F For Fake, released as Vérités et Mensonges in France in 1974, was Orson Welles’ last film. He was the mind behind the War of the World media radio scare of 1938 and made the hoax the focus of the film.
The film follows two media “fakers” of media Elmyr de Hory a painter of counterfeits and Clifford Irving, author of the false biography of Howard Hughes. The film is so based on hoax it is hard to get what is true and challenges the line of reality/film.
The film was created using documentary footage by French director François Reichenbach which Welles bought and then hired the man as his cinematographer.
The film is shot in Europe with the exception of s mall portion in LA. Locations include Ibiza, Rome, Paris and Chartres. The film is especially interesting to global media because is had an entirely different reception in the US than in Europe. In the US it was widely rejected by critics and audiences but in Europe it critically acclaimed. In 2005 the Criterion Collection designated it as a classic. In part this is do to the transformation of media in the past 35 years to include more documentary, reality style footage.