Monday, June 27, 2011

Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane usually tops great movie lists and is often cited by critics and scholars as our greatest film. Orson Welles' 1941 debut film holds this honor due to the fact that it took all the techniques known to the movies at the time and utililized them while creating a few techniques of its own therefore influencing generations of filmmakers over. On top of being a great film and an extremely influential film, it is also simply an extraordinarily entertaining picture. Citizen Kane stars Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane, inspired by the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst who did not take too kindly to the movie's depiction of him. The film begins with Kane's death in the great estate of Xanadu where, while dying alone, he utters the most famous words in cinema before kicking the bucket: Rosebud. A newsreel producer wants to learn the significance of the word, so he sends a reporter to interview the people who knew him best. Through these men and women we learn the story of Kane's rise and tragic downfall and his eventual loss of childhood innocence signified in his dying words. Citizen Kane is a rich movie and the kind that you can watch over and over again and still feel you can revisit and get something more out of it. With his first film, Welles was able to achieve greatness on so many different levels and craft a movie that would be an inspiration to many great filmmakers to come.