James’s review published on Letterboxd:
Well that was a hell of a way to end a career.
Orson Welles presents a documentary about a fraudulent painter whose biographer also happens to be a fraudster. Except it isn't a documentary because it includes acted segments, related musings, essays, poetry and even its own fake story about Picasso. Talk about pushing the boundaries of cinema.
Welles sits smugly in an editing room puffing his ginormous cigar and appears to be presenting the film in real time, pressing play, making mistakes and leaving them in purposely. We also see him interviewing his subjects, performing magical tricks and wandering around various places in his hat and cape looking like a boss. He even turns the camera on his own life of deceit, retelling of how he got his first acting job by lying and his infamous 1938 broadcast of War of the Worlds which tricked radio listeners into thinking an alien invasion was occurring.
It's a jaw dropping piece of work and the perfect bookend to the legacy of a real genius.