Orson Welles‘ (mostly) documentary film, F for Fake, is a kinetic, meandering, stimulating experiment in story telling that would be a great watch for anyone interested in the art of editing and inventive movie making. While it doesn’t hit one hundred percent of the time and can take a little bit for the viewer to get into the pace and tone of it all, it’s very interesting.. or as Jim put it more succinctly and probably better “it’s fun to watch a master just fuck around”.
The story Welles’ is fucking around with here is one of fraud. Elmyr De Hory is the world’s greatest art forger. We see him create Matisses and Picassos on camera (which he burns) and his work has fooled the greatest “experts” and museums in the world. Clifford Irving is the man fascinated with the man and writing a biography of his exploits.. but it seems Irving has a few of his own fakeries going on. Welles touches on his own greatest fraud/work of art the radio program War of the Worlds, a story of Pablo Picasso and a beautiful lady (with an even more beautiful wardrobe that you can see in the stills below/after the jump) and ultimately the innate element of lying whenever anyone creates something.
As Welles’ last film, it was sadly a total failure upon its release in the US. Its avant garde style was largely frowned upon but is now considered highly influential. Criterion released the film a few years back and it’s currently available on netflix instant.