"F for Fake" is the last major film completed by Orson Welles. Initially released in 1974, it focuses on Elmyr de Hory's recounting of his career as a professional art forger; de Hory's story serves as the backdrop for a fast-paced, meandering investigation of the natures of authorship and authenticity, as well as the basis of the value of art. You can watch it at Youtube starting here for the first video and clicking at the other parts.
These are some excerpts:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, by way of introduction, this is a film about trickery, about fraud, about lies. Tell it by the fireside, in a marketplace or in a movie, almost any story is almost certainly some kind of lie.”
"The important distiction to make when you are talking about the genuine quality of a painting is not so much if it is a real painting or a fake. It is wether if it is a good fake or a bad fake."Clifford Irving"...For instance that the author of "Fake" a book about a faker was himself a faker and the author of a fake."...Orson Welles"Some people even say: 'After I did read the book of Clifford Irving about you I like you even more than before"Elmyr de Hory"... In this cathalog was this Modigliani which is a Modigliani by Elmyr.I would say: "This is a fake Modigliani." and the art gallery owner would say; "Yes. You can see that it is a fake because Modigliani would never have drawn an arm parallel to line of the dress that way and the background is very badly done and it's signature isn't right.In the next gallery I would show this Modigliani in a cathalog and I say "That's a genuine Modigiani and they look at this and say: "Yes, You can see that it is one of the finest Modiglianni. It is the portrait of Mademoiselle de Boutennee and we know it very well, it is reproduced everywhere. After that, I must say, lost my faith in the concept of expertise."Clifford Irving"I don't feel bad for Modigliani. I feel good for me."Elmyr de Hory"People pretend to be shocked, they like to be shocked, you know, it's in their nature, it's humans nature."Elmyr de Hory"All the tales he tells now are things that he built up in his imagination over the years and come to believe is true."Clifford Irving"He has created I think the ability to live, I hesitate to say a criminal life because I don't think of him as a criminal as he doesn't think of himself as a criminal."Now that it's out in the open, the world knows who Elmyr is, he's done. ANd now that Elmyr accept it and says to the world; "Yes, it is me. I am the greatest art forgery of the 20 century, now I think that he can recapture that person honesty."Clifford Irving"I think that Elmyr's problem for years and the reason why he could not succed as a painter of his own work was that the type of life he led prohibited him from having a personal vision.And when an artist has no person vision what can he communicate onto the canvas?"Clifford Irving
You can see Orson Welles talking about his hoax "The war of the worlds".
But we never know if he is telling the truth. If you have seen "The Hoax" I think you should see this movie.
Directed by: Orson Welles » Written by: Orson Welles, 1974 » Region/Time: France, Iran, W Germany, documentary/wtf, 85 minutes. Filmed in France, Ibiza and USA
Starring: Orson Welles as Himself » Oja Kodar as The Girl » Elmyr de Hory as Himself » Clifford Irving as Himself » François Reichenbach as Himself.