Sunday, December 11, 2011

Citizen Kane

 This ranks as number 1 Greatest Movie of All Times, as listed by the American Film Institute.  I really thought I’d get bored when I started watching Citizen Kane (1941), by and with Orson Welles. Instead, I spent two fantastic hours.

Newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies, alone, in his palace whispering one word: “Rosebud”. This prompts journalist to investigate the story of his life. Through a series of flashbacks we are walked though the life of Charles Foster Kane, his youth, his idealism, his rise to power and eventually his fall from the top. The movie ends with just the viewer to understand this last word “Rosebud”, while everyone investigating has given up.
Kane: Hello Jedediah.
Leland: Hello, Charlie. I didn't know we were speaking...
 Kane: Sure, we're speaking, Jedediah: you're fired.

Bernstein: Old age. It's the only disease, Mr. Thompson, that you don't look forward to being cured of.

Emily: Really Charles, people will think-...
Kane: - -what I tell them to think.

Leland: That's all he ever wanted out of life... was love. That's the tragedy of Charles Foster Kane. You see, he just didn't have any to give.
At first Kane, played by Welles, appears as a great man, bound to change the world for you. The story that gradually unfolds shows someone profoundly hurt in his youth, evolving from idealist to control freak. Although a bit sad, the psychology behind the character is extraordinary – the viewer understands how Charles Foster Kane felt he had to control everything and be ruthless as a way to battle his demons. A lost battle. There is not much more to say, to be honest – black and white, very old movie can appear uninviting, but in fact it is captivating ; I think the absence of colours (even though at the time I cannot say for sure it was by choice!) really captures the loneliness, the sadness of this story. Yet the sadness doesn’t touch the viewer, who can, in the end, only feel compassion for a man who suffered and could not deal with it.
Loved it. Watch it.

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