Orson Welles (director) F FOR FAKE (1973) Set of 5 photos


[Los Angeles]: Specialty Films, [1973]. Set of five vintage original 8 x 10″ (20 x 25 cm.) black-and-white print still photos, one with attached mimeographed text, along with a sheet of credits for the film. The portrait of Welles with Oja Kodar is present in two entirely different variants: one printed horizontally with a grayish background and one printed vertically with a white background. Four of the photos have production company stickers on the verso. Fine.

A radical free-form sort-of documentary by Orson Welles, the legendary filmmaker (and self-described charlatan) who here gleefully reengages with the central preoccupation of his career: the tenuous lines between illusion and truth, art and lies. Beginning with portraits of the world-renowned art forger Elmyr de Hory and his equally devious biographer, Clifford Irving, Welles embarks on a dizzying journey that simultaneously exposes and revels in fakery and fakers of all stripes — not the least of whom is Welles himself. Charming and inventive, F for Fake is an inspired prank and a clever examination of the essential duplicity of cinema.

Original photos from this film are exceedingly scarce, and these are the only ones I have ever encountered.

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