Sunday, April 4, 2010

Citizen Kane

I'm 42 years old and just saw it for the first time in my life.

It isn't necessary to write out some sort of detailed review. That's been done, and done again. This is one of the most talked-about films in history, of course.

What I find most fascinating is that, in all the discussions I've read, heard, and seen of this movie, its value as *entertainment* is never at issue. Always the look, the performances. Certain nuances of the story, and lord knows every *last* aspect of production. But rarely the finished product as a whole, as a piece of ENTERTAINMENT. As a story, maybe somewhat. But really not as entertainment.

Which strikes me as interesting.

Because, as important as craft is, the actual product still has to have some relevance.

Citizen Kane the product really has not had relevance, perhaps since its beginnings.

I find that interesting.

And it seems to me, really, at least as important as how well-lit the backgrounds are. In fact, to my stupid, story-addicted mind: it's actually more so.

But I'm not a dillettante. So what do I know?


One thing is for sure, Bogdanovich's commentary is, as his always are, a literally stunning drag. This one is exceptionally useless, even for him - he simply repeats dialogue without even making his usual content-free comments or observations, and occasionally says, "the famous (fill in the blank)" ... again without actually saying anything about whatever detail he's point(less)ing out. Good grief.

Ebert is good, though. Repetitive, sure, but at least he's Ebert, and at least he's, you know, a LIVING CREATURE. But great Zot, Bogdanovich is a withering bore.

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