Monday, June 06, 2005

F for Freak

I've just watched most (only 2 more special features to go!) of the dvd of the last completed film directed by Orson Welles and boy, are my ears tired. "F for Fake" is a great "essay" (as Welles was to call it) about the idea of fakery and forgery. I knew going in that, since Welles loved the sound of his own voice, there would probably a lot of the baritone intonation, strange pauses, and stressings of the wrong words IN sentences. In other words, the kind of hammy, melodramatic acting I love.

I've mentioned previously how much the acting of Welles, his brother-in-ACTING Vincent Price (as well as their illegitimate sons and grandsons William Shatner, Adam West, Jeff Goldblum, and Christopher Walken) rock. You watch any of those guys and you see men who don't just love what they do, but love how they do it. What's more they have the talent to back it up.

And none more so than Welles. Even "F for Fake", with it's cheesecake shots of Orson's mistress Oya Kodar (making me feel the letter "F" is not merely for "Fake"), incorporation of Welles' career in the film, and time spent with Welles doing sleight-of-hand parlor tricks on camera, even with all of that it's an incredible film. True, it does have Welles' bizarre sound synching (has he ever directed a film that didn't have most of the dialogue re-recorded?) but these are minor quibbles. The guy was not merely a genius, but an original genius.

Bottom line? If you love Orson Welles, you will love this dvd. For me, I was able to even forgive the ubuiquitory appearance by Peter Bogdonovich. Though one day, mark my words, there will be a dvd for an opening of a supermarket that Bogdonovich will do the introduction for as a special feature.

Posted by Hello


Anonymous said...

is THAT why Orson's speech is so poorly dubbed in ED WOOD? I never got that til now.


your fiend, mr. jones said...

J brings up a good reference which is...

...the scene in Ed Wood where Vincent D'Onofrio appears as Orson Welles. While D'Onofrio looks exactly like Welles, Tim Burton used Welles sound-a-like Maurice LaMarche (who, you'll recall did an impression of Welles for his vocal chracterization as "The Brain" in "Pinky And The Brain") for Welles' voice.

Clever in-joke by Burton or D'Onofrio wiping out on an impression?

You be the judge.

Anonymous said...


i just watched this for class. hilarious summary and very accurate imo

loved it too, though the last part with oya and orson acting out picasson and her grandfather was a little gratuitous and very pointless

your fiend, mr. jones said...

Yes, but I would opine that "a little gratuitous and very pointless" is the very essence of Welles' art.

Because I am often wont to opine.

Anonymous said...

It's BogdAnovich, punk!

your fiend, mr. jones said...

Right you are, oh belligerent street film buff!

Jones out, yo!