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F for Fake

F for Fake

1973
Documentary
1h 29m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 71% from 1462 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1462)
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Rated 15 Dec 2006
95
98th
An incredibly original and rewarding study of charlatans of all stripes, while simultaneously laying bare the fakery of its own construction, and of filmmaking in general. It's also about art and authorship and experts. It feels a lot like jazz. Variations on a theme, a dash of this and a burst of that, giving each "musician" (Elmyr, Irving, Hughes, Welles, Oja) a time to shine. Plus it's got a jazzy score, which enhances that sensation. A playful and very fun film.
Rated 23 Feb 2007
5
91st
This may be the definitive Orson Welles film. It's a highlight and celebration of Welles' favorite aspect of filmmaking: the editing room. He twists and turns, uses manipulation, misdirection and montage to suggest things to the viewer without implicitly stating them, allowing us to fall prey to his trickery (and we willingly oblige) and using his formidable technical skills to celebrate his own abilities and the ability of the film medium as a whole. A truly virtuoso work.
Rated 04 Sep 2008
100
99th
On an visual medium, I find it strange that this is probably the most visual film I've ever seen. I heard it described as being like music for the eyes, and this is absolutely true. It moves rhythmically, the editing seems to bring in and let go of its visual themes, it's like a symphony of images. Welles was a wizard, a true wizard.
Rated 16 Jan 2010
90
85th
More like "F for Fuuuuuuuuuuuck". This film is unlike any other I've seen. Where most films have some sort of story that ultimately goes from A to B, F for Fake seems to touch on every letter in the alphabet in a completely random order. It so thoroughly blurs the line between fact and fiction that you'll be left feeling like no such line could ever exist in the first place. Its editing is both confusing and intoxicating. I don't know if anyone else than Welles could make this film work.
Rated 21 Jun 2008
85
80th
It's like wandering through Welles mind. Truly innovative, involving and a joy to watch in almost every sense.
Rated 25 Feb 2012
90
95th
Although at times very personal and profound, I think this really stands out on the merits of its postmodern critique. The slight of hand tricks of editing; the layering of his own career and criticism; the somehow sombre and celebratory mood - all the while jabbing at the art gatekeepers, still retaining the skilful power the artist can have over the audience. Absolutely amazing. Like Calvino's If On A Winter's Night, but full of genuine personal thought.
Rated 22 Apr 2009
9
93rd
This movie is a mind fuck. I can't believe someone wrote that this film is pretentious, it's like the complete opposite of that. It's so original that I found myself getting angry that Welles wasn't immortal and could keep churning out shit forever. Definite must see.
Rated 20 Jul 2014
85
97th
A mind melding trip into the world of illusion and fakery, Welles' 'documentary' is one of the most fascinating explorations of the problem of 'artistic authenticity' in the pre-digital world, questioning the ontological basis of imagery and image making, as well the cultural assumptions underlying the halo effect that is central to the value of original art. Thankfully, it also functions as a knowingly playful deconstruction of his own complicity as a master image conjurer. Superb.
Rated 06 Oct 2007
93
96th
Fantastic film which deals with the art of trickery and forgery. In the end you don't know what exactly is true and what exactly is a lie but that is the point.
Rated 17 Feb 2014
80
77th
Throw any other fat man in a cape and you have a joke, throw Orson in one and you got CLASSSSS.
Rated 09 Feb 2021
92
98th
This is film as video essay before there was film as video essay. Welles the magician (remembering that Welles was a semi-professional magician in 'real life') has lots of fun, and so too do all other facets of Welles the enigma. Watching this is an insight into the inner workings of Welles' mind (more so than any of his other films); the way in which Welles perceived and constructed the world (after he met Oja Kodar, she co-created this film). For 88 minutes you too can be Orson Welles.
Rated 25 Mar 2012
90
85th
Only a classy motherfucker like Orson Wells can pull off wearing a cape.
