F FOR FAKE
1974, Janus Films, 85 min, USA, Dir: Orson Welles

Orson Welles appears as "himself" (but which self? Master director? Magician? Media manipulator?) in this delightful essay on the nature of illusion, focusing on all types of fakery and fakers, including notorious art forger Elmyr de Hory and fraudulent Howard Hughes biographer Clifford Irving. With Oja Kodar and Peter Bogdanovich.


LADY SINGS THE BLUES
1972, Paramount, 144 min, USA, Dir: Sidney J. Furie

Diana Ross earned an Oscar nomination for her feature debut as Billie Holiday in this loose adaptation of the legendary jazz singer’s autobiography. As she rises from Harlem brothel worker to Carnegie Hall headliner, Lady Day struggles with racism and drugs; Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor, respectively, play the angel and the devil on her shoulders.


DONKEY SKIN
PEAU D’ÂNE
1970, Janus Films, 90 min, France, Dir: Jacques Demy

Jacques Demy's strange, lovely film tells the story of a devoted king (Jean Marais) who promises his dying wife (Catherine Deneuve, a Demy favorite) that his new queen will be equal to her in beauty. Of course, no one can compare to Deneuve, which leaves the queen’s daughter (also played by Deneuve) as the sole contender. Heeding the advice of a bizarre fairy godmother (Delphine Seyrig), the princess delays her father's incestuous advances using a series of impossible dressmaking challenges. In French with English subtitles.


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