On the contrary people who hate this film mainly complain that it is boring. Am I stupid or something? At age 25, Orson Welles starred, wrote and directed his masterpiece, but because of various reasons, political, envy, hatred, he was never able to match it. A great movie thats stood the test of time. Just because something is outdated does not mean it lacks worth in today's world. It's a story about a man who dedicated his life to possession, but tragically became to be possessed by it himself. They're all brilliant and I enjoyed them throughout.
He opposed this film so much he did everything in its power to stop its release and almost succeeded. The common approach of seeing it to believe it can be at best exhilarating and at worst hostile. Kane was one of the most controversial films ever made. This is symbolized by his exploitative, and patronizing love for a chorus girl, Susan Alexander Dorothy Comingore. When that didn't work his newspapers embarked on a campaign of defamation against Wells, thus proving that the film's criticism of the power and corruption of the press were precisely on target. The film begins with a news reel detailing Kane's life for the masses, and then from there, we are shown flashbacks from Kane's life.
Hideous performance to say the least! The title character was based on media giant William Randolph Hearst. They have not been distinguished from one another, but rather resonate luminously together in a unique fashion. The boldness of this approach cannot be overemphasized. Wells was never given a free hand to direct how he liked again and American Cinema was deprived of the one of the greatest geniuses to adopt it as a medium of self-expression. It sees Kane go from an idealistic journalist to a powerful mogul able to manipulate history through his media empire.
This film was designed to be cinematically beautiful and to tell a basic story of love and redemption. There are innovative cuts that spark imagination and soundtrack solutions that open the story and its characters to new dimensions. Again, you do not have to love Citizen Kane, but at least respect it for what it is. Casablanca made you stand up and cheer, cry, laugh, feel connected to all humanity. At the very least appreciate how influential this film was and where the industry would be without it. Technological innovation goes hand in hand with aesthetic inspiration and both support the whole of story, theme, and style. That a 25-year-old could be so gleefully and breathtakingly experimental and innovative, yet still endlessly entertain, is nothing short of miraculous.
Much of today's cinema is geared towards style and technique over substance, and way back in 1941, Welles was the first to author this very modern brand of cinema where the art is not in the story but how it is told and shown to the audience. Lastly this film contains some of the strongest and most common themes in literature; Life versus death. At the time that this film was made Hollywood was for the most part used to creating straight-forward stories with clearly identified heroes and villains. The straightforwardness and relatively fast pace of the story are what make it seem intimidating. Special mention has to go to the acting of a 25 year old Orson Welles, an aspect the least highlighted. He was that generations Donald Trump. I know why you're reading this.
This is not pure entertainment. . The whole turgid, ponderous, dull, vacuous, plodding, dank catastrophe. But you just don't believe a movie is made great by cinematography alone. I waited until I was 46 to see this, because of its stellar reputation. Nowadays there is not one living film director of serious artistic intent that has not been deeply influenced by Citizen Kane. The deep focus photography that gives Kane its theatrical look was one of his innovations.
But why did this happen? In addition it's clear that many more agree as well. Did I ever really care about Kane or Rosebud? Nearly every film maker was in some way influenced by this movie. And while the anticipation of seeing a film with such overwhelming acclaim may be quite exhilarating, actually watching it is ultimately an intimidating and somewhat disappointing experience. Unfortunately, the latter is usually, although quite understandably, the case. The story is slow compared to today's standards, and there is no real Hearst character alive today in which to relate. Yet it wasn't really the intricate story that most fascinated Bazin.
The supporting cast of characters, most of them regulars from Wells' Mercury Theater are also superb. Look at Shakespeare or Hawthorne for example, their literary works are universally loved. As a result, every well-meaning, tyrannical or self-destructive move he makes for the rest of his life appears in some way to be a reaction to that deeply wounding event. It is the cruelest thing any man could have done to another human being; manipulated for his own ends. Orson Wells gives a bravura performance as Kane, both identifying with and condemning the man. Her character is given a paper-thin characterization, the only obvious flaw in a nearly perfect movie. However, this does not make it a bad movie.
It's a daring and controversial movie of its time, and it introduced alot of new technices in filmmaking. It leaves one wondering how it would've come across had Welles actually been allowed to do a straight up biopic of Hearst. That pretty much sums up my opinion of the often over analyzed film that always shows up at the top of the list of greatest films ever made. Such unity may not have been present in Hollywood before 1941. You can say what you want about movies, but no matter how well they're made, they should also entertain in some way or another to be classified as great. It is, like all great art, a tightly and beautifully sealed original whole which is why instead of one big nameable innovation the film has been considered to be of such magnificent proportions. There is much more to the story than the thinly veiled attack on Hearst, one just needs to look deeper.
You notice there's no feeling behind what they say. It's not my favourite Welles--either acting or directing, and not by a long shot in either regard--but I'm very glad that I finally saw it, and I'll probably revisit it every couple of years for the rest of my life. My advice to those who did not like it the first time or have not seen it yet is simple. As a result, every well-meaning, tyrannical or self-destructive move he makes for the rest of his life appears in some way to be a reaction to that deeply wounding event. As the reporters investigate further, the viewers see a display of a fascinating man's rise to fame, and how he eventually fell off the top of the world. Citizen Kane is majestic, elegant and noble.