History Headscratchers / CitizenKane

14th Jan '17 3:19:54 PM CumbersomeTercel
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*** According to legend, one of the actors (perhaps Joseph Cotton?) mentioned this point to Orson Welles. Welles allegedly stared at him wide-eyed for a minute, then pulled him in close and muttered "NEVER tell ANYONE what you just told me."

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*** According to legend, one of the actors (perhaps Joseph Cotton?) mentioned this point to Orson Welles.Creator/OrsonWelles. Welles allegedly stared at him wide-eyed for a minute, then pulled him in close and muttered "NEVER tell ANYONE what you just told me."



* Most of you already know that the movie isnt famous for its story but on HOW that story is told, and i have seen repeatedly that it was thanks to the innovation on the language of cinema that gave this movie the status of "Best Of All Times". However, if no one ever tried that before, then why did Orson Welles did them anyway? how did he know that doing a low angle will work the way it was? Lets take for example the scene of him being a kid and the movie uses the "deep focus" to have him visible playing in the background while the parents talk, why it had to be done that way? what nudged him to do it that way only? would the scene be any different if it was done in other way? What i am trying to say is that is that i find no reason to do such things if they were there to look cool, that will be like "The Dutch Angle" that the movie Battlefield Earth did for the whole thing.....for some reason that was never explored or added anything to the movie, so why is it there? I am not insulting the intelligence of The Man itself but if i were a movie director of that era and had a chance something cool, i will probably skip it if i find that there is no real reason to do it, if there is one, then most likely there is information or books around film-making or a set of rules that Welles subverted or learned from to make this innovative movie. It is just that i find hard to believe that NO ONE tried anything new or at least ONE of the things that he did in a single movie unless the corruption of Hollywood was so firm that it only allowed one kind of movie structure or something.
** Most of this rambling and error-riddled post is only vaguely comprehensible to me, but it might be good to remember that Welles screened John Ford's Stagecoach forty times while prepping for Citizen Kane. Its techniques did not come out of nowhere, and nobody can claim otherwise.

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* Most of you already know that the movie isnt isn't famous for its story but on HOW that story is told, and i have seen repeatedly that it was thanks to the innovation on the language of cinema that gave this movie the status of "Best Of All Times". However, if no one ever tried that before, then why did Orson Welles did them anyway? how did he know that doing a low angle will work the way it was? Lets take for example the scene of him being a kid and the movie uses the "deep focus" to have him visible playing in the background while the parents talk, why it had to be done that way? what nudged him to do it that way only? would the scene be any different if it was done in other way? What i am trying to say is that is that i find no reason to do such things if they were there to look cool, that will be like "The Dutch Angle" that the movie Battlefield Earth did for the whole thing.....for some reason that was never explored or added anything to the movie, so why is it there? I am not insulting the intelligence of The Man itself but if i were a movie director of that era and had a chance something cool, i will probably skip it if i find that there is no real reason to do it, if there is one, then most likely there is information or books around film-making or a set of rules that Welles subverted or learned from to make this innovative movie. It is just that i find hard to believe that NO ONE tried anything new or at least ONE of the things that he did in a single movie unless the corruption of Hollywood was so firm that it only allowed one kind of movie structure or something.
** Most of this rambling and error-riddled post is only vaguely comprehensible to me, but it might be good to remember that Welles screened John Ford's Stagecoach Creator/JohnFord's ''Film/{{Stagecoach}}'' forty times while prepping for Citizen Kane. Its techniques did not come out of nowhere, and nobody can claim otherwise.



