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Thread: Citizen Kane

  1. #1
    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    Default Citizen Kane

    Any opinions? I have to watch it for my film class tonight and was sorta wondering if I'm the only person that has never seen "the best film ever made".

  2. #2
    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citizen Kane

    oh god NoDay! you really know how to stir the pot, open the floodgates, insight controversy don't you!?.

    well here we go then...

    p.s. i haven't been able to sit through the whole thing either, but they say that Welles ripped off John Huston's style and techniques after visiting the set of "Stagecoach" often while it was filming...makes sense for a fatty fat fat

  3. #3
    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citizen Kane

    Hell, why not stir the pot a little. I wasn't THAT impressed by it. It was a good movie, but I was sorta falling asleep a little during the first half. Cool camera stuff (I've heard about the competition between Welles and his camera guy to outdo each other), but I just didn't think it was as amazing as it is hyped to be. Maybe the professor can clear up why people think its so good. That or my textbook.

    ETA: Slightly more impressed now. I wasn't as familiar with films earlier than Citizen Kane, so a lot of his techniques are considered standard to me when he was actually the first one to use them (or at least the first one to popularize them if the Jon Huston thing is true).
    Last edited by NoDayButToday; January 18th, 2006 at 10:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Bronze Member trousers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citizen Kane

    I thought it was a great film. There were so many gorgeous gorgeous shots.

    And now go watch Velvet Goldmine! They're very similar. Except one is about a tycoon and the other is about a bisexual rockstar.

  5. #5
    SVZ
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    Default Re: Citizen Kane

    never seen it. it's on my lists to do, that i never will do

  6. #6
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! ourmaninBusan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citizen Kane

    URBAN LEGEND:
    It's rumoured that Rosebud - the word which drives the plot of
    Citizen Kane - was Hearst's pet name for Davies's pudenda, which if true
    showed that Welles really knew how to twist the knife.

    SERIOUS STUFF FOR CLASS:

    I remember a couple of things that your teacher is bound to bring up.

    1. The film begins with a 3-minute sequence announcing the death of the central character, Charles Foster Kane. It talks about his life, his accomplishments at the head of a newspaper, his run for office, etc.

    That short film is like a miniature version of the film itself; it gives you a kind of roadmap and adds an element of foreshadowing.

    2. In the film, characters don't deliver their lines standing under a mic; they move around the room when they talk because they were wired with small portable cassette recorders. This gives a greater sense of spontaneous action, and allows the director to block out more natural-looking conversations (instead of scenes in, say, Top Hat).

    3. Welles made a classic goof in the film -- when CFK utters the word "rosebud" and dies, no one is in the room to hear it. The nurse
    arrives after the globe shatters on the floor.

    4. Welles puts in visual clues to the identity of "rosebud" -- which is a thing, not a person -- throughout the film. The idea is not to give the viewer a hint (because they can't really be expected to guess what "rosebud" is), but to show that "rosebud" is a key thing in Kane's life and his character subconsciously reverts back to it. The shape of certain stained glass windows, the symbols on the wallpaper in Kane's love nest, etc. all point to the fact that "rosebud," and what it represents, lingers in Kane's mind well into adulthood.

    5. There are certain montage sequences in the film which ingeniously take events that should have happened over years and compresses them into a few seconds. Welles uses dissolve shots to help show the passage of long periods of time. (There's a sequence where Welles shows the deteriorating marriage of Kane by using a flashback scene showing Kane and his wife, reading newspapers, over breakfast. They show more and more disdain for each other and finally, at the end, he's reading his newspaper, and she's reading another one. End of sequence.)

    5. In an attempt to make things more naturalistic, sometimes characters talk over one another -- even at one of the most crucial scenes, in the treasure room with all its crated up goodies. This is an attempt at disruption our expectations by distracting us where we're expecting NOT to be distracted. (It might make sense to compare it to that shot in the famous "Battleship Potemkin" massacre sequence -- shots ring out, someone reacts in horror, and then Eisenstein tracks in on...an umbrella, which opens up and obscures the view. Why? To deny us information when we want it.

    (Welles does the same thing with overlapping sound -- it makes us strain harder to hear what is really important.)

    ♫` ∴|| ~∞≠∝ ♫♪ $ -4C

  7. #7
    Elite Member Daphne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citizen Kane

    I had to watch Citizen Kane in my first semester film class. One of my favorite parts of the film is seeing Kane and his wife sit farther and farther apart as their marriage begins to falter.

    I have a minor in film, and I have to say American films made between the 30s and the 50s are my least favorite. There are great silent American films from the teens and 20s- basically anything by D.W. Griffin, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin (although he was British, he still made films in the U.S.). I am just not interested in American films thereafter until the mid to late 1960s. I guess it's a matter of personal opinion. Orson Welles never did anything for me the way European directors did.

    I think there were far more interesting things occurring in film in Europe, and European film is by far my favorite. I love German Expressionism from the teens and 20s as well as French New Wave films from the 50s and 60s. Those are my favorites.

  8. #8
    Gold Member LunaShar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Citizen Kane

    i saw it a couple of years ago, and thought it was an ok movie. i think i need to rewatch it. i liked it but it isnt in my top 10 , not even in my top 50 i believe

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