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Old 01-08-2013, 10:08 AM   #1
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Default Citizen Kane

I'd like to start a stand-alone "Kane" thread, so here it is.

We have a lot of film buffs on here, so I'd love to start a discussion about why people love it, why they think it's overrated, why they think it does or doesn't stand the test of time, or perhaps even enlighten the board about what makes this such an accomplishment that others may not have noticed (i.e. the significance of "deep focus.")

Some thoughts just to get things going:

I feel that the news reel is a narrative device that deserves some discussion. I felt like, in a way, it drains some of the dramatic tension out of the movie. We know that this is going to be a man's rise and fall - and we even know many of the particulars of the fall. Did it work for you?

* I thought the actress who played his second wife, Susan Alexander, may have been the weakest link in the entire production. She's shrill and generally awful to watch. Was this typical of the era, or was lack of subtlety a particular affliction of this particular actress or director? It seems like it was an era thing - I also think that the lead's performance in "Sunset Boulevard," for example, is glaringly dated.

* The media stuff is fascinating and about as relevant today as it was then. At one point, Kane attempts to convince the world, via his newspapers, that his wife is a great opera singer. She actually stinks (as the two guys in the opera house indicate.) Is this really any different than the way that today, for example, Dick Morris goes on Fox News and predicts a landslide Mitt Romney victory against all evidence? Or writers at a site all picking their team to win the big game, despite all evidence to the contrary?

* The Orson Welles age make-up is better than the DiCaprio make-up in "J. Edgar." Way better.

* The scene where Kane breaks down and begins throwing everything and destroying the room was pretty gut-wrenching, and really well-staged for that time or any time. I bought it.

* What do people think of the slap of Susan Alexander? I saw two startling movie slaps this weekend: That one, and the father-daughter slap in "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Was it untoward at all in 1941? Shocking at all? Acceptable? Domestic violence was pretty much pooh-poohed back then. Was Welles trying to shake that complacency out of people? Or was he just portraying how people like Kane acted back then toward women?
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:40 AM   #2
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Love Citizen Kane. I went in with the attitude of "Greatest movie of all time? Yeah right," and yet found myself just as blown away as everyone else. I don't think it's the best movie ever, but I can easily see why others do. The technical elements are great, the story is great, the storytelling is great, and I especially love Welles' performance.

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Old 01-08-2013, 12:46 PM   #3
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My review from the film club. In retrospect I think the 6 may have been a little too kind.

Originally Posted by shained View Post
Citizen Kane

Well a film that is widely regarded as one of the worlds best with a number 1 placing in the AFI list, a top 25 placing in the IMDB 250 and a 100% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Surely a film like this can be enjoyed by everyone.....surely??

I may get some stick from everyone but i simply cannot agree with that, do I think Citizen Kane is a bad film? No, not at all but i simply don't believe it to be anywhere near the best film ever made!! I imagine that most critics and the people who have gotten wind of the film from their personal favourite critics and read the reviews about how groundbreaking the film was and how it was made before tis time. Personally i don't have a favourite , except for myself, and i don't read any reviews of films I'm interested in until after i have saw the film. I like to make my own criticisms and decisions on a film based solely on my beliefs and no others. Due to this way of doing thing s and appreciating cinema many aspects that go into a film such as cinematography , sound, lighting...the more technical aspects of film hold next to no sway over me. I'm also of the disposition that not every film is recommendable, i'm sure some will disagree, despite not being bad. I enjoyed Kane immensely in parts and others seem to drag so slowly i found myself looking at the clock counter on the dvd player to see how long was left.

The acting in the film is amazing and Welle's performance was amazing and stands up today just as good as it did when the film was 1st released. The film has also dated brilliantly with next to no sign of its near 70 years of age. Despite the strength of the acting from almost everyone of the cast, some theatre over-acting in place but nothing to truly bring it down, i found the actual story not too riveting. Coming to the end i actually didn't care what Rosebud was going to be, i'd lost interest at around the halfway point, although i always anticipated it being about his child hood. There isn't too much going in the way of entertainment and it is a pretty difficult to enjoy on face value. People who are into the more technical aspects of film will get a lot more out of Kane than somebody like myself.

My favourite scene/s would probably be the Rally speech and subsequent confrontation with his Governor rival. I enjoyed that as it brought a bit of tension to the fore and drove the story on.

6/ be gentle

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Old 01-09-2013, 07:03 AM   #4
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Still to this day never seen it. I've always had the (probably ignorant) attitude of "i bet it's overated".
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