1. Citizen Kane (1939, Orson Welles)
I first saw this film about 5 years ago in an intro film class I took at Mount Royal College. My response then was that I liked all the Simpsons references. I mean I could appreciate the technical qualities and all but I didn’t really get the hype so to speak. I did write a paper on it though, charmingly titled “Xanadu, There Were Monkeys There.” I think it got a B+.
Before re-watching the film last week, I was going to write that it may be a great film and all, but I don’t know anyone that actually likes it. But upon re-watching it with I guess more experience and my recently developed appreciation for classic Hollywood and Joseph Cotten, I genuinely dug the shit out of it.
The use of “Rosebud” is so simple but so ingenious. Everything that happens in the film can be traced back to an innocuous object that gets about a minute of screen time. But at the same time everything feels very natural in that the search for “Rosebud” isn’t really the focus of the story, but rather the means by which the story can be told. It’s just so well done, and I think that’s the greatness of the film. Visually the movie is great with tremendous set design, and great camera work, but it’s the restraint that Welles shows in keeping “Rosebud” in the background of the film that stands as his greatest accomplishment.
On filmaffinity.com I gave the film a 9/10, meaning that it’s eminently re-watchable and grabbed me on an emotional level(which generally means I was talking to the tv, saying stuff like “that shit is tight” or leaves me feeling gangsta). I try and save 10’s for stuff that makes me wistful, contemplative, makes me cry or makes me wish I was in the film. Yes I am girly like that.