Wednesday, May 24, 2006

F For Fake

F For Fake (Orson Welles, 1976) [5]
This is a rambling, shabby documentary which was the last finished film released by Welles. I begrudgingly recommend it because it does what Welles says it’s going to do; play with the notion of what is real and what is fiction. What starts as a straight-forward doc on a notorious art forger morphs itself into a meditation on the nature of creating hoaxes and fiction, which is essentially what filmmaking is all about. What really intrigues me about the film is Welles’s domineering presence in the film. He overshadows the two characters that he meant to chronicle. This could have been extremely pretentious, but it comes across as engaging. The film itself has no center, as it ambles from thought to thought, with Welles giving just enough information to keep it together for the most part. The end goes off on an extreme tangent about Picasso and some women, but it makes sense when you realize the ground rules that Welles laid down at the start of the film (I won’t give away the secret). It’s not close to the best work of Orson Welles, but it certainly has its interesting moments.

On another note, occasionally, I will revise some of the grades of films that I've given. I felt I was a little too generous with a couple. Me and You and Everyone We Know went from 9 to 8 and 2046 is now a 9.

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