Entertaining as hell.
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F for Fake is a sometimes maddening, always brilliant disruption of the conventional documentary.
The film plays like the work of a creator trying to grapple with the big issues before the clock runs out.
The greatest trick he pulls is making you think he’s not genuine: beneath befuddling, bracing digressions on Picasso, Howard Hughes, biography, confidence tricks, growing beards and “girl-watching” lies a searching interrogation of ideas of authorship.
A loving tribute to chicanery, deception, misdirection, scoundrels, sleight of hand, con artistry, dishonesty, and flimflammery in all its myriad guises. It is, in other words, a valentine to filmmaking in general, and its larger-than-life creator in particular.
F for Fake is a minor work in some ways, but there is fascination and poignancy in seeing Welles's elegant retreat into this hall of mirrors.
F For Fake is minor Welles, the master idly tuning his instrument while the concert seems never to start again. But it's engaging and fun, and it's astonishing how easily Welles spins a movie out of next to nothing.
A charming, witty meditation upon fakery, forgery, swindling and art, a movie that may itself be its own Exhibit A.