F For Fake,1973,France/Iran/West Germany
Director: Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Oja Kador & Joseph Cotten
Film #92 of the December Project
Like all great filmmakers, Orson Welles is as dynamic and entertaining as a person as his films are. Orson has been able to showcase this quiet regularly throughout his stellar career due to his performances in an array of classic films, weather they be his own, i.e 'Citizen Kane' or for someone else, I.e 'The Third Man'. In this ''Documentary'' Mr Welles lets loose and truly displays his larger than life personality.
With 'F For Fake' Orson Welles investigates some of the greatest frauds, fakes and hoaxes of all time including the paint forgery of Elmyr de Hory, the biography hoaxes of Clifford Irving, and Pablo Picasso's mystery paintings.
I first saw 'F For Fake' a couple of months, and it became not only one of my favorite Documentaries of all time, but one of my favorite films of all time. I was very excited to revisit it and upon doing so I discovered that I love the film just as much, maybe even more. This is far from a conventional doco in any sense, it has been described more as a Film essay which I absolutely agree with. Orson is portraying so much on the screen and his three different tales are always combining and intertwining together to create a chaotic, trippy avalanche of information and accusations. The way in which the film is set is risky genius, it could have ended up a giant mess but with Welles being one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, it turns out to be a work of art.
The film moves at an incredibly rapid pace, occasionally Orson will spurt off some dialogue in attempt to catch you up to speed but you really have to keep up with him to get a full understanding of the whole spectrum, it is not easy but its definitely worth it. Having the director narrating you through his own film is a terrific technique. As I alluded to earlier, Orson Welles is an amazingly interesting and always entertaining human being, whenever he is on screen you will most likely be hooked by his every word.
Like almost everything else in the film, the editing by Marie-Sophie Dubus Dominique Engerer is incredibly fast paced and features an immense array of colors,art, landscape and Orson that constantly reoccur throughout. The last 17 minutes of this film is absolute genius filmmaking, I don't want to spoil it but the first I saw the film I was in complete awe at the incredible move that Welles makes, bold and fantastic.
I loved the constant allusions Orson makes to his career, especially when he talks about the controversial 'War of the Worlds' broadcast, ''I didn't go to prison, I went to Hollywood'', and when he talks about his career peaking at 'Citizen Kane' (not true) Orson isn't afraid to mock himself or get involved, which I love.
'F For Fake' is a brilliant work of cinematic genius, I value Orson Welles as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, and this is another film that proves me right. One of my favorite films and definitely a must see.