*** Apparently yes because that IS the reason for why the movie is the Best Ever. And its something that really makes my head hurts, because if that is the case, then the first movie of Star Wars should, under that definition, count as The Best Ever for using cinematography that no one ever tried before and being innovative (The tunnel of The Death Star, anyone?) yet somehow it doesnt, even if they are ALSO the same on having a very simple plot (maybe is the stigma of Sci-Fi Ghetto?). In the other hand, since you actually confirmed that he ACTUALLY took inspiration on other movies, then this little bit of information on the page of "Achievements in Ignorance" is in doubt and possibly wrong: "Many of the innovative visuals and special effects seen in Citizen Kane are the result of first-time film director Orson Welles simply refusing to believe that certain things couldn't be done on screen. " I believe that there isnt many reasons for this movie to be THAT good as they said since, as you said, there isn't much original material to merit that title, and the only reason the movie is popular is that maybe the public and the critics felt guilty for the movie to bomb at the box office back then (quite understandable since it wasn't the movie's fault but it was Randolph Hearst). They worshiped it in overcompensation and the hype went out of hand.

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*** Apparently yes because that IS the reason for why the movie is the Best Ever. And its something that really makes my head hurts, because if that is the case, then the first movie of Star Wars ''Franchise/StarWars'' should, under that definition, count as The Best Ever for using cinematography that no one ever tried before and being innovative (The tunnel of The Death Star, anyone?) yet somehow it doesnt, doesn't, even if they are ALSO the same on having a very simple plot (maybe is the stigma of Sci-Fi Ghetto?). In the other hand, since you actually confirmed that he ACTUALLY took inspiration on other movies, then this little bit of information on the page of "Achievements in Ignorance" is in doubt and possibly wrong: "Many of the innovative visuals and special effects seen in Citizen Kane ''Citizen Kane'' are the result of first-time film director Orson Welles simply refusing to believe that certain things couldn't be done on screen. " I believe that there isnt isn't many reasons for this movie to be THAT good as they said since, as you said, there isn't much original material to merit that title, and the only reason the movie is popular is that maybe the public and the critics felt guilty for the movie to bomb at the box office back then (quite understandable since it wasn't the movie's fault but it was Randolph Hearst). They worshiped worshipped it in overcompensation and the hype went out of hand.
1st Jan '17 5:50:47 PM Xtifr
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**** Who are this "they" you are talking about? This is the ultimate straw-man argument -- you haven't identified the people whom you're arguing against, and invent arguments to put in their mouths rather than citing anything specific. Are you talking about the critics and scholars who initially canonized the film, or internet half-wits repeating vague claims today? Suffice it to say, nobody who knows what they're talking about has ever claimed that Welles was working without any precedent in a medium that was at the time almost fifty years old. Welles was not an experimental filmmaker like Maya Deren, Kenneth Anger or Stan Brakhage; he was a Hollywood director working within the classical Hollywood style, and the film's innovations in non-linear narrative or visual style fall firmly within Hollywood conventions (albeit with some European influences in terms of its use of space in deep focus). Why don't you investigate, historically speaking, just ''how'' Citizen Kane took on the status that has in movie history? It certainly didn't take it instantly (notice that it didn't crack the 1952 Sight and Sound Poll). Orson Welles did not invent cinema, and even though he was making his first first film, some of his collaborators were very experienced -- his cinematographer Gregg Toland had been working since the silent era, for example. CitizenKane's canonical status is comparable to that of Hamlet; Shakespeare did not invent drama and was most certainly working in an established tradition on the Elizabethan stage. But both works are supposed to represent the full maturity of the form, and granted upon it a certain respectability. That means a certain kind of innovation, yes, but innovation within an established tradition. Note that I am not contended that the film is indeed the greatest film of all time, a subjective judgment that has more to do with hierarchies of legitimacy than the film's intrinsic worth. If anything, Kane is done a kind of disservice by the baggage of ''greatness!'' attached to it; in the same way that a high school student encountering Shakespeare for the first time has to get past "you must love this!" mentality, so too do students in first year film classes automatically start out hostile to Citizen Kane as a reflex posture, and it usually takes several viewings to enjoy.

