In the epilogue of "El Hacedor", Borges says that that is his most personal book, not because it's confessional, but precisely because it's the one with the largest amount of mirrors, doubles and lies. The same thing happens here. Through the many masks Welles uses, he makes explicit the very fabric of his work - and the foundations of the man himself. This is a film of immensurable honesty and beauty.
Clever and charming cinematographic experimentation with the unique Orson Welles’touch. Poweful magical, illusonary tendency in art (mainly the speculative, avant-garde modern art) and in cinema (the art of lies by excellence). Morality : don’t trust the experts and don’t be fooled by the marketing fraud.
After a career of being blackballed and ostracized by his puppet masters, walrus Welles has the last laugh in examining the validity of “art” (as a mode of commodity in pulling the wool over eyes of the masses) by exposing the industry amusingly in a swiftly cut, structurally fresh yet entirely coherent film essay. What better way to affix the main thesis than in a comedic coda provoking an all-time con-artist?
What are you really left with at the end of a magic trick? You can applaud the charm of the storyteller while knowing that the whole thing is a lie. And the problem with knowing it's a lie is that it's hard to get invested in the story. There's a big difference between that and fiction. Fiction has a purpose. For me this lie didn't reveal any truth I found interesting.
Damn, I wish Welles had always allowed himself to be this stylish and playful! Truly wonderful, unconventional editing that you're barely able to process as it goes to work on you. The uncomfortably lascivious attitude towards Oja Kodar hasn't aged well at all, but otherwise, it doesn't put a foot wrong.
a really honest (or at least, it looks like one) film about fakery. nice approach on Elmyr's interesting life, and some of the work of Welles, even though the movie sometimes gets kinda confusing (I think, on purpose - Welles is a trickster himself). And btw, I love the photography.
A real whirligig of a film contorting, changing, contradicting, questioning, moving from image to image, idea to idea rapidly. Part documentary part fiction, part personal reflection, part grand reflection on art and human existence. At times even distorting and hard to follow without close attention. Anyone with a doubt of Welles's formal cinematographic genius this is a must.
Eh? It's an absolutely gorgeously shot and edited movie. But I've frankly seen much more balanced existentialist pieces, ambivalent though I am about how much satisfaction the philosophy can actually deliver its practitioners. Truthfully it seems a little bit overly enamored with the state of facts and physicality bent by perspective, and not enough with the NATURE of perspective and expression.
I don't know how to describe this film. It is not a movie really. It is not a documentary either. What it is is an experience! It is better to go into this film completely blind, not knowing a thing. Don't let it be spoiled for you, go in blind! This is a mediation on the ideas of trickery, imitation, lies and art. This is a masterpiece and one of Orson Welles's best works. Please treat yourself and watch this film!
The visuals are what makes this movie so highly regarded, and for good reason. The story itself, though, is both plodding and average. Jumps around every movie genre without a true identity or narrative. The visuals that Wells creates are dizzying and more often than not don't serve the progression of the plot. Seemed pretentious. Without a doubt the work of a genius, but it went way over my head.