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LGM Film Club, Part 349: F For Fake

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For the fifth film in my post-birthday favorite movie marathon, I chose Orson Welles’ odd 1973 film F For Fake. In this, Welles gets to engage in the film essay, which might have been the best media for him. The film is about the art forger Elmyr de Hory; the fake biographer of Howard Hughes, Clifford Irving; and the meaning of truth and forgery in art. It also stars Welles’ incredibly beautiful and far younger romantic partner Oja Kodar, who basically is….walking around and doing stuff, though eventually we get to the point of how she was once Picasso’s lover and he painted a bunch of pictures of her that he took to her grandfather, an art forger, to create more “Picassos.”

But the real purpose of this film is for Welles to think about art, trickery, magic, forgery, expertise, authenticity, and how it relates to film and his own life It’s hard to describe but it is super fascinating to watch. Also, there’s the scene where Welles is holding court in front of the young people with a giant lobster in front of him. Then the waiter comes to take it away and he orders himself a steak. I never fail to laugh.

How you will respond to this will undoubtedly vary widely, but I find it a very worthy watch every few years.

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