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**** Who are this "they" you are talking about? This is the ultimate straw-man argument -- you haven't identified the people whom you're arguing against, and invent arguments to put in their mouths rather than citing anything specific. Are you talking about the critics and scholars who initially canonized the film, or internet half-wits repeating vague claims today? Suffice it to say, nobody who knows what they're talking about has ever claimed that Welles was working without any precedent in a medium that was at the time almost fifty years old. Welles was not an experimental filmmaker like Maya Deren, Kenneth Anger or Stan Brakhage; he was a Hollywood director working within the classical Hollywood style, and the film's innovations in non-linear narrative or visual style fall firmly within Hollywood conventions (albeit with some European influences in terms of its use of space in deep focus). Why don't you investigate, historically speaking, just ''how'' Citizen Kane took on the status that has in movie history? It certainly didn't take it instantly (notice that it didn't crack the 1952 Sight and Sound Poll). Orson Welles did not invent cinema, and even though he was making his first first film, some of his collaborators were very experienced -- his cinematographer Gregg Toland had been working since the silent era, for example. CitizenKane's ''Film/CitizenKane's'' canonical status is comparable to that of Hamlet; Shakespeare did not invent drama and was most certainly working in an established tradition on the Elizabethan stage. But both works are supposed to represent the full maturity of the form, and granted upon it a certain respectability. That means a certain kind of innovation, yes, but innovation within an established tradition. Note that I am not contended that the film is indeed the greatest film of all time, a subjective judgment that has more to do with hierarchies of legitimacy than the film's intrinsic worth. If anything, Kane is done a kind of disservice by the baggage of ''greatness!'' attached to it; in the same way that a high school student encountering Shakespeare for the first time has to get past "you must love this!" mentality, so too do students in first year film classes automatically start out hostile to Citizen Kane as a reflex posture, and it usually takes several viewings to enjoy.
6th Oct '15 3:14:00 PM Tuckerscreator
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** He didn't die right after wrecking her room. His divorce was listed in the obituary report years before his death. Like anyone else, he got too old.
6th Oct '15 9:53:18 AM matt3291992
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* Here's an even bigger question: How exactly did Kane die? It seems like his last moments were him wrecking up his ex-wife's room, then after that he just died. How did Kane die, exactly?
11th Mar '15 8:05:33 AM BlackINK.I.M
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***[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDbb6OOSh7o There's already a Citizen Kane of gaming, we call it Dynasty Warriors]]
4th Mar '15 6:47:11 PM LongLiveHumour
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*** This is a sidebar, but anyone claiming that ''StarWars'', of all films, is without precedent is really and truly talking out of some bodily orifice other than their mouth. For whatever new it might bring to the table in terms of special effects, it is a ''pastiche'' of older science fiction, western, samurai and war movies, and contains specific visual citations of films like TheSearchers, 12 O'Clock High and so on (see Will Brooker's book on the film for a useful rundown). Not only is it not wholly original, it foregrounds its influences in a way typical of films of the New Hollywood (or the "Film Brat" generation).
** Great. lets start with the one just up here. Of course that the StarWars example doesn't work because on the cinematography aspect, just like Citizen Kane, it borrows the techniques from pre-existing movies, yet no one calls CK out for that. That is why i used it to drive my point. Now on the other gentleman over there. See this?: "Serious film critics will concede that the plot of Kane is actually pretty simple, and that its genius lies not in what it is about but how it was done....." That is from the Trope of "What do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?" in the Film section, is very large and i am not going to copy ALL of it, just enough for you to know where to look. So as you can see, it isn't a straw argument, it from this very website (and keep in mind that i am ASKING about how this straw argument EXIST). It continues saying that it was on HOW the movie was told what made it unique, but again, if that was already done before then why is this movie so lauded for that? just because you do ONE original thing doesn't award you for the Best X Ever, isn't it?

