Here's a little more info, the first from a Bazin interview in 1958, strongly evocative of F For Fake:
Welles: "Now I'm going to finish a film on Italian cinema, on Lollabrigida...A documentary in a very particular style, with drawings by Steinberg, a lot of still photographs, conversations, little stories...In fact, it's not at all a documentary. It's an essay, a personal essay.
Bazin: "An essay based on fact?
Welles: "Not on fact. It's based on fact as much as any essay, but...it's not trying to be factual, it's simply not telling lies. It's in the tradition of a diary, my reflections on a given subject, Lollabrigida, and not what she is in reality. And it's even more personal than giving my point of view; it truly is an essay.
(If anyone can decipher this last part, please let me know! :laugh: )
And here's Bogdanovich and Welles, c. 1970, with a much less philosophical Welles:
Bogdanovich: "What was the television documentary you prepared about Gina Lollabrigida?
Welles: "It was about the Roman movie world. She was the leading subject, but a lot of other people were in it- De Sica and so on. The film was made as a pilot for ABC of a proposed series, a sort of magazine- a serious one, not variety. And they hated it and that was that.
Bogdanovich: "Was it ever broadcast?
Welles: "No. They said it was technically incompetent and couldn't be shown. Had a lot of new ideas in it- done with Steinberg's drawings, many still photos, conversations, little stories- and they regarded that as technical incompetence. I spent a lot of time photographing movie posters. That bothered them too. It was made for that screen [TV], in the newspaper tradition. Me on a given subject, Lollabrigida, and not what she is in reality. An essay. Anyway, they hated it.
Note that a few words in the 2 interviews are almost identical...Hmmmm.... ???