Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Citizen Kane by Orson Welles

Long held as not only the essential American film, but the greatest film ever made, Citizen Kane is nothing short of a stroke of genius from a master's brush. With the story coming straight from the American dream, Welles' performance is as big as the scope of the story in one of the truly brilliant performances of the 20th century. Aside from the beauty of the story about fleeting childhood, hopes and dreams the film shows us where cinema is headed - technically. With its camera angles that were far from conventional to the deep focus lense that allows us to see the foreground and the background in focus at the same time. In Roger Ebert's Citizen Kane essay out of his book: The Great Movies he talks about a master shot involving Kane walking to a window that looks normal sized before Kane walks to it and we see how large it really is. This is probably my favorite moment in the film for reasons that Mr. Ebert talks about in his essay. Citizen Kane was not the first great film, or American film and it certainly hasn't been the last; but, it is one of the landmarks and beyond that one of the benchmarks in the world of cinema since it was released in 1941 and shall remain that way until film history is forgotten, which I pray will never happen.

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