This post contains content written for the Internet Film Club.
Directed by: ORSON WELLES
1973, TSPDT Rank #332
F for Fake is Orson Welles' final masterpiece, and considered by some to also be basically his final film. This film is overwhelming in its brilliance - it is a feat of incredible editing and unmatched originality. Welles had trouble getting much of a release for this film - as was the case with much of his work. And, like so many of his other projects, it unfortunately was way ahead of the people it was released to, and the film that Welles thought would be a success, because of the recent scandals discussed in much of the film, failed to make any kind of significant impact. It is a very personal film, as well as a humorous and adventurous one. Welles is paving a singular road here that was unlike any road ever traveled before, in a way that is very similar to what he did over 30 years prior with a little film called Citizen Kane. I think the two films are actually very similar in the paths that they pursue, the paths of core identity and truth, and both relevant to the periods of Orson Welles' life that they were attached to. When watching this movie, you can tell that Orson was filled with revived enthusiasm for his work with this film. Almost like he is just getting started again. That this would be the last proper film he would make and complete in his life is unfortunately telling of what his whole life and career was like. Small bursts of genius often turned out under oppressive, unagreeable conditions. Thankfully though, F for Fake is one of the clearest views of Welles' genius that we have - along with Citizen Kane, his one "carte blanche" film. The dense, multilayered editing and the complex trickery within the film call for multiple viewings more than most movies. There will be so much to discover on subsequent viewings, because it is just impossible to take it all in in one viewing. Relish this Welles triumph with pleasure, all those who appreciate film and one of its greatest visionaries.