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
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.
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.
Any interesting look at fakery in a docu-drama/film essay. This was Welles final film and it shows a polish that only comes with a lifetime of making film. The stories he looks at and the elegance that he speaks with is mesmerizing and will suck anyone in who is interesting in the subject matter.
The film is probably one of the best uses of meta story-telling out there. Because he is looking at a painter forger, who is being interviewed and written about by a guy who faked writing a biography of Howard Hughes, who himself has been called a fraud and all this turns on Orson Welles himself who has been called a fake by people because of the controversy around both War of the Worlds and his battle with newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst.
An immensely interesting documentary with perhaps the greatest voice over to grace the silver screen.
Orson Welles's final completed film combines some wonderful cinematography with a very odd but interesting editing style to create a weird and unique hybrid blend of documentary filmmaking and classic cinema.
Don't feel like I got everything the first go around, but there is just so much to dive into. Or is there? Or does it matter if it just seems like there is plenty to dig into? I don't know.
Watched via Hulu, for documentary film class prep.
My real name is Roger Ebert, FYI.
Ahhh, the French....
A trifle, but a great one. Orson, in his "charlatan" role, manages the nice trick of being both flabbergastingly arrogant and incredibly charming, and part of that charm is the way the film flits around like a mosquito--the editing is amazing, cutting between different film stocks and interviews and Orson and still images like a proto-Oliver Stone. The Chartres Cathedral bit could be put in a museum all by itself.
Definitely more enjoyable the second go round. The first time I had no idea what it was supposed to be. Probably not the best film to go into blind.
Breezy and entertaining, though it requires pretty close attention. Sometimes it seems a bit sure of itself or pretentious, which creates a disconnect between that and the fact that it's mostly a fun style piece.
Orson Welles was a creative genius. Even in his last minute, he wasn't afraid to showcase the new concept of filmmaking. F for Fake had an excessive amount of short cut, unlike his other films that had so many lengthy scenes & drawn-out dialogues (ex: Citizen Kane or The Touch of Evil). Sometimes it played like a colorful music video and sometimes it was a serious documentary.
The story of Elmyr de Hory & Clifford Irving was something that Orson Welles truly wanted to share with people. His storytelling and narrating aspect of the film was nearly perfect. F for Fake was more than just a film/documentary, also it's Orson Welles' way of communicating with the audience.
Last 17 minutes…
not like stupid/dull, but as in movies that are so insanely packed with things and ideas and visuals they become…
Movies that are slightly off.