Orson Welles' free-form documentary about fakery focusses on the notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory and Elmyr's biographer, Clifford Irving, who also wrote the celebrated fraudulent Howard Hughes autobiography, then touches on the reclusive Hughes and Welles' own career (which started with a faked resume and a phony Martian invasion). On the way, Welles plays a few tricks of his own on the audience.Written by
Orson Welles's final completed movie deals with fakery, and in particular with two of the most notorious forgers of the twentieth century. "F is for Fakes" (also called "F for Fake") is not really a movie or documentary as much as a look at how we interpret art, and what we WANT to interpret about anything that is essentially fake. Welles proudly calls himself a charlatan while performing magic tricks and coming up with all sorts of ways to play with the audience. I personally had never heard of Elmyr de Hory until watching this, but Welles turns him into a very interesting person.
All in all, the director known as a boy genius had a fine end to his career. Welles created a truly mind-bending look at the concept of art. The fact that the movie came out around the time that Clifford Irving's scandal broke (he wrote a forged biography of Howard Hughes) certainly adds to the documentary's quality. Can there truly be any more definite reality left in the world?
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