28

SATURDAY

Early in his career, Orson Welles was hailed as the real thing and soon exiled—practically, if not officially—for that very originality. He surfaced in various climes, acting, directing, and hustling, and eventually settled in Spain, where he shot parts of 1975’s F for Fake, his anti-auteurist final film. The subjects—which include magic, cinema, and fraud—show that Welles was closer to idiosyncratic French New Waver Jacques Rivette than to the new generation of technocratic filmmakers then arising in Hollywood. He begins with some supposed documentary footage of an art forger—counterfeit images of a counterfeiter?—and makes his way to Clifford Irving’s phony bio of Howard Hughes, the onetime Hollywood tycoon who disappeared into his own fantasies. Eventually, Welles arrives at his own early work, notably the radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds, the hysterical response to which suggests that the most effective hoaxes are just misinterpreted works of art. The film shows at 12:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (Mark Jenkins)