Citizen Kane  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"Nick James [...] commented this week that Citizen Kane is now 'established as cinema's Shakespeare'. This is a telling remark, even if it was just a soundbite. It indicates where these latest lists are coming from and why they are so frustrating for younger critics. The lists judge cinema as literature. The critics' list, certainly, reads like a reading-list Oxbridge students get sent before their first term. Don't even come here, says such a list, unless you've read all these. La Règle du jeu is your Flaubert, Vertigo D.H. Lawrence - ooh, they let us do Lawrence in the second year! - and Murnau's Sunrise, that's definitely Beowulf." --Jason Solomons, 2002, The Guardian


"I thought the photography quite good, but nothing to write to Moscow about, the acting middling, and the whole thing a little dull... Mr. Welles's high-brow direction is of that super-clever order which prevents you from seeing what that which is being directed is all about."--James Agate

Related e

Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Shop


Featured:

Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Enlarge
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film produced and directed by Orson Welles, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Herman J. Mankiewicz. The picture was Welles's first feature film. Considered by many critics and filmmakers to be the greatest film ever made, Citizen Kane was voted number 1 in five consecutive British Film Institute Sight & Sound polls of critics, and it topped the American Film Institute's 100 Years ... 100 Movies list in 1998, as well as its 2007 update. Nominated for Academy Awards in nine categories, it won an Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) by Mankiewicz and Welles. Citizen Kane is praised for Gregg Toland's cinematography, Robert Wise's editing, Bernard Herrmann's music, and its narrative structure, all of which have been considered innovative and precedent-setting.

The quasi-biographical film examines the life and legacy of Charles Foster Kane, played by Welles, a composite character based on American media barons William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, Chicago tycoons Samuel Insull and Harold McCormick, as well as aspects of the screenwriters' own lives. Upon its release, Hearst prohibited the film from being mentioned in his newspapers.

After the Broadway success of Welles's Mercury Theatre and the controversial 1938 radio broadcast "The War of the Worlds" on The Mercury Theatre on the Air, Welles was courted by Hollywood. He signed a contract with RKO Pictures in 1939. Although it was unusual for an untried director, he was given freedom to develop his own story, to use his own cast and crew, and to have final cut privilege. Following two abortive attempts to get a project off the ground, he wrote the screenplay for Citizen Kane, collaborating with Herman J. Mankiewicz. Principal photography took place in 1940 and the film was released in 1941.

Although it was a critical success, Citizen Kane failed to recoup its costs at the box office. The film faded from view after its release, but it returned to public attention when it was praised by French critics such as André Bazin and re-released in 1956. The film was made available on Blu-ray on September 13, 2011, as a special 70th-anniversary edition. Citizen Kane was selected by the Library of Congress as an inductee of the 1989 inaugural group of 25 films for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Citizen Kane" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools