Monthly Archives: April 2009

Movie: Citizen Kane

Having decided to start edumicating myself on them films ‘n shit, I went to my NY ex-roommate Alexis, a French dude that half of Cynthia’s London seems to swoon over (Cynthia included).  But this is not about Alexis.  This is about Citizen Kane.

Didn’t like it at first.  But then, as I thought about it, it sank in.  I think I am not able to appreciate it fully though given my lack of cinematographic education.  A friend pointed me in the direction of this being a major step forward in cinematographic point of view, how the narrative is told, etc.  Referenced Pulp Fiction as another milestone…  (need to remember to check with Josh on how Pulp Fiction is perceived from "film progress" sort of vantage point.  To me it seems like Citizen Kane is part Murakami (in the floating narrative) and part Roshomon, although, in this case, despite my doubting every separate story, I am not sure if that was the directors intention: i.e. whether the narrative was supposed to be affected by the teller or if different people are simply beads on the same string and do not infuse their perception into their tale…

But, one thought that I can’t get rid of is that the narrative, while it attempts to be complex, is very simple.  I am not sure whether I am just not appreciating the complexity (everything simple with 20/20 hindsight) or this is a side effect of being part of my generation, which is significantly more saturated with information than the previous…  the idea of an archetype of a hero, a sort of Ayne Rand’s Wynand (from the Foundtainhead) seems…  inhuman.  That he would end his days alone, dry, lonely, with his soul defined through his childhood sled seems like a fable-type presentation.  Yet he is presented as painfully human – someone who changes his values as he grow within the society.  But how can a man, who clearly has an amazing sense of humor, an incurable curiosity and drive to salmon against the current – how can such a man end up in a posh palace, lonely, defeated with a woman who thinks that he only thinks about himself and is consumed by image of self?  It just doesn’t sit right – feels…  cheap?

I’ve noticed I have this feeling of an author taking a shortcut relatively often in this sense.  Felt this way in the Watchmen (which was way overhyped – it was excellent, but I felt a letdown), felt the same way with Crime and Punishment (how does one do a 180 like that?  seems ridiculous)

Which is not to say I don’t enjoy these thought experiments.  But Citizen Kane left a conceptual unfilled expectation…  an unsatisfied want for more intellectual brilliance…

But, having said all that, I do understand why it is a classic and am sure that it will come up in conversation as a tool to portray some specific ideas…

Totally wiped out.  Came back from NY today, had me some awesome dumplings, going to pass out.

Ta ta.

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Movie: Lust, Caution

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