Sunday, November 01, 2009

Citizen Kane

Yesterday I saw Citizen Kane at the BFI. It was the first time I had seen it on the big screen. My previous view of the film was that it was amazing, technically superb and, as an American myth, tremendously potent. Yet, for the most part, I found it unmoving, even meretricious. On the big screen, my reservations were refuted and, immensely moved, I kept tearing up. The point is, I realise, the theatricality of the piece. On the small screen this is lost or it strikes a false note; on the big screen it makes perfect sense and the characters, previously a touch de trop, were seen as florid creatures trapped within the confines of the medium, like the caged animals in the newsreel shots of Xanadu. The central drama of the film is not Kane, of course, it is the reporter's progress through the story. He is the audience's surrogate and guide and it is he who, just before the glorious final tracking shot, drops his professional mask and, having attained wisdom beyond yellow journalism, undermines the payoff by saying whatever Rosebud was it would tell us nothing about the real man, it was just a piece of a jigsaw. Thus the burning sledge becomes everything and nothing. Kane is still not the greatest ever film, but it is up there.
I note, incidentally, that Spielberg bought the sledge for $60,500. To which news, Welles responded, 'I thought we burned it.'

17 comments:

  1. The biggest beneficiary of WR Hearst's madness was old Willie Burrell, one of the shrewdest cove's of his era, popped over to California and picked up some remarkable bargains from the San Simeon garage sale, can be viewed at the Burrell collection museum. Willie made his dosh by building up a large merchant fleet, flogging it to Lloyd George at vastly inflated prices and buying it back for sod all at the end of the war, cute kiddie, huh.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not even sure it's Welles' greatest film. I prefer 'F For Fake'.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is a great film, not overrated. The structure is so constantly surprising, and it treats its audience like sentient adults (unlike, say, The X Factor).

    ReplyDelete
  4. It could have been improved with the addition of Cheryl Cole though

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes but it is consistently quoted as a piece of filmmaking and it' definitely up there in the top five.

    Personally, I prefer Third Man.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Every fan knows. If you want to prove yourself, you have to own your favorite players jersey!Supply following brand: nfl, nba, nhl, nike, adidas and Football jerseys. http://www.nfljerseymlb.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. With Thanksgiving Day approaching and to thank for the customer,there are amazing ugg boots sale promotions on our company.We give you a fantastic gift that is buy one and get one free,once you buy one of ugg 30th anniversary,ugg 5359 nightfall,ugg 5245 ultra tall,ugg 5691lo pro button or 5818 sienna miller other ugg boots on our website, we will give you a belt, hat or a wallet as a gift. http://www.uggboots4buy.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. In order to enlarge and refresh our market,with the advent of Thanksgiving Day,we encourage both newcomers and loyal customers to browse our sale promotions.The price of our AF Men Trousers,ED Hardy Handbag or ED Hardy Women Suitsare lowest than anytime and anywhere,there are also lots ED Hardy Women Jeans and UGG 5818 Sienna Miller that you can choose of course high quality.If the goods you choose are more than $100,you can pick up a Belt,Cap,Jewelry,or Wallet Free.Time Limited, Don't be hesitation,pick up your favorate goods,Free Shipping & Fast Delivery. http://www.edfashionclothes.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Activity is the only road to knowledge . Do not, for one repulse, give up the purpose that you resolved to effect. air Jordan Love is ever the beginning of nike shox knowledge as ato shoes fire is of puma light. The sting of a reproach,is the creative recreation truth of it.A mothers love never changes. http://www.nikeaf1jordanshoes.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you for the great job!In order to meet Thanksgiving Day, recently,our company is on ugg boots promotional sales and the prices of all products such as UGG Sienna Miller or UGG 5803 Bailey Button are lower than any time!And the biggest surprise is that you can buy one get one free,that is once you buy an ugg classic short , ugg 5125 coquette, or uggs snenna mille,you can get an belt, wallet,or hat free.Don't hesitate, to get a free present, check it on http://www.uggsnowbootsbest.com/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you! I was attracted when saw the air jordan men,there are lots of beautiful lv high boots, sex and gorgeous puma high men. The design of gucci high women response that the Paris is real romantic and fashional, someone:“Pairs je vous aime”. Yes,you will fall in love with Christian Louboutin as well. they will give you causal sexy allure that we all look for http://www.nikejordanshoes2sell.com/

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you for your article!A light heart lives long. Early to air jordan women bed and early to rise, makes a nike shox man healthy, dior high boots wealthy and wise Sloth , like ed hardy rust, consumes faster than labor wears. gucci boots life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises. http://www.onestop-onlineshopping.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for the message offer!There are amazing ugg sienna miller,ugg kid boots and ugg night fall sale promotions on our company to thank for the customer of http://www.uggboots2buy.com/ and to embrace the coming Thanksgiving.You can Get One belt or hat or wallet free once you buy an ugg boots,such as ugg anniversary or ugg bailey buttonon our website. Action is louder than speak. Hurry up and you may be the first one get the gift.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you! I was attracted when saw the air jordan men,there are lots of beautiful lv high boots, sex and gorgeous puma high men. The design of gucci high women response that the Paris is real romantic and fashional, someone:“Pairs je vous aime”. Yes,you will fall in love with Christian Louboutin as well. they will give you causal sexy allure that we all look for http://www.nikejordanshoes2sell.com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for the message offer!There are amazing ugg sienna miller,ugg kid boots and ugg night fall sale promotions on our company to thank for the customer of http://www.uggboots2buy.com/ and to embrace the coming Thanksgiving.You can Get One belt or hat or wallet free once you buy an ugg boots,such as ugg anniversary or ugg bailey buttonon our website. Action is louder than speak. Hurry up and you may be the first one get the gift.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for your article!A light heart lives long. Early to air jordan women bed and early to rise, makes a nike shox man healthy, dior high boots wealthy and wise Sloth , like ed hardy rust, consumes faster than labor wears. gucci boots life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises. http://www.onestop-onlineshopping.com/

    ReplyDelete
  17. Nice post. I agree about the difference between big and small screens. I used to be a projectionist in a revival house, and our screen was over 75 feet wide. You couldn't beat it for seeing the classics. I also have a post on KANE at my blog, THE LAST REVEAL, a blog on screenwriting. If any one's interested, check it out!

    ReplyDelete