F for Fake ★★★★★

The aesthetic of a strange, intense genius-type walking you through the rooms of his expertise, evidence all collected like some conspiracy, but spoken with the conviction of someone who isn't as concerned with fact as he is with a story. Some of the sharpest edits I've ever seen, adding to a frantic but playful energy that shifts in pace quite often but never truly slows down to convention until its ethereal final few minutes. And what digressions Welles takes, or faults that might be considered, all tie back into a failure of the person, without feeling as much like a failure of the film.

Had Welles felt more like an inclusion, F for Fake would feel self-serving. And yet in his storyteller eccentricities is an intrinsic part of this reality that can only be translated by him in all these weird points and focuses and interruptions. I wouldn't say the film can't be improved, but it is to me this weirdly take-it-or-leave-it experience so warped and so bizarre that it would feel like nitpicking a hurricane. It is neither moral nor is it perfect. But its sense of chaos, as stolen from the tone and the order of its original footage, is unrivalled by its own genre, and arguably any other.

puffin liked these reviews