From the pioneers of film to post-digital trailblazers, the aim of this challenge is to take you on an adventure…
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.
The idea is more intriguing than the execution.
Don't know if there's ever been a person on the planet with such a keen sensibility for parabolic storytelling as Welles. This catches him at his most playful both formally and personally — he's so gregarious and eloquent that there's nothing much to do other than sit in awe at his ability to spin yarns. Most narration sucks, but I'll take Wellesian narration any day, and especially if it's him waxing philosophical.
Thoroughly fantastic. For starters, a very fun, mostly breezy ride, but also a refreshingly in depth contemplation on what art is, what constitutes it, and the veracity of charlatanism as artistry, explored through both Welles' own past of trickery and other well-known dupers. Purely personal, exploratory and masterful.
this film is very strange
i stopped tuning in about three quarters of the way through because it was so repetitive and when i started listening again i had no clue what was going on
It's pretty... but is it art? Yes. Probably my favorite film full stop. It's like riding a motorbike through a house of mirrors.
A magical, dizzying piece of storytelling. It's way way ahead of its time, like everything Welles touched. The editing of this film creates a narrative where there is none, and obviously if you look even semi-closely you can see all of the seams, but that's the point.
Random thought: I love how he uses matching audio takes to transition between scenes; it really serves to stitch the entire thing together into something far more cohesive than it has any right to be.
If Orson Welles wasn't so damn charismatic this really wouldn't have been very good, even with fantastic editing, cinematography and rhythm
Thought-provoking film essay that explores art, forgery, fakery, illusion, deception, and the nature of it all, underscored by sublime and hypnotically poetic narration from the ultimate 'cool' director, Orson Welles. Well worth a watch for its dizzying display of editing prowess and masterful storytelling.
Something about this film is truly brilliant. I cannot put my finger on exactly what it is, but maybe it's a combination of elements. It could be Welles' possible conclusion that all art is forgery. Maybe it's the aesthetic techniques, something we know Orson Welles was a master of. Perhaps it's the way this film subverts the documentary form, and is actually more of what film historians call a "film essay." It could be the way he tricks our minds. Or it might be his fascinating rhetoric and prose throughout the film as he speaks directly to us. Are you lost yet? Good, now maybe you know what it's like to watch this interesting film. I think that Welles is…
I finally got around to the last major Orson Welles movie I hadn’t seen. I have great love for Orson the storyteller. This movie is a meditation on art, authorship, and fakery. It’s a bit of a Frankenstein film, with a found documentary re-edited and forming half of the movie, a piece intersecting with the documentary segment about a bogus Howard Hughes autobiography, a half-hour segment about Picasso, and wrapping scenes of magician Orson, tying the threads of the movie together. The pacing is odd with a lot of time spent on the counterfeiter, Elmyr, and a rush through the Clifford Irving segment (which as I understand was a big enough news story in 1973 that Orson didn’t…
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