Show Less
Restricted access

F for Fake

and The Growth in Complexity of Orson Welles' Documentary Form

Claudia Thieme

The central topic of this study is the penultimate film of the American film director Orson Welles: F for Fake (1973). This film shows the new style, which I call, «essayistic documentary», Welles created at the end of his career. Orson Welles here combines elements of the fictional and the documentary film genre with magic and autobiographical information, thus realizing a stylistic collage with a complexity that superseeds his other works. The theme of Welles is not only the revelation of film as technical artefact and the film director as its constructor but the visualization of the elemental discrimination between «signifié» and «signifiant». This study is meant to show that the self-reflection in the sense of cubistic art enabled Orson Welles to create such a personal and intimate film like F for Fake and to consider this style as an arrow to the future.
Contents: Welles' Neglected Films - His stylistic and thematic development - Two Elements that dominated Welles' career: The element of «Narrative Commentary» and «Welles' concern for public enlightenment».