F for Fake

F for Fake (1973)

Genres - Language & Literature, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Essay Film, Biography  |   Release Date - Sep 25, 1975 (USA - Unknown), Jan 7, 1977 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - France, Iran  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Synopsis by Judd Blaise

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 interviewer is author Clifford Irving, who became infamous due to a forgery of his own: a falsified autobiography of Howard Hughes. Welles openly re-edits and manipulates this footage, using it as a spine for his own commentary, arguing that there is an extremely close relationship between art and lying, and citing instances from his own career to prove the point. Through a combination of documentary and staged footage, Welles attempts to illustrate the artifice behind all filmmaking, even that of a supposedly non-fiction variety.



deception, fake, forgery, hoax, illusion, artist


High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance