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8.3
/10
3,096 Ratings

F for Fake

Vérités et mensonges

Directed by Orson Welles
France, West Germany, 1973
Documentary, Drama

Synopsis

Magic, forgery, fraud. Everything false is simultaneously exposed and celebrated in this free-form documentary/fiction that meshes in historical figures to blur the line. Loosely a documentary, the film operates in several different genres and has been described as a film essay.

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F for Fake Directed by Orson Welles
Welles, who revamped cinematic narrative with “Citizen Kane,” took another three decades to revolutionize the documentary form with this 1973 movie—but he did so with such wily exuberance and breezy philosophical depth that the later achievement may prove even more enduring. . . . With meditations on Chartres Cathedral and Pi¬casso, artistic drive and carnal passion, he turns matters of truth and fiction into a fun house of infinitely reflecting, self-magnifying, and self-concealing mirrors.
January 26, 2018
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Maybe it’s ironic that Welles’ greatest work may have been one of his boldest, most experimental films: the aforementioned F for Fake (March 1-2), a botched documentary about an art forger that he turned into a brisk, playful meditation on magic, duplicity and the enduring power of great art. If Kane ends on the question mark of how to assess one man’s life, Fake ends on the question mark of how to assess the greatness of any artistic achievement.
February 19, 2015
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The pleasure of cinema for Wells is not a preposterous ‘suspension of disbelief,’ but rather a sweetly sinister pleasure at seeing ourselves duped. Wells the rotund, paternalistic showman (this image like all images a myth, one which he feeds tongue in cheek in an auto-derisory reference to his legendary obesity by ordering on-camera a colossal lobster at his favorite Parisian seafood restaurant) reminds us that the cineaste is nothing more than a trickster, and his films but sleights of hand.
January 19, 2015
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