Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Battle Over Citizen Kane

When William Randolph Hearst caught wind that RKO's boy wonder Orson Welles had chosen for his first feature film to tell the life story of a fictional newspaper magnate who gains the world but loses his soul, Hearst sought to destroy all copies of the film, was nearly successful, and actually did succeed in stifling Kane's initial blockbuster success. What Hearst didn't know, was that Welles' film was as much of a reflection of his own life as it was a sharp jab at the all-powerful media tycoon. The Battle Over Citizen Kane is really just separate biographies of these two larger than life personalities which draws fascinating comparisons between both while telling their compelling stories through the use of excellent stock footage, documentary technique, and guest commentators knowledgeable in relation to both megalomaniacs.