Rated 28 Mar 2018
76
60th
A kaleidoscope of editing with Welles (equal parts Wonka and Santa) as tour guide. I'm just not as impressed with the art forger as he wants me to be - it's not like the guy's faking Rembrandt, he's doing Mondrian and Modigliani. That's simple stuff, what Bob Ross teaches you requires about as much technique as that. Still, it's a fun jab at the posturing of critics and the unimpeachable value of 'master'works. People want to be tricked, complicit to the magic show.
Rated 10 May 2023
79
86th
I bought a bootleg copy of Surviving Picasso and this movie was on the disc instead.
Rated 21 Sep 2009
92
99th
After finishing, I didn't know what to believe other than that Orson Welles is smarter than me.
Rated 01 Aug 2007
86
76th
Very interesting
Rated 14 Aug 2007
88
97th
An incredible feat of pre-digital editing in the service of an essayistic style that seems premised on the notion that audiences are capable of more than is usually asked of them. Perhaps Welles was just a little too infatuated with Oja Kodar (which isn't an accusation), but overall the composition of fact and fiction is conducted as a virtuoso performance of cinematic artifice.
Rated 30 Mar 2007
100
94th
A meditation on fact, form and function, -------- marks the triumphant, resounding defeat of all three. Some films modify their genre, some contemporize it, some define it and still others revolutionize it. This film invented it's genre.
Rated 08 Jan 2009
4
74th
If ever the clichéd idiom of "spinning a yarn" applied more aptly to another film, I haven't seen it. Here is a free-associative and exhausting dive into deception, and Welles himself is not above it: engaging in all manner of edited chicanery to (mis)appropriate these outrageous stories. He regards the eternal question of "what is art?" with self-effacing humor, a bemused joviality through which only a faint solace is offered: that between lies, a greater truth may be discerned. Or maybe not.
Rated 05 Jul 2007
85
78th
The film itself is an elaborate hoax about elaborate hoaxters, Extravagant and, like Welles himself, a little too clever for its own good.
Rated 18 Apr 2010
100
96th
watched: 2010, 2013, 2020
Rated 05 Oct 2010
55
39th
Orson Welles is a fascinating character and this film is worth checking out because he is in it. As for the film itself, though, right from the beginning it's all too obvious where it's going, i.e. where Orson wants to take us. A rather uneven and indulgent affair.
Rated 03 Sep 2008
98
93rd
With an entire arsenal of new and old tricks of editing along with dazzling shots, F For Fake is a flawless work of celluloid and notorious in the masterful skill of modern meditation. Welles does something many others have died before him trying to do: he fooled the audience viewing it, making for a more understandable and fitting experience. Wonderous, quirky and also intriguing, F for Fake's legacy will go on forever and Welles has certainly shown what he's capable of.
Rated 29 Jan 2009
71
69th
Deliciously fun. Experts? Honesty? Truth? Reality?
Rated 15 Sep 2008
75
50th
It's very pretty... but is it art? The hell if I know.
Rated 16 Nov 2007
80
51st
Very fascinating. It chronicles two intriguing stories while also showing some very interesting insights into human nature.
Rated 06 Dec 2008
9
90th
With an extravaganza of clever editing tricks, some nice photography shots here and there, etc. Welles comes up with one of the most original ways of telling a story: fooling the audience. I still have no clue what's real and what's fake (I love that title :) ). A very interesting documentary.
Rated 08 Mar 2007
79
57th
Orson Welles fucking with your mind for a couple of hours. I really can't call it great because some parts feel too overindulgent and silly, but it's a unique film and very enjoyable.
Rated 18 Aug 2013
80
37th
Feels very smug and self-important. I don't know if I understood it. Maybe that's because it's too deep for one viewing, or maybe that's just Orson Welles fucking with me.
Rated 28 Jul 2012
40
5th
What a load of pointless crap.
