“F for Fake” to show at The Grand

ELLSWORTH — Orson Welles’ 1973 film “F for Fake” (PG-13, 1 hour and 25 minutes) will be showing at The Grand next week.

Film Program Director Robin Jones said Welles “appears as himself in this witty and subversive film essay on fakery and forgery, art and illusion.” It was the last full-length film Welles made.

Taking footage from an earlier Francois Reichenbach documentary on art forgery — based on a book by the literary hoaxer Clifford Irving — Welles worked his own clips into it, re-editing the original footage extensively.

In the film, he tells of the success of his own fakeries, from the lies which got him into Ireland’s Abby Theater, to his famous radio hoax about an invasion of Martians, and his subsequent career as an actor and film director.

All of these memories are interspersed in a sort of documentary within a documentary about a woman who conned Picasso out of almost two-dozen paintings, the art forger Elmyr de Hory and musings over the life of Howard Hughes and the man who forged an “autobiography” of Hughes, Clifford Irving.

Because the film is an older one, posters are not readily available unless through a pricey purchase from a collector.

So The Grand turned to actress and artist Emma Henry of Ellsworth, who designed the poster seen here. Though she had never seen the film, Henry looked at material Jones sent her and came up with three different versions to choose from.

“I liked them all,” said Jones. When he asked Henry for her help, he said he hoped “she would engage with… the mysteriousness” of the film, and he feels she succeeded at that.

“F is For Fake” plays Tuesday, May 23, at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday, May 24 (with closed captions), at 1 p.m.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors/students and $6 for Grand members and the matinee showing.

Ellsworth artist and actress Emma Henry stands next to the poster she made for “F for Fake,” which will show at The Grand next week. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY STEVE FULLER