Friday, November 14, 2008

CITIZEN KANE (1941)

Few films in the history of cinema have received as much analysis & acclaim as ‘Citizen Kane’. This is most admired film of all times & considered by many thinking men as a best piece of cinema by legendary actor, film maker Orson Welles. It is debut film of Orson Welles as a Director.
America’s largest & most powerful landlord of Xanadu & Newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Cane died with the last uttered word ‘Rosebud’ in the very initial scene. Next we see News clips & documentary featuring the power & riches story of his biography including his rise & fall of empire covered by every news agency of the world. Now the million dollar question for the reporters is who or what this last spoken word ‘Rosebud’ supposed to mean. The flashbacks of Cane’s life unfold by the other characters reveals the life story of social & personal ups & down of his life & its really sentimental & realistic portrayal I have ever seen. Welles has told the story of a man increasingly captive of his own needs. Even as the suspense about “Rosebud” unfolds in the last scene to the audience, it still remains enigma to figure out what it is.
Orson Welles has done remarkable work here in acting & direction & production at the age of 25 & its simply his inborn talent. Its character not only the character of lifetime for him but for the world of cinema to cherish forever.
The movie’s technical brilliance lies in its landmark B&W cinematography by George Toland with apt use of light & shadow & deep focus photography. One can also notice the powerful lines of dialogues & speech uttered by Cane throughout the film. Most of the principal actors in ‘Citizen Cane’ were new to the motion picture & yet everyone performed extraordinary especially Joseph Cotten as Jad.
The movie is regarded as the “world’s best film by Sight & Sound magazine in the last 40 years (1962-2002). It is quite sad to know that it was flop at box office but gradually became admirable classic as time passed. Nominated for 9 awards at 1942 Academy awards it only won one: Best Original Screenplay.

A Pure Gold.

Ratings- 10/10

1 comment:

Vikram said...

as far as techinical innovations & cinematic symbolism are concerned, this is arguably the greatest film ever made. cinematographer Greg Toland introduced the Deep Focus technique to the world with this film (deep focus is a cinematographic technique by which both the foreground and the background in a particular frame stay in focus. i.e all the movies before this one would have either the FG or the BG out of focus.
and talking about the innumerable number of 'visual metaphors' used in this movie, once u begin to watch out for them more keenly and understand them u would stay glued to your seat from the very beggining to the very end of the movie.
watch out for the opening shots of this movie (it has no opening credits). in the first few shots a huge mansion will be visible. keep your eyes on the window throught this entire sequence. however the shot changes that window will always stay at the same position inside the frame.
there are many many more great shots like these. each and every movement tthe characters make in the frame has a significant meaning to it. the suspense behind the word 'Rosebud' is just a screenplay technique used to narrate the story of Charles Foster Kane
this film is also quoted as the greatest film ever made my the American Film Institute, scaruffi.com,Sight and Sound, U.K- international critics,Time Out magazine, Romanian critics' association, German poll of international critics,"Kinovedcheskie" Russia, FIAF, American Film Inst, "Village Voice", U.S.A,"Editorial Jaguar" Spain,
Mr. Showbiz magazine
well, if you are looking out for 'entertainment' pls avoid this one, but if some good cinematography, frame properties, narrative structures and great performances are your cup of tea... this one is a must watch!