Rated 04 Jan 2016
70
41st
Late-period Welles just seems to give me a headache. The dubbing, the head-spinning editing. And he's so incredibly satisfied with himself that he never really gets the misdirection to work so I never felt like he tricked me at all. Yes Orson, I get that you're lying now. I noticed that you said an hour when the movie is longer than that. No, Oja isn't that attractive, but good job anyway. Still, it's pretty fun to watch, even if half the time I had no idea what he was talking about.
Rated 13 Feb 2022
85
85th
L for Looks. Orson Welles is serving looks in this. The first ten minutes feels like it was edited on amphetamines. I could listen Orson Welles read the phone book.
Rated 12 Oct 2016
92
89th
Now Welles is dipping his toes in documentary filmmaking? Come on. He can't possibly be good at this too, right? Wrong. He is. He makes fantastic use of montage - which is somewhat abnormal for him - in this documentary about what it means for something or someone to be fake. How can you tell if something is fake? Hell, can you even tell? Also, Joseph Cotten makes a brief appearance, which made me happy, because his and Orson's friendship has that effect on me.
Rated 28 Oct 2011
93
91st
This is a fake mini-review under a fake account.
Rated 25 Sep 2010
88
91st
If you want to show someone the importance of editing, show them this film. Welles takes an art forgery story and makes something totally unique and fun to watch.
Rated 11 Nov 2013
85
79th
Brilliant editing! And the scene about Chartres is one of the most poignant I have ever seen about the human condition. It reminded me of Macbeth's speech "Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow".
Rated 30 Oct 2014
85
64th
... just do anything? AHH "F for Fake" it has always been celebrated for its excellence there is a documentary by Orson Welles inspired by excellent frauds and forgers it's filmed in color and like the best Welles movies it's made so Orson Welles ... MAAHAA "F for Fake" has always been celebrated for its excellence there is a documentary by Orson Welles inspired by excellent frauds and forgers it's filmed in color and like the best Welles movies it's made so Orson Welles ...
Rated 22 Dec 2009
8
76th
Ao lado de Woody Allen e Hitchcock, Orson Welles foi um dos cineastas mais produtivos. Sempre com uma carta na mão, mudava com facilidade de um gênero para outro sempre sob uma chuva de críticas. Nesse 'documentário' um tanto irreal, Welles sai do verossímel através de histórias interessantes para passar a mensagem: "olhe como enganar e manipular é fácil, te peguei". Até ele mesmo vira alvo da sua própria fraude, citando Howard Hughes em 'Citizen Kane'.
Rated 17 Oct 2010
40
97th
"F for Fake is one of the more wistfully humorous of Welles's wrestlings with reality." - Joshua Vasquez
Rated 15 Jun 2009
80
77th
Very entertaining, if a little self-serving on Welles' part. Then again, if you're watching Welles, chances are you're ready for the ego. I wouldn't call it a documentary, more a cinematic essay on trickery and forgery. Frequent and sometimes jarring tangents into the psychology and human faces behind the topic give the film a breezy, conversational pace that feels much more natural than the business-like, didactic tone of most documentaries of the day.
Rated 23 Feb 2011
70
37th
I recognize the greatness here: a master artist at the height of his craft; a whirlwind of ideas about art and deception; Welles hamming it up as only he can; a unique narrative voice highlighted by brilliant editing. Yes, I see all that. It's a great movie. But I just didn't like it that much. I wasn't interested in the particulars of the stories, nor did I find the overriding themes all that interesting. Rarely do I find a large gap between "greatness" and what "I liked." But here I did.
Rated 10 Jul 2011
96
96th
A profound and endlessly inventive treatise on art and the elusive concept of "truth" and "authenticity", masterfully constructed (especially the editing!), which also happens to strike a particularly personal chord with me in regard to my own thoughts on these subjects that i am currently exploring in my own life.
Rated 02 Sep 2009
80
91st
Shamelessly smarty but also genuinely thoughtful, intensive, hectically but meticulously edited documentary, it's very hard to take your eyes off it. It darts about between several different interconnected focal points, probably the most likable of which is the art forger Elmyr, but even Welles' own presence in it, an extravagant persona, stuck-up and self-important as ever, does not mar it one bit but rather complements it.
