Welles do, he who loved to play to extremes, he who never shied away from controversy, in the decade after one of the greatest cinematic revolutions, the French New Wave, fundamentally changed, chewed up,…
I didn't care for this movie at all. Which is a problem when Orson is operating under the assumption that you're enraptured by his genius.
Movies that are slightly off.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, but still want to squeeze a film into your daily routine, this list is made for…