Sunday, September 19, 2010

F for Fake

F for Fake (1974) is a French-American collaboration film that contains documentary footage of Europe.

It was Orson Welles’ last film. He was the mind behind the War of the World media radio scare of 1938 and made hoax the focus of the film. The film was created with François Reichenbach.

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 rejected by critics and audiences in the US but acclaimed in Europe. In 2005 the Criterion Collection designated it as a classic. In part this is due to the transformation of media to include more documentary, reality style footage. The film also helps us understand how we bring a national and personal frame to media.

See explanation of the film here:

Watch footage of the film here:

In your own opinion, why do you think F for Fake (1974) was rejected by US audiences but praised by French audiences?

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