(Ed.’s Note: The following is an entry by Tevlin crtiquing the movie Citizen Kane, which was recently dubbed the No. 1 Greatest Movie by the American Film Industry on its annual CBS special. It’s written in a sort of broadcast news format. Cue the morse code…)
This just in, “Citizen Kane Overrated.” It recently has come to the attention of numerous film critics, including myself, that Orson Wells’ 1941 film, Citizen Kane, is one of the most overrated films in the history of American Cinema. No other film stirs such talk of prestige and importance than this epic work. Additionally, no other film on any list of ‘top-rated’ films goes as unwatched as this “masterpiece.” Arguments over Citizen Kane’s brilliance have recently begun to surface and this reporter is willing to be the first to boldly take a stand against the film.
Friday night, tired from an exhausting week, looking to unwind and relax? Well then this writer has no other suggestion to you than to watch the classic film, Citizen Kane. If you have had trouble sleeping and want a sure fire way to get a goodnight’s rest than you should rent, if you can even find it at your local video store, Citizen Kane! There has never been such a celebrated film that no one wants to watch again in their lives. People may rant and rave about the films innovating techniques but pacing certainly wasn’t one of them.
If you’re looking for a way to ‘wow’ a the pretty girl at the bar, start off talking about the film’s use of deep focus, lead into acting and its visual style and then pull the trigger by mentioning how metaphoric the film is and even though the film is a satire about Billy Hearst (act as though you guys were close), it really ends up being about Orson Wells. If this doesn’t work, then invite her back to you dirty dorm room for some delicious Ramen Noodles where you insist on showing her your awesome closet-door-beirut table and special edition DVD copy of CK (by this point in the night your goal is right around the corner and I’m sure she’ll be more impressed if you’re using abbreviations and film jargon she doesn’t understand). If she isn’t waking up next to you in your bed than I bet you have other issues with personality or commitment. I am only one man and not a magician. Side note: I in no ways support or condone the private viewing of this film as a way to seduce women into hanging out in your crappy dorm room or agreeing to anything you or your film-buff college buddies can imagine.
But if it seems you don’t need tips on how to woo a woman and are interested in this film for other reasons than I have some further advice for you: Don’t watch it. That’s about it. Other than a supplement to some film history class you might be attending, I, as a film-guy myself, can see no additional reason to watch Citizen Kane. This film is the type of movie you never want to watch. Well then why is it considered the greatest film of all time? Because, many of these people who support it haven’t even seen the movie and simply follow the popular trend, one could assume. Trust me, you’ll thank this guy ::points to self:: if you don’t waste two hours of your life on this.
In summary, Citizen Kane is a film that offers many contributions technically for the film industry such as editing techniques like the dissolve, deep focus, innovative story telling and a highly original critique of the most successful man at the time the film was produced. However, Citizen Kane is a very slow film that is dull and seems to drag on at many times. The film may be highly celebrated, but it isn’t highly watched.
“The greatest film no one want to see,” is how I would dub it personally. As an interesting way to look at American filmmaking, this film is perfect. But, as a way to spend some time and enjoy a movie, this film is bottom of the barrel.