1,001 Movies – Week 59

“F is for Fake” to “Fantasia”

 

 

F For Fake (1974) – Amazingly watchable – and often hilarious – quasi-documentary from Orson Welles, supposedly about master forger Elmyr de Hory but, actually, about the process of fakery itself. The amiable narrator wanders around the best restaurants of Europe with his young friends weaving in and out of the stories of Hory and Clifford Irving (the Howard Hughes hoaxster). And remember, for sixty minutes he’s telling the truth but the movie is 85 minutes long! (KT)

 

Fahrenheit 451 (1966) – Excellent Francoise Truffaut reworking of Ray Bradbury’s authoritarian nightmare. Told in a quiet, somewhat unemotional style that some critics loathe but which actually works hugely in favor of the opaque, soulless world that Julie Christie and Oskar Werner are a part of. The sequence in the field where characters declare themselves to be the books that the authorities have tried to ban and burn is truly life-affirming. (KT)

Fail-Safe (1964) – Remember the drop-drills of the 1950’s, the monthly siren testing and bomb shelters in our back yards? Those were not movies, they were real. After the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 it became a marketable industry. Sidney Lumet’s interpretation of Eugene Burdick’s bestseller might be the best example. The Defense Department wouldn’t cooperate and well-worn stock footage had to be used. That did not dissuade Fritz Weaver, Larry Hagman, Walter Matthau or Henry Fonda. This movie is a B&W beauty. It is suspenseful, exhilarating, patriotic, and one surprise after another. (KWR)

Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997) – Loosely based on the events surrounding the 1917 photographs of the Cottingley Fairies taken by two young girls which caused a worldwide sensation, this charming film hosts delightful performances (most notably Peter O’Toole as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), sumptuous cinematography, and a moving script. This is a moving film that the whole family will adore. (GS)

Fantasia (1940) – Some movies get better with time, sadly in regards to this film we shall never know. Yet, with what is left of Mr. Walter Disney’s original creational masterpiece, it is definitely one of the best films ever made. It Is Art! The original was critically, yet benignly, welcomed, ignored by the public, and became a financial burden that almost wiped out Mr. Walter Disney’s future endeavors. It wasn’t until 1969, thirty years later and after Disney’s passing, when what was left and re-released, that this 1940 original film finally broke even. Books could be written about each of its seven parts – classical music composition and accompanying animation interpretation – never mind. See what is left of the two-hour ORIGINAL (ignore any & all new & improved – they are not!) MASTERPIECE on a huge screen with fantastic sound. This is why film is considered an Art Form. (KWR)

 

Originally published in Raspberry World – Volume 2, Issue 1 (June/July 2007)

 

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