Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sh!#ting on the Classics: Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane is being released on the blu-rays today as part of its 70th anniversary. I have never been able to understand the reputation of this film. Of course, I have also never been able to understand gravity, the changing of the seasons, and magnets.

Citizen Kane has been hailed as the single greatest American film ever made. I would dispute that handily with three simple words: no fighting robots.  If Citizen Kane were truly the greatest film ever made, why has it earned only eight stars out of a possible ten on the Imdb’er? Why? Come on, answer me. Why? A-ha! Got you!

The story concerns a young boy who grows up wealthy.  I believe his mother wins the lottery or something. This leads to one of the film’s many flaws. I find it very hard to sympathize with a rich protagonist. He has everything; he certainly doesn’t need my sympathy. I prefer my protagonists to be poor, so I can root against them.

I am tired of the “intelligentsia,” the “learned professors,” the “people who know what they are talking about,” the “people who finished high school,” and those who “read” without moving their “lips,” telling us just plain common honest folk what to like and what not to like. I am against a monopoly of knowledge by people who actually know things.

My objections to this film are many:
  • This film is black and white. Many of my doctors have suggested that I need constant moving colors and bright, shiny objects to keep me amused and on my medication. This is my problem, but it is also by extension the film’s problem. They are DOCTORS.
  • Much of this film concerns the newspaper business. Give me a break. Print is dead. You are reading this on the webs, right?
  • I don’t know how many different actors play Kane in the course of this film (I would guess it is probably six or seven) but they are all terrible.
  • The title character’s story is told by a series of different narrators. I think the federal government should pass a law mandating a SINGLE narrator in every movie. My brain has a problem with multiple narrators. And evolution.
I read on some website that this was one of the first films to feature sets with ceilings. So what? When I go to a moving picture show, I am not interested in the ceiling. I am also not interested in the floor.  I am interested in what is taking place BETWEEN THE CEILING AND THE FLOOR. That is where I live!

This film is now 70 years old.  I can tell – it has many of the same problems that seventy year-old people have. It is boring. Its jokes are terrible. It cannot drive a car. It only sends me a dollar on my birthday. Yes, I’m looking at you, Nana!

Cherry-picking my data from the esteemed Internets Movies Data Bases, I find several “enlightened” and “scary” people who agree with me. They call it “overrated flashy unintelligent rubbish,” “the single most boring hard [sic] to watch movie that I have ever tried to watch,” “terribly dated and painfully boring,” “just extremely annoying at parts,” “over-ambitious,” and “An example of a great movie is Requiem for a Dream. It's disturbing, repulsive and scary as h*ll, but I couldn't keep my eyes from it, and it made a brutal impression.” Now you may say that these are just the opinions of me and six other crackpots, but those six people and I are the foundation of Democracy!

No hot women. Opera singing. Gorgeous cinematography. These are things that make me cry.

Citizen Kane -- big fucking deal. I once owned a sled too.


  1. Hilarious. Way to put Citizen Kane in it's place, J.B.

  2. I don't agree with any of this, partly because I love black and white cinematography and I'm certain it didn't take six or seven thespians to play Kane. I will say this though - I didn't appreciate the film until my third viewing, and that was when I watched it on free-to-air TV in 1985 just after Welles died. Not sure why everyone said it was the best thing ever made for years and years; nevertheless it's not bad. For what it is worth, I think The Magnificent Ambersons was better.