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Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane

Spoilers!

I did this review kind of on a lark. I asked some friends for a movie title to do and this was the answer. I expect most Wells fans will hate this review.

Considered the best movie ever made ever!

And I’m going to recommend that you skip it.

The movie starts a the end of Kane’s life and on his deathbed he utters one mysterious word “Rosebud!”

What does this all mean? Everyone asks for 90 minutes!

It was the name of Kane’s prized snow sled that he rode as a kid.

The last scene in the movie is a group of workers tossing all of Kane’s belongings onto a fire to dispose of the trash and one of the items is a Rosebud brand snow sled.

That’s it. Mystery solved.

In film school they would teach us that this was the most brilliant film made EVER!

And then we’d watch it.

We had to be told it was brilliant because Orson Wells was working with camera angles that no one had even tried before! Shooting from high angles. Tearing up floors and shooting from below!

Now we have tiny drone cameras that can float around the scene at 360 degrees. You can get a low angle shot today by just putting a three inch HD GoPro camera on the floor.

But Orson Wells was working with behemoth cameras and the tech was archaic (by todays standards). So this kind of cinematography was expensive and brilliant back in 1941 when this movie was first released. Ataboy to the pioneer of film!

Wells also dabbled in the (now) controversial En Media Res technique by starting the movie at the end and then flashing back to the beginning to build the story back to the conclusion.

En Media Res isn’t new. The ancient Greeks employed that story telling device.

Worse (for me) Wells shot this film in Black and White. Sure color was available. But to be more “dramatic” Wells opted for the edgy Black and White film. And I hate Black and White pictures.

Color photography is more interesting. So for me, having to sit through 90 minutes of Black and White just gets tedious. I don’t care how good a story it is, the lack of color has always bothered me.

As far as the story goes, it’s about a poor kid enjoying life (with the aforementioned sled). A tragedy befalls his family (I forget the problem. Again, I didn’t enjoy the movie) which thrusts our kid into the harsh and cruel world of adulthood prematurely.

Kid Kane gets into the press eventually and becomes successful.

Kane then starts manipulating stories so that people will do what he want’s them to do.

Kane becomes bitter and resentful, pushing friends and family away from him.

And then he dies alone, a bitter broken man living alone in a massive mansion surrounded by a lifetime worth of stuff.

Most of that stuff is burned in the last scene.

So on the surface the story is a good cautionary morality tale.

But I just saved you 90 minutes of having to sit through a Black and White movie.

This movie was produced before the MPAA rating system was implemented so it’s ‘unrated’ but it’s a movie that anyone would be safe seeing.

I saw the movie once as a Movie History Class requirement and that was enough. I’ll never voluntarily watch “Citizen Kane” again.

Even though I don’t recommend this movief Citizen Kane is still considered a classic film and you can check it out on Amazon Prime Videos.