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Quickie: Citizen Kane (1941)

Where’s my medal? I finally watched it! 

I thought Citizen Kane was pretty damn great! Best movie of all-time though? I don’t know, fellas. Sure, it is mind-boggling to contemplate just how far ahead of its time it truly was. There are so many editing techniques, cinematography tricks (particularly with shadows), camera movements, and story structures that you couldn’t possibly catch in other films until many years after Citizen Kane’s release. The dialogue is also razor-sharp and the character of an age-ranging Mr. Kane played immaculately by director Orson Welles himself was decidedly absorbing. But does its influence necessarily ensure it as the best movie ever crafted in the history of cinema? Ehhh. 

Where my faults come into play with this labeled classic lies in how Welles executes this story. I had this same issue with his later feature Touch of Evil where I felt like too many side stories or introductions to plot points were befalling with too many characters, flashbacks, and dialogue-brimmed exposition. The cramming of all these awfully important yet minimally delved into puzzle pieces or scenes make for a surly extroverted experience. But, to me, sometimes it can come off as, dare I say, “experimentally” indecisive. I feel like I’m a little kid on adderall every time I watch one of Welles’s movies. 

In a sense, however, this unorthodox ordeal Welles introduced to the world of cinema is what makes Citizen Kane Citizen Kane. The narrative’s frustratingly haywire technique is what caused the movie to become such an appreciated piece in art history. With that in mind, it’s hard for me not to respect the living devil out of this noteworthy debut. 

But holy fuck: “Rosebud.” What an ending. 

Verdict: B+

“Citizen Kane” is now available to stream on Vudu, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, and iTunes.

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