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Citizen Kane


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#21 sycasey 2.0

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 02:35 PM

For anyone who wants to deep-dive on Citizen Kane, I'd recommend getting a DVD copy with Roger Ebert's audio commentary. He points out all of the interesting camera tricks and shot selection done by Welles and Toland in the movie, while also peppering in some informational nuggets about how the film was received, the Hearst controversy, etc.

It's not dry or academic at all, in fact he's very warm and conversational throughout. One of the best commentaries I've heard.

#22 sycasey 2.0

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 02:39 PM

View PostCameron H., on 19 May 2018 - 09:04 AM, said:

I think I’m going to try to do this as often as I can for these movies. Fortunately, here’s one already done for me :)




The Simpsons will provide a lot of material whenever a Kubrick or Hitchcock movie is done too.

#23 Cameron H.

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 09:52 AM

Out of curiosity, where is everyone at with the AFI list?

Currently, I’m at 74 on the 1998 list and 81 on the 10th Anniversary list.
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#24 grudlian.

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 02:39 PM

On both the original list and the anniversary list, I have six that I haven't seen on each. Since two of them (Sound Of Music and Yankee Doodle Dandy) overlap for a total of 10 I haven't seen yet.

#25 Cameron H.

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 03:25 PM

View Postgrudlian., on 20 May 2018 - 02:39 PM, said:

On both the original list and the anniversary list, I have six that I haven't seen on each. Since two of them (Sound Of Music and Yankee Doodle Dandy) overlap for a total of 10 I haven't seen yet.


I haven’t seen seen Yankee Doodle Dandy, either. I was going to pick it for Musical Mondays but went with Blue Hawaii instead. I failed us both...
Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#26 grudlian.

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Posted 20 May 2018 - 04:13 PM

View PostCameron H., on 20 May 2018 - 03:25 PM, said:


I haven’t seen seen Yankee Doodle Dandy, either. I was going to pick it for Musical Mondays but went with Blue Hawaii instead. I failed us both...

I'll just assume you knew this podcast was coming and knew we'd get to it here. Because I'm honestly still not considering it for my short list.

AFI also did other lists and had covered the top 25 American musicals too. So, there is always one of these selections: http://letterboxd.co...atest-musicals/

#27 Cam Bert

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 04:59 AM

View PostCameron H., on 20 May 2018 - 09:52 AM, said:

Out of curiosity, where is everyone at with the AFI list?

Currently, I’m at 74 on the 1998 list and 81 on the 10th Anniversary list.

I thought I had more but I am at 60 and 64 respectively. I mean I know that I haven't watched a lot of the older ones like Yankee Doodle Dandy and Swing Time but I guess the most shocking one that I haven't watched is Rocky. I think I know so much about it that I feel like I've seen it and just never bothered. Oddly I've seen most of the sequels.
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#28 The Triple Lindy

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 05:28 AM

View PostCameron H., on 20 May 2018 - 09:52 AM, said:

Out of curiosity, where is everyone at with the AFI list?

Currently, I’m at 74 on the 1998 list and 81 on the 10th Anniversary list.

Damn, I'm behind. I'm at 55 on the 2007 list. Most are from the old B&W/silent era but there are a couple, like Lawrence, Network, and Ben-Hur that I'm a bit ashamed to admit never seeing, but like Paul with CK, I felt like they were ubiquitous enough to say that I basically get the gist. I know I'm way wrong about that but ...

#29 Cameron H.

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 06:09 AM

View PostCam Bert, on 21 May 2018 - 04:59 AM, said:

I thought I had more but I am at 60 and 64 respectively. I mean I know that I haven't watched a lot of the older ones like Yankee Doodle Dandy and Swing Time but I guess the most shocking one that I haven't watched is Rocky. I think I know so much about it that I feel like I've seen it and just never bothered. Oddly I've seen most of the sequels.


I had watched all the sequels first, too. I would argue that they are definitely "fun" movies, the original is legit great.

