F for Fake (1973)
Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 34
Fresh: 30 | Rotten: 4
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Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 6,945
The final directorial project the legendary Orson Welles completed during his lifetime, F for Fake is less a documentary than an example of cinematic free association on the topic of trickery. Much of the film is in fact drawn from other sources, most notably an unfinished documentary by Francois Reichenbach on the notorious Elmyr de Hory, whose extremely skillful forgeries of famous paintings caused scandals amongst art collectors and experts. In an additional bit of irony, de Hory's
Sep 1, 1974 Limited
Apr 26, 2005
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A triumphantly self-amused, self-aware reflection on the verities of art and creativity and the lies that sustain them.
A charming, witty meditation upon fakery, forgery, swindling and art, a movie that may itself be its own Exhibit A.
Welcome to the philosophical fun house that is F for Fake, stuffed full of questions about the nature of art and authorship, illusion and reality, lies and truth.
At times T for tedious and P for pretentious, the film remains essential viewing for admirers of the great cineaste and showman.
It tells us that what we like is just fine and that the value is art is measured in something other than currency, though in this case the price of a cinema ticket will do nicely.
F for Fake is a minor work in some ways, but there is fascination and poignancy in seeing Welles's elegant retreat into this hall of mirrors.
Thirty-two years after he unfolded the cinematic pop-up book that was Citizen Kane, Orson Welles collapsed the entire medium in on itself with this irresistible 1973 film essay on art and fakery.
Welles was to claim, 'I believe a work is good to the degree that it expresses the man who created it' and, by that standard, F for Fake must be a masterpiece.
Less heralded than some of Welles' other work, F For Fake is still a fascinating examination of authenticity and authorship.
Welles' assurance that you will be enthralled by his every word and oversized gesture is so arrogant, so refreshingly contemptuous, that you'd give him a round of applause, if you weren't sure he was doing that for himself every time he called, "cut."
gives the viewer the feeling that he's in Welles's expansive company...while he considers and pontificates on a pet topic. That in itself is a privilege, and reason enough to check out F for Fake
...a digressive, playful and at times profound essay on the nature of authenticity and the fluid boundaries between art and decoration, between inspiration and imitation.
A singular combination of documentary, essay, narrative, broad comedy, hoax, and cinematic vaudeville.
A little gem, full of vintage Welles ruminations on the ephemeral nature of personal celebrity and the elusiveness of ultimate truth.
After seeing this elusive film, I wonder how many pictures of the great artists in the museums are really by them and not by some forger.
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