Orson Welles Richard Combs - Essay

Richard Combs

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Although it scarcely looks comparable to anything else in his career, [F for Fake, a] Quixotic essay in fictional documentary—conjured, it seems, out of nothing more substantial than an extraordinary dexterity at the editing table—may be Welles' most concerted, complete and certainly his wittiest attempt to exorcise the ghosts of Kane, Rosebud and his own 'failed' genius. A personal meditation on the art of fakery, and the fakery in art, F for Fake switches subjects and styles even faster than its ubiquitous presenter/narrator/director switches hats. But what unites the presences of master art forger Elmyr de Hory, biographer and tyro faker Clifford Irving, and Hungarian actress Oja Kodar—as well...

(The entire section is 487 words.)