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.
A documentary exploring the facets of forgery and deception, F for Fake takes the themes it attempts to convey and builds the entire film around it, everything from even the style to the presentation.
Though this unique interpretation of the subject matter makes for a film that's entertaining and filled with a strong tangible vision that's nothing unbecoming from the mind that brought Citizen Kane to the world, it's undeniably pretentious.
Welles's presence in the film is far too substantial for a documentary that isn't quite meant to be personal. The constant anecdotes detailing the themes of the film really do come across as overtly ostentatious and not at all insightful. The film's infamous ending also comes across as utterly…
One of the most unorganized and simultaneously best films I’ve ever seen
“Our works in stone, in paint, in print, are spared, some of them for a few decades or a millennium or two, but everything must finally fall in war or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash. The triumphs and the frauds, the treasures and the fakes. A fact of life. We’re going to die. ‘Be of good heart,’ cry the dead artists out of the living past. Our songs will all be silenced — but what of it? Go on singing. Maybe a man’s name doesn’t matter all that much.”
A spellbinding blending of documentary and essay. So fascinating and satisfying to see Welles dabble with the avant-garde. I think the subject matter could have been explored even deeper, but movie's inability to conform to what you expect is almost entirely the point. Welles' voiceover delivery is particularly great.
I usually avoid any film thats main subject is "the art world is bullshit" because I'm just some kid in suburbia who's never tried to remotely judge a painting or sculpture much less have a conversation about it on a broad level. This is also why I didn't see The Square in the short amount of time that played near me.
However, F for Fake isn't just that simple message. Welles wanted to create a free form documentary about if nothing else 'faking it until you make it' and for its short run time, you're able to create a new perspective on the world in general, and not just in an art sense.
I wont pretend to throw out anything too deep on its subject matter overall, but it's definitely a unique take that's worth the watch.
Also Welles gives an incredible monologue on what lasts longer, the artist or the art. It's worth it for that alone.
When Daddy Welles questions the concept of what art is 💦😫🙌😵👄🍆
One of the smartest piece of cinema and possibly the best editing ever, everything is arranged and mixed up so smartly that you never quite know if Orson Welles is messing with your mind or not, and this not only during 17 minutes when he actually did, but you get this impression during the entire documentary.
Despite the very elaborate editing everything just remain very smooth and so coherent, quite an achievement.
Talk about a mindfuck. I don’t even know how to categorize F for Fake, Orson Welles’ bizarre, indulgent, tricky, nearly incomprehensible documentary about forgery in art. There are big questions here, about what it is to truly be an artist, and Welles is unafraid to accuse himself of false artistry, but mostly he uses one famous forger as a frame of reference: Elmyr de Hory, whose works adorn great museums despite the fact that they are, as the title implies, fakes. Using hyperactive editing uncommon for the 1970s, Welles combines his interviews with de Hory, author (and liar) Clifford Irving, and others to craft a kind of nonstop montage of contradictions, hypocrisy, and lies. But, then, is Welles lying? Is…
I'm making a fake video essay on a real video essay and going to dissect it like a professor would dissect an essay. A charlatan like Orson Welles deserves the damn Nobel Prize for Literature... He'd credit de Hory in his acceptance speech.
But that mustn't be the real Orson Welles? Can it be? He's been dead for over thirty years! But his speech was so good...
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