“Do you think I should confess? To what? Committing masterpieces?”
In our latest Single Serving Selection, we’re joining librarian and artist, Kit Laika to turn our critical eyes to the final film directed by auteur Orson Welles, a conventions-defying documentary about frauds, fakers, and art forgery: F for Fake.
Welles delves into the world of two (or is it three?) spectacular liars. One is Elmyr de Hory, notorious art forger who paints replicas of masterpieces so convincing that they’re said be hanging in many prominent museums, and even the original artists claim to have created them. The other is Clifford Irving, the novelist and writer who exposed Elmyr’s forgeries in a tell-all book, before being revealed as a charlatan and fraud himself. It’s a deeply philosophical and nonlinear exploration of art, authorship, and who the real phonies might actually be.
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I first encountered Orson Welles in the Paul Masson wine commercials in the late 1970s – when he become legendary for his gravitas-laden delivery of the slogan “We will sell no wine [*dramatic pause for heavy sigh*] before it is time.” At that point he’d basically become a punchline, so I remembered being surprised a little later, in my teens, and reading about not only the War of the Worlds incident but also the fact that he was considered one of the greatest film-makers of all time.
…And speaking of wine, when you guys mentioned that so many ‘experts’ are actually phonies, the first thought that crossed my mind was ‘professional wine critics.’
Great show, by the way – I really need to see this movie now.
Thanks, Edo! I always love your responses because it gets me thinking about the conversation holistically and critically!
Wine definitely comes to mind for me: as an admitted and vocal recovering alcoholic, I feel I can officially call bullshit on wine culture as vinegar sipping nonsense! 🙂