This may appear to be my “Look how smart I am” addition to the list. I did initially see this film BECAUSE it’s supposedly the greatest/most important film of all time but that’s not why I loved it. There are plenty of movies I saw because they are great but didn’t necessarily enjoy them. I saw “The Godfather” and didn’t lose my mind. I’m absolutely certain of it’s brilliance but it just didn’t connect with me.
“Citizen Kane” on the other hand connected, hook line and sinker. As a boy growing up you have this odd thought that only modern actors/directors/writers can really make you feel anything or possess any sort of gravitas or bring any weight to a performance. Watching Orson Welles chew the scenery as the most interesting and broken man in the world (at the time) was so pleasurable I could shriek. And he also wrote/directed/produced it AGAINST the world’s most powerful man’s almighty force is equally triumphant.
Watching this for five minutes you forget that it was made seventy years ago. Because frankly not that much has significantly changed since then. We still have emotional problems, we still don’t know how to make relationships work, and we still have problems that no amount of technology or money can or will ever fix.
And this movie is just fucking brilliant. The camera angles, the story, the characters, the structure. It’s just a fucking blast to behold and as described by my good buddy Michael “it’s just a lot of fun.” I could not agree with him more.
What a presence Orson Welles is in this film and every film he’s in for that matter. I recently had the good fortune of discovering “The Third Man” which is one of my favorite Film Noirs of all time. He doesn’t show up until about an hour into the film but his hilarious and powerful presence is felt throughout. And when he dies at the end, even despite of his severe despicableness you’re still left wanting him on screen. You want to see that smiling mug of his and enjoy his energy and presence. It was watching this movie, that withholds and then grabs away his magic energy that really drives the point home that he was something special.
So in a way Orson Welles with his incredible ability to DO EVERYTHING in the world of filmmaking would easily be my be all end all. And if I was alive in that time and still possessed this incredible desire to become a filmmaker he would have been my number one.
If you think not a thing has changed since 1941 then come on down to the Staged Reading of my Psychedelic Cyberpunk Film Noir screenplay “Mum Knows Best” on Sunday August 9th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar #Chicagohttps://www.facebook.com/events/875860632494808/ because you’re right!