Rated 31 Jul 2008
90
89th
Like most of Welles' latter day films, this one is a messy, narcissistic, wonderful hodgepodge of ideas and in this case they either work in spades or are interesting enough, in one way or the other, to warrant screentime. Throughout the movies' many fine moments runs a palpable sense of joy at creating. This is Welles happy as a pig in shit, and we're right there with him, enjoying ourselves all the way.
Rated 13 Sep 2009
100
96th
"F for Fake" is one of the most intelligent documentaries out there, and it is all because of the brilliant mind behind it all. Orson Welles. Every moment of this mindblowing essay will either amuse, stun, or capture you - and the way Welles pieces together his studies is in a way that makes it border on the pure entertainment value of a solid fiction film. A one-of-a-kind, clever, and witty work of art.
Rated 09 Dec 2013
65
87th
Very unique film. Latter half is far less interesting, but, at its best, the visuals, editing, sound design-- everything-- is just immaculate and full of energy. Really extraordinary, in its own way, and very, very much worth seeing.
Rated 25 Nov 2012
70
68th
Expertly crafted film showcasing Welles' brilliance from start to finish. I really enjoyed it, but can't say I was that blown away by the trickery/movie-magic or the message. Somehow I felt it was a bit too smug, trying to be too clever. Didn't resonate with me as much as I hoped. As the smoke cleared substance and depth proved to be merely illusion.
Rated 30 Jun 2009
80
63rd
Truth and illusion, lies and reality, truth is an illusion and lies are reality... we need lies, we want desperately to listen lies and we need to tell a lot of lies... we cannot live without lies ... lies are truth and truth is lie...
Rated 13 Dec 2015
85
91st
Orson Welles was full of himself.
Rated 03 Apr 2011
95
0th
This is Welles' true masterpiece. It goes beyond the definition of documentary and creates something that had never been done before and I don't think has been done since. Brilliantly edited, leaving you in a sense of fascination and slight confusion while not letting up on the entertainment. I love this movie.
Rated 01 May 2008
95
94th
The greatest answer in the world of cinema, ever. That is, probably, intended to Pauline Kael.
Rated 13 Jul 2012
81
57th
Curious.
Rated 19 Sep 2008
5
80th
I don't know how anyone could fail to enjoy this.
Rated 31 May 2012
100
97th
I give it a star (based on a scale of negative, equals and plus). I cannot say enough good things about this movie. It is a essay film. Not all fiction or nonfiction, but an essay. The editing is like nothing I've seen before. Welles's moves so fast from scene to scene from point to point, it is impossible to get everything in the first viewing. I watched this movie four times in the first week that I saw it. It is its own genre. He makes a convincing argument in regard to the idea of "Fake."
Rated 01 Jan 2018
91
94th
888
Rated 22 Jun 2012
9
90th
I find it hilarious that art "experts" are unable to differentiate between a forgery and an authentic painting.
Rated 28 May 2023
69
34th
Fascinating in many ways as perhaps the closest to a literal record of Welles' hopscotching mind and thought processes (and in retrospect points the way to the (dis)organised chaos of THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND), but more interesting than entertaining, almost like being stuck in a bar with an increasingly drunken Oliver Stone travelling through the looking glass (though this may be the cheekily made point). Worthless as any sort of historical lesson, but still an essential for Welles fans.
Rated 22 Mar 2018
40
10th
This feels very much like a train going off the rails at high speed, while Orson Welles stands in front, holding preachy monologues about authenticity in art and life... Slightly infuriating and boring in equal parts.
Rated 18 Sep 2019
77
66th
A virtuoso example of showman-like editing that reflects the fascinating story about all kinds of trickery that it's wrapped around. Where this stumbles for me is when we come to the Oja and Picasso story - it's not nearly as interesting as what comes before it, and even the editing becomes tedious and repetitive. Nice film to chew on for a bit though regardless.
