F for Fake

Director: Orson Welles
Year Released: 1974
Rating: 3.5

Essay-film about 'art' in general, and, more precisely, whether or not the world of art commerce is a con game, with potential forgeries littering galleries all over the globe because 'experts' cannot properly discern the difference between a real Modigliani and a fake (and even more importantly, whether or not there is a difference). Welles has three subjects to his film: Elmyr de Hory, one of the greatest forgers of all time, Clifford Irving, who tried to forge an autobiography of Howard Hughes and Welles himself, with his love of magic and trickery (remember the War of the Worlds radio broadcast?). I don't care for the chop-shop editing he employs, but that's only a tiny complaint about a film that's both playful and deeply meaningful and asks so effortlessly whether 'art' still has worth without a real 'author' as well as about the elusive nature of 'truth.'