Goin' to the Movies

Informin' You About Movies

The Daily Cinema: “Citizen Kane”

“Citizen Kane” has been on my shortlist for years, but I had never got around to seeing it. Today, I finally watched it and I certainly understand why its name kept popping up. The film is epic in scale, covering the life of the fictional Charles Foster Kane. Kane had become a media tycoon in his youth after inheriting a fortune.

Many have claimed the film is a direct satire on William Randolph Hearst, a real life media mogul. Orson Welles wrote, directed, produced, and starred in this two hour black and white film released in 1941.

The movie itself starts slowly, with the death of Kane and the mock-documentary of his life. In his final death scene, he mutters the word “rosebud,” and that is when the film really begins as reporters track down everyone that knew him to find out what the mysterious word may mean, if anything.

Thus begins the journey of Kane’s life through various flashbacks.

The film itself is well acted and written, and has been noted for its revolutionary film techniques and style. Today, the techniques don’t have nearly as much effect, but the film holds up well. The story is interesting and the characters believable, if old (it IS the ’40s!).

However, I was never truly attached to the characters. “Citizen Kane” seems to have most of its merit in its underlying story of the real life Hearst in addition to its film school dissections.

As a film judged on its own merits without the lofty praise heaped upon it, “Citizen Kane” is enjoyable, but isn’t likely to become a favorite.

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January 8, 2010 - Posted by | The Daily Cinema

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