View PostThe Triple Lindy, on 21 May 2018 - 05:28 AM, said:

Damn, I'm behind. I'm at 55 on the 2007 list. Most are from the old B&W/silent era but there are a couple, like Lawrence, Network, and Ben-Hur that I'm a bit ashamed to admit never seeing, but like Paul with CK, I felt like they were ubiquitous enough to say that I basically get the gist. I know I'm way wrong about that but ...


I haven't seen Ben-Hur yet (I have, however, seen the one that came out last year), so I'm looking forward to that. I just saw Lawrence of Arabia last year, and it was freaking incredible.
Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#30 Cam Bert

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:46 AM

View PostCameron H., on 21 May 2018 - 06:09 AM, said:

I haven't seen Ben-Hur yet (I have, however, seen the one that came out last year), so I'm looking forward to that. I just saw Lawrence of Arabia last year, and it was freaking incredible.

I second this. I watched it as well not that long after Cameron and I was blown away by Lawrence of Arabia. Words fail me for how great of a movie it was. I would say the same about The Treasure of the Sierra Madre which I also watched late last year.
My Howdy sense is tingling. Break out Google maps and my abacus...there's a C&O to be solved! And this time, it's personal...
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#31 Cameron H.

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 07:59 AM

View PostCam Bert, on 21 May 2018 - 07:46 AM, said:

I second this. I watched it as well not that long after Cameron and I was blown away by Lawrence of Arabia. Words fail me for how great of a movie it was. I would say the same about The Treasure of the Sierra Madre which I also watched late last year.


Sierra Madre was really, really good. Intolerance made me want to throw my laptop out of a window.
Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#32 sycasey 2.0

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:10 AM

76 from the 1998 list.

81 from the Anniversary list!

Though on some of these I'm unsure what "counts." I feel like I've seen all of Gone with the Wind, but maybe just in pieces over the years. I'm not sure I've actually sat down to watch it straight through. But I also have vague memories of maybe having to watch it over several days in a classroom or something?

Anyway, I'm still not sure why Forrest Gump is on both of these lists.

#33 The Triple Lindy

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:43 AM

View PostCam Bert, on 21 May 2018 - 07:46 AM, said:

I second this. I watched it as well not that long after Cameron and I was blown away by Lawrence of Arabia. Words fail me for how great of a movie it was. I would say the same about The Treasure of the Sierra Madre which I also watched late last year.

My 2-year-old accidentally rented Treasure of the Sierra Madre when she had gotten ahold of the Firestick remote, so we watched it and I loved it. Again, it's one of those that you don't realize gets referenced everywhere.

#34 Cameron H.

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 09:35 AM

View Postsycasey 2.0, on 21 May 2018 - 08:10 AM, said:

Anyway, I'm still not sure why Forrest Gump is on both of these lists.


Oh, I have questions about a few of the movies on these lists. The Sixth Sense? Really?
Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#35 sycasey 2.0

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 10:20 AM

View PostCameron H., on 21 May 2018 - 09:35 AM, said:

Oh, I have questions about a few of the movies on these lists. The Sixth Sense? Really?


I kind of understand Forrest Gump making the 1998 list, since that was just a few years after it was a big smash hit that won all the Oscars. But by 2007 I thought people had largely figured out that it wasn't quite the modern classic we'd originally assumed.

And yeah, nominating Sixth Sense after Shyamalan's career had started to hit the skids also seems weird. Maybe it wouldn't have made it if they'd voted after The Happening.

#36 sycasey 2.0

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 10:40 AM

View PostThe Triple Lindy, on 18 May 2018 - 03:40 PM, said:

I think Shakespeare is a perfect comparison to Citizen Kane. I go to the theater quite often, and there are many things I would probably rather sit through than Shakespeare, but you can't deny how good most of Shakespeare's work is ... every line is both revelatory of the speaker and well-wrought as an English sentence. Plus his every work is ubiquitous in culture ... you'll find references to it everywhere.


Just to get back to this . . . oh boy yes is Citizen Kane hugely Shakespearean. For most of the supporting characters you can draw an obvious analogue to someone from Macbeth or Hamlet.

Jed = Banquo
Susan = Ophelia
Bernstein = Horatio
Thatcher = Claudius

Fundamentally the story is a Shakespearean tragedy, just updated to a modern setting (or modern to the time it was made) and told in non-linear fashion. Welles certainly had a fascination with that kind of figure, given the Shakespeare movies he made later. It's interesting how he wanted to do "old man" characters even when he was young.

