Week #5: Reflections on a Silver Screen

“Although for some people cinema means something superficial and glamorous, it is something else. I think it is the mirror of the world.” – Jeanne Moreau

Let’s face it, things were easier as kids. Sure, someone’s usually telling you what to do & you can’t drive (not counting my cousin Christopher—he led a slow-speed police chase to his school before reaching double digits), but still it’s a pretty good life. You get toys when you eat, you teleport in your sleep from the couch to your bed & people usually let you win.

While I’m sure I was on the receiving end of the latter enough times as a child, there was one game where I never needed sympathy wins. From about the age of 4 to 9, memory games were my jam. We had this barnyard-themed memory game, the one where you flipped over cards to try to match animals, & I beat everybody. I mean everybody—Mom, Dad, brother, pets.

It turns out my brain is freaky good at remembering things it intakes visually. As my mom always said, “You could quote a movie right back to me after watching it once or twice.” We watched plenty of movies growing up. Mom wanted us to have a good idea of what the world was like at large, since the town we lived in was pretty small. Cinema’s not exactly the gold standard for what is true, but you can at least get an idea of what’s out there. I don’t know exactly how many movies I’ve seen in my life, but let’s just say that number would probably make a nice annual salary.

Yet, despite that, I have never seen what is reputed to be one of the greatest movies of all time—Citizen Kane. I understand it has something to do with Rose Bud & that Saturday Night Live did a spoof of it about roast beef sandwiches, but other than that I’m in the dark, or as I like to call it—AN52 project territory. Check back later for my review ☺

*Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey*

Alright, through the magic of the Internet, though only seconds have passed for you, hours have for me & I have now seen Citizen Kane. I have to wonder if I had seen it without knowing the high praise it has received if I would feel differently about it. Here’s the summation of my thoughts.

  • Pros: It was interesting & the story flowed rather seamlessly. A lot of the shots & effects were probably ground-breaking for their time & some of them were quite beautiful. Orson Wells was pretty handsome in his day (looks are never a negative, as long as they aren’t the only factor) & the aging makeup was usually done pretty well.
  • Cons: It felt a little trippy at times, a little weird. I don’t like stories where the protagonist is more of an antagonist. The overwhelming feel of the movie was a sense of decay & futility & depressing things depress me.

Overall, I appreciated the storytelling & very clever twist at the end, but was a bit turned off by the general tone & projection of the picture. The world they painted seemed to be a dark, grasping sort, like A Christmas Tale without Scrooge’s post-ghosts transformation. I’d have to say that Citizen Kane is one piece of cinema, I’m glad to have seen, but that I’m not going to try too hard to remember.

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