F For Fake
£10 / £8 Concessions / £7 ICA Members
Leaving others to finish his flawed magnum opus, Don Quixote in 1992, this quasi-documentary is really Orson Welles’ final masterpiece. Eccentric and typically complex, it opens with Welles performing magic tricks in a railway station before inviting us to a dissertation on deception. The ensuing, loose-knit plot embraces the stories of art forger Elmyr de Hory, author Clifford Irving – infamous not least for his faked biography of Howard Hughes – and much else besides. Shifting effortlessly between Paris, Ibiza, Las Vegas and other flashy locations, Welles involves an appropriately varied cast of actors and rascals including long-time collaborator Joseph Cotten, girlfriend-du-jour Ojar Kodar, Irving himself and even Pablo Picasso. As playfully narrated by Welles, F For Fake is ultimately an insoluble, often self-referential puzzle, albeit a tremendously entertaining one.
Director: Orson Welles, 1973, 89 mins
Cast: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Ojar Kodar. France
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