A path of knowledge that went somthing like; 100 greatest movies ever, The Departed; scene with the envolope, a family funeral, and Azureus BitTorrent Client, has lead me to the film Citizen Kane. I have finally gotten around to watching what the public consitently seem to think is the best film ever made.
Well, i'm stunned and baffled. Maybe I am not the best person to judge film making, however i'm all that I have and with my background of film watching experience, the film Citizen Kane in my opinion is "No singer".
I tried to watch it with an open mind, and a secret willingness for it to teach me something new, but I felt like I had been left out in the snow like the famous sled.
What is the film about? It doesn't seem to be a moral tale, nor a lesson in life, it's not a warning to people, it appears to be something of an enigma, much like CFK's dieing word. Maybe that's the point, maybe it's a triumph of nonsense to which people will try and attach meaning. The other thought I have is that it's maybe a lesson in love, although I can't see that as being core to the film (I imagine many will dissagree with this, so I will look again). At the end it is suggested that Charlie is hankering after his lost sled, but wait; he already has it, and has had it for a large part of the film, so that doesn't make any sense!
As the film spans most of a persons lifetime I wonder if it is really a study of life and how innocence is corrupted, and greed exposed. There is no message I can see other than showing us a model for how we all start out idealists, become corrupt, and end up bitter! I can certainly relate to Charlies early years as a man of the people, and not much liking the society around him. I also respect the get away from it all mentality to live in a world created by myself, where the world at large has no influence, think Firefly for a quick link into my psyche.
The name of the film is also confusing, Charlie was not a communist or a fascist, although was accused of both, so to name the film Citizen Kane seems to be a jucstaposition it maybe represents his own internal struggle bewteen wanting total control, and being one of the lads. However the line was never clear cut as he was always a rich Citizen and a reluctant Kane stereotype. Mixed up is the best way I can understand the choice, and this backs up my ideas of the film being about life and how we can all be seen retrospectively as being in need of psychological help. On this note actually having seen The Departed film immediately before this one, I can't help but draw the same conclusions about that film, the mirroring in it was superb and if looked at metaphorically; an accurate study of internal conflict and the battle in us all throughout our lives to be presueded by a good or evil influence.
The things i have read about the film since have lead me to understand that it brought together many film techniques that had never been used all in the same film and in this respect was something new. So it's a long shot, but perhaps public opinion is swayed by the techincal achievements of this film! doesn't work for me though, and i can't imagine the voting public know or care about this, so i can't understand it's popularity.
My final word on this film is the link to the White Stripes and the influence that it obviously had and Jack and Meg. The Union song on White Blood Cells is based on Citizen Kane, and lifts songs and quotes from the film. I had not realized this before last night but upon hearing "bet you five you're not alive, if you don't know his name" I clicked a memory into place, and realised these were words I knew. Upon listening to the song again i realised that it had always contained a CFK reference that i had overlooked, cleverly though jack never mentions the fated sled. In an about turn of huge weight and speed, i am now wondering if the line about love, i.e. "it can't be love, because there is no true love" is core to the film after all and i have had similar thoughts about life myself, is it possible that there is only ever true love for the self?