fbpx F for Fake | Gene Siskel Film Center
Film Series : Orson Welles: The Other Side of the Argument

F for Fake

1973, Orson Welles, France, 89 min.
With Orson Welles, Oja Kodar

Show Times

  • Fri, Apr 26th 6:00pm
  • Sat, Apr 27th 5:00pm
  • Tue, Apr 30th 6:00pm

"A masterwork of montage...The movie is a love story, a crime story, a comedy, a picturesque travelogue, and a paean to art. In short, F FOR FAKE is as grand, multitudinous, and original as Welles himself."--Richard Brody, The New Yorker

F FOR FAKE signals Welles's shift to the metatextual, montage-dominated approach that would characterize the last phase of his filmmaking career. Announcing "I am a charlatan," Welles appears on-screen in magician's garb to serve as our jovial guide through a zippy, playful discourse on the porous boundary between art, fakery, and forgery. His tour centers on the master art-forger Elmyr de Hory and de Hory's biographer Clifford Irving, who himself became notorious for forging an autobiography of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. While using these Borgesian paradoxes to question notions of authenticity and authorship (if De Hory's fakes were good enough to fool numerous museums and art experts, should they not be considered authentic masterpieces?), Welles establishes his own credentials as a trickster par excellence, reminding us of his panic-causing "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast ("I didn't go to jail. I went to Hollywood"), fooling children with magic tricks, and fooling us spectators with a final display of editing-room sleight-of-hand. 35mm. (MR)

The Tuesday screening will include a lecture/discussion by renowned critic and Welles authority Jonathan Rosenbaum.

Play Trailer