Sunday, August 9, 2020

1110. F is For Fake

F is For Fake
Directed by Orson Welles

When I saw that there was another Welles film on the List, I rolled my eyes. I don't hate Welles, but I believe he has six movies on the List already. There is a serious problem of representation on this List, and adding yet another movie from a straight white man who is already prominently featured isn't exactly the course correction I was craving.

F is for Fake is a kind of video essay, narrated by Orson Welles in a way that reminded me of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, although Welles is somehow even more smug. The story is a kind of a meandering exploration of art forgery, and zeroes in on art forger Elmyr de Hory. Welles also incorporates his mistress into the film, and features scenes where men stare at her as she passes in the street, unaware they are being recorded. I can only speculate that Welles did this for private reasons. Also, I guess this was before his wife found out he was cheating on her? The size of this man's ego is roughly the combined mass of three suns.

So this was an interesting concept. Create a video essay and mercilessly toy with your audience and their expectations, much as a magician would. Of course, it was also very self indulgent and at times incoherent. But damn it, does that man have charisma.

More of an oddity than an essential movie experience, but it held my attention for its entire runtime and at least tried to do something different.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

The original trailer featured a topless Oja Kodar, which was promptly rejected by US distributors. 

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