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18 January 2018: F for Fake


F for Fake
Orson Welles
1975 | 85 min | Colour | 35mm

“This playful homage to forgery and illusionism is the last film Orson Welles released before his death. Both a self-portrait and a wry refutation of the auteur principle, its labyrinthine play of paradoxes and ironies creates the cinematic equivalent of an Escher drawing. Described as "a vertigo of lies," the film itself becomes a kind of fake, for although it bears the signature of its author it was in fact the product of many hands. Starting with some found footage of art forger Elmyr de Hory shot by French documentarist François Reichenbach, Welles transforms the material into an interrogation of the nature of truth and illusion, with stops to revisit his own Citizen Kane and The War of the Worlds radio broadcast, detours with Howard Hughes and his hoax biographer Clifford Irving, and a profile of Picasso deceived by love. ” – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our Orson Welles retrospective