Blogs » Quixotic Quicksand » I found a whole garden while searching for "Rosebud"


I finally did it. I finally watched Citizen Kane. I had to find out what all the hype is about. I mean, after all, the American Film Institute says it's the best movie ever made.

This time, I agree with the critics. Citizen Kane was far ahead of its time. Filmed in 1941, its elaborate set designs, striking costumes and makeup, and its superb cast make this film more relevant today than ever. Orson Welles writes, directs, produces, and stars in this movie and makes such multitasking look so simple. Add to the mix some innovative camera angles and clever, realistic dialogue—complete with interruptions—and you've got a timeless film almost any movie lover can enjoy.

The movie is loosely based on the life of media mogul William Randolph Hearst. Welles, playing the lead character, Charles Foster Kane, can still teach today's actors a thing or two about class and craft. He pulls off many a scene without needing any second takes or deceitful editing to make him look like he knows what he's doing. His presence on the screen is simultaneously commanding and inviting.

At the heart of Citizen Kane is a theme to which we can all relate: the nostalgia of a carefree childhood that becomes lost in the shedding of innocence as we grow older. If you want to see how a real movie is made—without computer-generated imagery, without vapid actors and actresses, without any pretenses—then watch Citizen Kane. You'll look at movies in an entirely different way afterward.