#37 Cameron H.

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 12:01 PM

View Postwilberfan, on 17 May 2018 - 04:18 PM, said:

A pretty good start to an interesting concept for a podcast.

Regarding your twin surprise at Susan's singing voice: I must say I've never heard anyone think Susan Alexander's singing "wasn't that bad!". To my ears--and those of everyone with whom I've ever seen the film--Susan's singing was obviously quite bad--at least by tough opera standards (and I know very little about opera!). Sure, maybe she's better than Roseanne on the mound, but Charles was 'forcing' a woman with sub-par skills to humiliate herself every night in front of people who knew exactly how far she was falling short. Even the 'working class' stagehands could tell how bad she was. It's the entire motivation for her suicide attempt...


The way I saw it she definitely has some raw talent, but she doesn’t necessarily have the chops - nor the desire - to go pro. It’s like you can be a funny person but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have what it takes to be a comedian.

She was good singer in a “singing for friends in the parlor” kind of way.
Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)

#38 FictionIsntReal

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 05:20 PM

I also didn't care for Citizen Kane when I saw it as a child (because it was on the AFI list). I didn't care for Gone With the Wind or Lawrence of Arabia either.

I was surprised neither Amy nor Paul had seen How Green Was My Valley or even knew it was in black & white (there were separate cinematography awards when color became more common but b&w hadn't died out).

View Postjoel_rosenbaum, on 19 May 2018 - 03:32 AM, said:

(As an aside, it's easy to forget that Hearst was an avowed fascist who once said, "Whenever you hear a prominent American called a fascist, you can usually make up your mind that the man is simply a loyal citizen who stands up for Americanism.")

I couldn't find that quote on Hearst's wikipedia/wikiquotes page, and none of the searching I've done has come up with a primary source. I did find Stephen Gottlieb's "Unfit for Democracy" citing Jonathan Alter's "The Defining Moment" (which notes that Hearst lumped his opponents in with Mussolini & Hitler after turning against FDR). Hearst did seem to endorse dictatorship in "Gabriel Over the White House" (prior to his shift* against FDR), but I'm skeptical he ever avowed himself to be a fascist. Part of my skepticism is due to Hearst already being known for apocryphally saying "You supply the pictures and I'll supply the war", which makes no sense in the actual context of the Spanish-American war (I suppose the Kane-derived idea that his mistress was an untalented actress is another bit).
*Rodney Carlisle denied that there was any significant change in Hearst's fundamental views, while acknowledging that like a number of turn-of-the-century Progressives he became something of a crank in old age.

#39 sycasey 2.0

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 05:42 PM

View PostCameron H., on 21 May 2018 - 12:01 PM, said:

The way I saw it she definitely has some raw talent, but she doesn’t necessarily have the chops - nor the desire - to go pro. It’s like you can be a funny person but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have what it takes to be a comedian.

She was good singer in a “singing for friends in the parlor” kind of way.


Yes, I think that's how it's played. She's a good singer who can carry a tune, but she's not a top-shelf opera singer . . . not even close.

#40 Cameron H.

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 06:23 PM

Paul mentioned in the episode that he was initially put off by the film’s structure, and I totally get that. However, what I did like - although I didn’t necessarily appreciate at the time - was the opening news reel. Yes, it was an exposition dump, but when the movie gets going in earnest, it proved to be a sort of Rosetta Stone, allowing the audience to grasp where they are in Kane’s life without interrupting the flow of the movie. By getting it out of the way at the top - in a type of bulletpoint-y way that wouldn’t have seemed entirely alien to it’s contemporary audience - it allowed the movie to unfold more organically and shift its focus to where it needed to be while providing a bit of dramatic irony.


Chilly: I'm telling you, man, if we had management, we'd be riding around in limousines, wearing leather pants, and buying condos. Can I eat this roast beef?
Body Rock (1984)

Seb: Maybe you just liked me when I was on my ass 'cause it made you feel better about yourself.
La La Land (2016)