Rated 29 Aug 2011
75
83rd
Really fascinating and clever stuff from Welles.
Rated 01 Mar 2008
84
74th
# 316
Rated 29 Mar 2015
75
68th
Maybe the power of that movie comes from that it can be cinematically very fluent and experimental which creates a feeling of harmony and beauty that disappears at the end, similar to the forgery and ephemeral nature of the "art" Welles talks about. That's why in a sense it's a movie mimicing its subject matter.
Rated 12 Jun 2016
80
87th
Doubt is our only hope in a world of marketing.
Rated 11 Feb 2011
90
93rd
Ha ha haa oh Welles.... you tricky trickster you...
Rated 27 Mar 2017
80
85th
A charismatic Orson Welles presents a documentary about fraud and fakery which may contain fraud and fakery. Well worth watching. Multiple viewings would no doubt be beneficial.
Rated 16 May 2012
90
74th
Fake!
Rated 07 May 2018
96
99th
Weird to call this a documentary given that it's artsier and more stylistic than what you'd expect from a typical documentary as we know it today. But what makes this film shine is how colorful and hypnotic Wells narration is - he exudes a mountain of charm with thought-provoking prose. This is backed by masterful editing that complements his narration. The documentary is not concerned with discussing rudimentary facts with this story so much as it uses it to discuss the value of art itself.
Rated 22 Oct 2023
88
45th
Interesting execution, drags a little.
Rated 19 Mar 2014
74
57th
"Our songs will all be silenced. But what of it? Go on singing."
Rated 30 Jan 2010
77
68th
There are so many layers to this film, and not only in that it's a story about a faker (Elmyr) who's rise to infamy is because of a biographer (Irving) who was a faker himself. Welles seems to be winking at us for its entirety with his quick and hectic editing techniques and his latter 17 minutes of fakery. I admit there are some slow parts, but it helps that Welles has a such a captivating and poetic way with words, provoking us on discussions of "experts" and the definition of art.
Rated 15 Dec 2021
79
50th
The best example of Orson Welles’ ridiculous charisma and skill in the editing room. I do feel like the Elmyr section can be a little repetitive, but there’s still a lot of entertaining, thoughtful, and somewhat audacious stuff in there about art’s true value, and then the finale is obviously great. What a scamp!
Rated 26 Jun 2012
80
68th
Compelling faucumentary about fakes and forgery.
Rated 03 Apr 2019
60
26th
Orson Welles: "Ladies and gentleman, by way of introduction, this is a film about trickery, fraud, about lies. Tell it by the fireside or in a marketplace or in a movie, almost any story is almost certainly some kind of lie. But not this time. This is a promise. For the next hour, everything you hear from us is really true and based on solid fact."
Rated 02 Jun 2015
68
43rd
Unique editing style. Did not know what was going on for the first 15 minutes, due the the scattering of stories and characters, but it pulls itself together. Since everyone interviewed is a professional liar, as a viewer you should walk away with nothing truly learnt from this film..
Rated 14 Jan 2013
98
97th
This may be one of my favorite movies of all time. How Welles is able to craft a narrative through the editing (which may or may not be deceitful -- how could we know?) and weave together so many themes seamlessly is amazing (and a little dizzying).
Rated 28 Jun 2020
81
63rd
This movie put forward a very interesting discussion about the art market, the role of experts, the importance (or lack of) of originality and the world of art in general. It's quite frantic and hard to follow, but Wells is charming and Oja is beautiful. Anyhow I think that the fast phase could be very intentional. Like in a magic trick, things happen to fast for you to understand, and there is a beautiful assistant to keep you interested (and make sure you understand even less).
Rated 19 Dec 2008
84
68th
318
Rated 30 Jun 2014
77
81st
The cinematic equivalent of watching an old man tell stories by the fireplace...and I mean that in the best way possible.
