It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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The holiday season doesn’t stop at Christmas.  It continues on through New Year’s Day…at least in our neck of the woods.  And, when it comes to New Year’s movies, there is none better than the great Frank Capra’s masterpiece, It’s a Wonderful Life. Continue reading

Kane the Movie

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This next post in my series of essays on Citizen Kane will focus not so much on the history of the film, nor will it view the film as an examination of its makers.  This will act as a true movie review, focusing on what makes the movie so great as a stand-alone viewing performance. Continue reading

Kane the Man

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Charles Foster Kane walks through the threshold of the room that was once occupied by his beautiful wife—a shrine to her celebrity, a celebrity that was as empty as it was critically panned—but now stands wrecked and uninhabited.  Through his own machinations, he had made that woman who she was; not only was her fame a product of his intrusion, but so, also, was her marriage to him.  For years they had sat on opposite sides of the vast hall, she with her jigsaw puzzles on the floor, he in his throne-like master chairs, looking at the gargantuan fireplace before him.  Were there ever two more isolated activities than those?  Now, that void had been finally realized, and she had left him—for once, a decision based on her own free will.  His behavior had brought about her departure, and he recognized his role in it.  But, he would not be undone.  He had built that shrine, he would tear it down.  And so he had.  And now, behind him, the bedroom lays a shambles: statues, trophies, linens and furniture broken, torn and scattered throughout the room. Continue reading

The Story of Citizen Kane: William Randolph Hearst and the Kane Controversy

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The story of Citizen Kane as already written in this blog—the story of Orson Welles, the Mercury Theatre, Gregg Toland, RKO Pictures, and Herman Mankiewicz—is all well and good; but the story has far more significance when examined from a different perspective.  Imagine, for a moment, that all those players about whom I wrote in my previous post—Orson Welles, the Mercury Theatre, Gregg Toland, RKO Pictures, and Herman Mankiewicz—are the “good guys”, the protagonists, in this story about the movie’s production.  Well, a good story always has a bad guy. Continue reading

My Introduction to a Series of Essays on Citizen Kane

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The most intimidating part of this blog is now upon me.  Part of me has wanted to do this for a long time.  Another part has been apprehensive. Continue reading