A documentary about fraud and fakery.
A documentary about fraud and fakery.
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.
An amusing, well-crafted folly from Orson Welles, who is perhaps the only filmmaker who could get away with lying to your face for twenty minutes.
It's a bit overwhelming in terms of presentation, never slowing down or stopping as it presents a dozen different stories to you at one time, but with Welles' rich, self-aware narration guiding you through, it makes for one of the most unique documentaries you're likely to see.
Part documentary, part video essay it's best known as being a masterclass in editing. Welles holds up multiple interweaving threads at the same time. Impressive stuff, not necessarily my kind of feature but I'm glad I finally took the time to watch it.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Crazy stuff. Welles has such an entertaining persona and a great voice that I could listen to him talk about art forgery for hours. This is one of the more unique documentaries I've ever seen, and that's all due to the crazy style in which its presented. It has one of the greatest twists to any movie ever, which totally enriches the first hour of the movie. Its really funny too. Probably the best way to watch it for the first time is going into it without knowing anything, but on this rewatch, knowing the twist was coming only made me pick out the various ways in which it related to the rest of the film.
Creo que acabo de ver un documental, o un video ensayo... realmente no sé si me mintieron o todo es verdad, sólo sé que es uno de las películas hechas con todo un estilo que no se puede separar. Hay un gran manual de edición aquí que creo amerita una segunda revisada.
As entertaining as F FOR FAKE is, I may have been too conditioned by the four decades of post-modern pop culture cynicism that followed it to find its message or style all that compelling in 2017, which is no fault of Welles'. Surely, F FOR FAKE was a visionary work of its time, but it also, as a product of Welles' decline, is saddled with indulgences, some of which are fun, but few of them contribute to the product beyond padding its scant runtime. F FOR FAKE starts, for example, with a long title sequence of men caught gawking at Kodar's sashaying figure; I assumed that this mimicry of Candid Camera would climax with some kind of arch reveal, such…
Impossible to determine what is true, what is fake, what is scripted or documentary. Welles was always pushing film further than his contemporaries.
Part magic trick, part documentary, part meta commentary, all fake. Orson Welles' lie is even more fun on a second viewing. Like with watching a good magician we not only know we're being deceived, we revel in it.
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