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Citizen Kane (1941) - Orson Welles

Related: classic film - Orson Welles

Citizen Kane: Cinema's Shakespeare:
Sight & Sound editor Nick James, who, interestingly enough, doesn't have Kane in his own Top 10, commented this week that Kane is now 'established as cinema's Shakespeare'. This is a telling remark, even if it was just a soundbite. It indicates where these latest lists are coming from and why they are so frustrating for younger critics. The lists judge cinema as literature. The critics' list, certainly, reads like a reading-list Oxbridge students get sent before their first term. Don't even come here, says such a list, unless you've read all these. La Règle du jeu is your Flaubert, Vertigo D.H. Lawrence - ooh, they let us do Lawrence in the second year! - and Murnau's Sunrise, that's definitely Beowulf . --http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4479519,00.html [O

Citizen Kane (1941) - Orson Welles [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]


Although it was little seen at the time of its initial release (largely due to Hearst's blacklisting of the film), and virtually forgotten until its revival in the 1950s, its critical fortunes have skyrocketed since. Many critics consider the film the best ever made; the American Film Institute ranked it #1 on its "100 Greatest Movies" list; it has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry; and the film is consistently in the top 5 on the Internet Movie Database. Beginning in 1962, and every ten years since, it has been voted the best film ever made by the Sight & Sound critics' poll.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen_Kane [Oct 2004]

Amazon review

Arguably the greatest of American films, Orson Welles's 1941 masterpiece, made when he was only 26, still unfurls like a dream and carries the viewer along the mysterious currents of time and memory to reach a mature (if ambiguous) conclusion: people are the sum of their contradictions, and can't be known easily. Welles plays newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane, taken from his mother as a boy and made the ward of a rich industrialist. The result is that every well-meaning or 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. Written by Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz, and photographed by Gregg Toland, the film is the sum of Welles's awesome ambitions as an artist in Hollywood. He pushes the limits of then-available technology to create a true magic show, a visual and aural feast that almost seems to be rising up from a viewer's subconsciousness. As Kane, Welles even ushers in the influence of Bertolt Brecht on film acting. This is truly a one-of-a-kind work, and in many ways is still the most modern of modern films from the 20th century. --Tom Keogh, Citizen Kane (1941) - Orson Welles [Amazon.com]

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