citizen kane

December 1, 2007

kane

it’s largely considered the greatest film ever made, so it was a shame that i had never seen it. but with that status of “greatest film ever” comes some very high expectations. so can it meet the expectations?

i would say, for the most part, yes. it hasn’t taken over as my favorite film of all time, but that’s neither here nor there. coming in i already new the “twist” at the end of the film and i was able to really focus on what made the film technically great.

the deep focus in the film is just phenomenal. welles always stages his actors in three different stages, or has action going on in the background, or in a reflection off a window. i can see why this film was so highly praised, the camera work is great.

the sort of moral of the film is also something i can get strongly behind. cherish childhood innocence and joy because it’s something you’ll never get back. it’s a fairly obvious statement about the human condition, and since i knew the ending i saw it coming. i’m sure seeing it for the first time in 1941, it would have had a much greater impact on me. but just based on a visual take on the film it’s got to be considered one of the greatest ever.

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watching this film got me thinking about the differences in classic cinema and cinema today. and i have to admit that there is something different to the classic cinema. there is a sort of aura about an old black and white film like citizen kane or treasure of the sierra madre where it sort of missing in something like no country for old men. there is an excitement that i get from watching someone like cary grant or james stewart that i just don’t see get from clive owen or harrison ford even. that’s not to say that modern day cinema is bad, i would argue that it’s better than it’s ever been. but there’s no denying that classic cinema has a certain aesthetic to it that films today do not. maybe it’s just that a lot of time has passed since they were made. maybe 40 years from now i will be saying the same thing about no country that i am about citizen kane.

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2 Responses to “citizen kane”


  1. The first time I saw that movie, I didn’t get the whole Rosebud thing, because I couldn’t idenitify the item they throw in the fire in the end. Luckly, I was watching it with my brother, who in his very own sensible way explained it to me: “That the sled from his childhood. When he had to part from his mother, he missed his childhood. Get it, stupid…”

  2. Holden Caulfield Says:

    Basically if you watch the Simpsons a lot you’ll that Mr. Burns is Orson Wells in Citizen Kane and one episode Barney does rosebud.


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