Rated 03 Apr 2015
91
91st
Really funny, well edited, and so completely out there that it achieves everything it wants to, and has a lot of fun with the audience at the same time. A wonderful film containing an excellent essay, some excellent sketches and asides, and intriguing documentary footage and interviews, merging them together so well that unless Orson Welles was there to tell you, you'd have no clue what was happening. What a charlatan.
Rated 01 Jun 2016
86
91st
Marvelous meditation on what art is (and perhaps isn't).
Rated 30 May 2011
100
97th
Best documentary ever.
Rated 04 Feb 2010
53
52nd
I kinda wish I didn't see his final trick coming, although I'll to admit it's pretty cool anyway.
Rated 03 Oct 2022
80
54th
not sure what to make of this. at times, I found it a bit pretentious and boring but at the same time, entertaining and interesting way of documentary making. incredible editing as well. the story is quite interesting but doesn't really have much depth and can be summarised easily. however, this documentary is not about the depth of the story but about the style and that I appreciate, because this is art and it's not fake. or is it?
Rated 11 Aug 2020
82
82nd
Thought-provoking insights into the inherent vs assigned quality and value of art told through sublime editing.
Rated 15 Sep 2010
70
46th
There was a good movie in there somewhere, unfortunately it was clouded by an unnecessarily strange and offputting presentation.
Rated 17 Jul 2011
85
84th
11 Juliol 2011 - Qüestions a reflexionar sobre autenticitat, falsedat, còpia, autoria. Gran Muntatge. Majestuosa i aclaparadora presència de Welles. Alguns moments, com la part de la seducció d'Oja a Picasso, els trobo envellits, allargats en excés, suposo que a causa dels ritmes vertiginosos del cinema actual.
Rated 09 Feb 2010
80
95th
You'll feel like a bunch of elephants had an orgy in your head.
Rated 21 Apr 2016
95
99th
There's no one else quite like Orson Welles.
Rated 08 Mar 2008
60
58th
Kinda tough going, and well worth a watch.
Rated 09 Dec 2013
7
92nd
welles' most radical work and probably his best, too. the super indulgent meta commentary on the value of fraudulent art indistinguishable from the genuine stuff (one of which might be called a 'certified copy' ha ha ha ha ha kill me) is both thoughtful and immensely enjoyable, not least because of the freestyle editing. requires much more attention than most other films but it is worth it.
Rated 09 Apr 2015
70
47th
A masterpiece of editing and yet Welles's peculiar narration, film grain, and subject matter all conspire to put me to sleep.
Rated 15 Oct 2007
100
99th
Verdades e Mentiras estreava há 50 anos na Espanha. Esse é um dos filmes mais brilhantes que vi na vida, só não digo que é a obra-prima do Welles porque ele tem obras-primas demais no currículo. Box Versátil O Cinema de Orson Welles.
Rated 06 Feb 2011
3
32nd
Completely pointless.
Rated 25 Jul 2016
85
84th
Would we be as interested to see Picasso painting his own stuff as opposed to Elmyr perfectly mimicking his masterworks? Probably not, and thats why this movie works so well.
Rated 16 Feb 2007
60
62nd
Not bad,a tad boring but interesting.
Rated 26 Jan 2011
43
33rd
"Full of country goodness and green pea-ness."
Rated 13 Mar 2022
72
34th
03.17 Hobbit
Rated 29 Jul 2023
90
95th
Themes all tie together nicely. Editing is amazing. Although I do not think this is a straight documentary, documentary filmmakers could benefit greatly from incorporating some of the editing and storytelling techniques from this movie.
Rated 24 Dec 2012
10
2nd
A documentary style film narrated by Orson Wells. F for Fake is a great title for this fake movie. Orson Wells voice keeps droning on and on, and seems to lure you into a hypnotic trance. I was bored and nearly fell asleep a few times. The story is repetitive, slow and not very interesting. A tedious long examination of the lives of art forgers, fake autobiographer, a woman and this fake movie. If you need sleep, put this on and let Orson lull you, or bore you into unconsciousness.
Rated 25 Mar 2009
84
94th
Nice Movie

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