Friday, October 23, 2009

Playing the part

On a great recommendation by Angela I saw F for Fake by Orson Welles.

"A friend, another friend, once showed a Picasso, to Picasso, who said no, it was a fake. The same friend from yet another source showed another would-be Picasso and Picasso said that too was a fake. Then yet another from another source; also fake, said Picasso. "But Pablo" said his friend, "I watched you paint that with my own eyes."

"Haha", said Picasso. "I can paint false Picasso's as well as anybody."

The editing is fantastic.. quick, tightly shot, with some great pausing; visually engaging. Great commentary on expertise too.. and shot and told in the way that you actually have to question everything... even if Elmyr himself actually existed! Great story telling. Confusing at first, but really fucking cool once you wrap your head around it....

It comes into question, at least to me now, that if simply playing the part, just doing it, going through the motions; can it be considered faking? Let me rephrase a bit. Is it based on the psychological situation? The human weakness to want to believe? (as suggested in the film.. ) Is simply going through the motions enough? This could be why con men are so successful. Are we like the black box; all that matters is what goes in and what comes out, without any consideration of its internal operations?

"Our works in stone, in paint, in print are spared, some of them for a few decades, or a millennium or two, but everything must finally fall in war, or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash. The triumphs, and the frauds. The treasures and the fakes. A fact of life. We're going to die.

Be of good heart, cry the dead artists, out of the living past. Our songs will all be silenced. But what of it?

Go on singing. Maybe a man's name doesn't matter all that much."

More Orson Welles! More Orson Welles!

This movie, these thoughts, really clean up what I was quite poorly struggling with in the previous post, and goes a few steps further. Sharing ideas is awesome!

Thanks again Angela!

Download torrent here.

Good basic review here.


  1. I really do believe it IS one of my favorite quotes by a human ever! I love that you liked it! When we become real life friends, I'll lend you the criterian.. it's got a second dvd of more documentaries on Orsen and his persona of Fakery and on Elmyr.