Citizen Kane – Movie Review

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Citizen Kane came out in 1941 and has become one of the most talked-about and widely referenced films of all time it’s so popular and so influential that it’s essentially become a phrase well you know that movie was pretty good but it wasn’t Citizen Kane or anything or you know I wasn’t expecting it to be Citizen Kane it was alright or that film is the Citizen Kane of crime dramas it’s so well known that it’s become a part of our pop culture it’s become a part of the way we speak Morrison Welles directed the film he stars in it he took part in the screenplay and the producing the production of the film was historic at the time because he was mostly known for his theater work and that’s where he felt most comfortable and that’s where he really wanted to maintain himself but Hollywood kept trying to court him and get him to make films for them and he took part in a very controversial contract that essentially gave him complete creative control final cut everything they couldn’t have people on set despite the fact that RKO Pictures would sometimes try to get people on set to see what they were doing he had so much control something that was unprecedented at the time especially for someone as young as he was this film in every way could have been a complete financial and critical disaster and yet it has endured as a classic of our times for some though Citizen Kane can be a very daunting film to watch or talk about in fact for me sitting here it’s rather imposing just to just make a review of it because so many other people have analyzed this film from back to front for decades there’s really nothing new that I can say about the movie I can simply tell you my experience with it and how I’ve come to really love the film because when I was younger and I saw it for the first time I just really didn’t get it it didn’t really mesh with me you hear so much about this film and so many people hype it up endlessly it’s constantly on lists as one of the best films of time or the best film ever made many well-known critics have named it their favorite film and so you sit down expecting to be transported away to a world in which you are so blown away that you can no longer speak and you’re so hyped and you’re so ready and it’s just a really technically well-made film that’s masterfully directed and so impressive for what Orson Welles had going for him at the time in regards to what he had done before or what he had not done before on a technical level cinematography music this being Bernard Herrmann’s first film score acting story structure it’s unprecedented for its time and easily my favorite film of the 1940s it’s such an incredibly well made movie but I can totally understand how anyone would watch this and say I mean it’s good but like why is everyone say this is the best movie ever made it’s kind of boring like I can totally see people thinking that because it does not follow common story structure it’s not like a enthralling story so to speak it’s not like you sit and watch like 12 Angry Men and you get so invested in these characters despite the fact that it is an excellent character study and you can look at its story and its depiction of that excess and see it so many times today a thousand times over in various celebrities as I was watching the film most recently a couple days ago to prepare for this review I thought a lot about Michael Jackson and his Neverland Ranch filled with animals his pet chimpanzee all of the money and random things he would buy he would buy statues he essentially was a modern-day Citizen Kane but it’s understandable that anyone might watch this film and just not appreciate it because it’s been hyped so much and it’s very dangerous for a film to to gain such notoriety because you watch it expecting to be transported to another planet or something and it’s just a really damn great movie that was far ahead of its time in regards to what it was trying to do Orson Welles later said one of my favorite quotes about filmmaking ever when someone asked him how he was so audacious enough to make a film like this at that point in his life he said ignorant sheer ignorance you know there’s no confidence to equal it it’s only when you know something about a profession I think that you’re timid or careful which is so true when I was a kid making short films we didn’t think about the meaning we didn’t wonder what people might think of what we were making because we just wanted to make it and we didn’t care as much about like a response to it we weren’t psychoanalyzing every little thing to make sure that what we were doing wouldn’t potentially be awful we just really wanted to get our vision out there even if it was really amateur and bad Orson Welles though coming from that theater background knew how to tell a story and knew how to put something together and he knew how to make something different that Hollywood hadn’t seen at the time I mean just the fact that the film allows the audience to become a part of the narrative like early on with the news on the march sequence where we’re learning about the life of Charles Foster Kane we’re hearing about his background how he was raised his Millions his various relationships this was a very unorthodox approach to storytelling and story structure people I think at first were kind of confused by the movie and it took a long time for the world to realize how influential the movie actually was now yes there’s a major plot hole in the film that has been discussed a lot the fact that the film opens with Charles Foster Kane dying and saying the word rosebud and then starts the entire basic story of the movie this reporter who’s attempting to figure out what rosebud means and so he’s visiting all these figures that were integral to Kane’s life trying to figure out if he can get a great story to publish about what rosebud means the plot hole being that he died alone and no one was around and so we’re kind of left to believe that perhaps hit one of his maids or Butler’s may have heard him say this and there’s elements to the movie that you can say well that’s not good that’s not good there’s too much exposition for instance or maybe some of the performances are a little hammy at times but you just cannot deny the fact that this movie was leaps and bounds ahead of every other film in its time this movie does not feel like a movie that was released in 1941 it feels like a film that could have been made today if you strip away the obvious technical stuff the black and white and some of the sound and things that obviously identify the time period the filmmaking the precise cinematography use of cross dissolves the way everything flows so smoothly the way he moves in the camera in someone when they’re having an angry moment or pulls back when there’s a softer moment on display Orson Welles was ahead of his time he was a perfectionist like all great filmmakers one of his great annoyances with the movie was that during the snowy scenes early on despite the fact they look really good you couldn’t see the actors breath because it was shot in a studio and that pissed him off because he’s a perfectionist he wants it to be as good as it can be which is a sign of an excellent filmmaker and and you can watch this in Kane today and say well I didn’t really appreciate that that wasn’t for me and I would understand that because the first time I saw it when I was younger I didn’t really get it it just wasn’t for me but as I got older I kept being drawn to it and I wanted to see it again I had similar experiences with Blade Runner for instance didn’t really appreciate the movie on first viewing but it just kept festering in my mind and Citizen Kane is one of those movies and you really can’t deny the importance and the impact fulness of this film I’m gonna give a Citizen Kane and a-plus guys thank you so much as always for continuing to watch this series of pre-1970s reviews I have one more to do in December look forward to that as always if you like this you can click right here and get stuck mine eyes

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