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*** This is a sidebar, but anyone claiming that ''StarWars'', ''Franchise/StarWars'', of all films, is without precedent is really and truly talking out of some bodily orifice other than their mouth. For whatever new it might bring to the table in terms of special effects, it is a ''pastiche'' of older science fiction, western, samurai and war movies, and contains specific visual citations of films like TheSearchers, 12 O'Clock High and so on (see Will Brooker's book on the film for a useful rundown). Not only is it not wholly original, it foregrounds its influences in a way typical of films of the New Hollywood (or the "Film Brat" generation).
** Great. lets start with the one just up here. Of course that the StarWars ''Franchise/StarWars'' example doesn't work because on the cinematography aspect, just like Citizen Kane, it borrows the techniques from pre-existing movies, yet no one calls CK out for that. That is why i used it to drive my point. Now on the other gentleman over there. See this?: "Serious film critics will concede that the plot of Kane is actually pretty simple, and that its genius lies not in what it is about but how it was done....." That is from the Trope of "What do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?" in the Film section, is very large and i am not going to copy ALL of it, just enough for you to know where to look. So as you can see, it isn't a straw argument, it from this very website (and keep in mind that i am ASKING about how this straw argument EXIST). It continues saying that it was on HOW the movie was told what made it unique, but again, if that was already done before then why is this movie so lauded for that? just because you do ONE original thing doesn't award you for the Best X Ever, isn't it?
15th Dec '14 5:47:30 AM 06tele
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**** It's a common misconception that artistic quality has to do with being innovative. An artist can invent a technique or even a form, but then not exploit it to its full potential; if being innovative were the sole guarantee of genius, then the greatest opera ever written would be Jacopo Peri's ''Dafne'', because it was the first one ever written. But apart from the fact that we don't have a score of it anymore, it would be ridiculous to claim that it ''must'' have been better than, say, Mozart's ''Magic Flute'', which was written nearly 200 years later. Deep focus wasn't invented for ''Citizen Kane'' but it can be argued that Welles used it more creatively and intelligently than anyone before him, namely to tell you something about the characters in the film, not just to make a cool-looking shot.

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**** It's a common misconception that artistic quality has to do with being innovative. An artist can invent a technique or even a form, but then not exploit it to its full potential; if being innovative were the sole guarantee of genius, then the greatest opera ever written would be Jacopo Peri's ''Dafne'', because it was the first one ever written. But apart from the fact that we don't have a score of it anymore, it would be ridiculous to claim that it ''must'' have been better than, say, Mozart's ''Magic Flute'', which was written nearly 200 years later. Deep focus wasn't invented for ''Citizen Kane'' but it can be argued that Welles used it more creatively and intelligently than anyone before him, namely to tell you something about the characters in the film, not just to make a cool-looking shot. If you're not convinced, consider Creator/JohannSebastianBach, who was not innovative at all. Bach didn't invent fugue, or oratorio, or the church cantata, or the keyboard suite, or the violin sonata. If great artists are great because they're innovative, then Bach is the most overrated composer of all time. But you can only make an argument like that if you've been forced into it by accepting a fundamentally wrong premise, namely that all great art is innovative.
15th Dec '14 5:38:55 AM 06tele
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**** It's a common misconception that artistic quality has to do with being innovative. An artist can invent a technique or even a form, but then not exploit it to its full potential; if being innovative were the sole guarantee of genius, then the greatest opera ever written would be Jacopo Peri's ''Dafne'', because it was the first one ever written. But apart from the fact that we don't have a score of it anymore, it would be ridiculous to claim that it ''must'' have been better than, say, Mozart's ''Magic Flute'', which was written nearly 200 years later. Deep focus wasn't invented for ''Citizen Kane'' but it can be argued that Welles used it more creatively and intelligently than anyone before him, namely to tell you something about the characters in the film, not just to make a cool-looking shot.
6th Oct '13 5:19:37 PM MrPink
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*** Au contraire. There are about four "Citizen Kanes of gaming" a year. It doesn't take a whole lot for that claim to get thrown out there.
21st Aug '13 7:10:46 AM Savini24
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*** I agree with this troper. I believe that Kane's whisper made her pause at the door, and the glass ball prompted her to enter the room.
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