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In Reply to: RE: Sorry, but pointless is pointless . . . posted by RGA on March 26, 2022 at 01:54:27
We agree on POTD -- I watched Citizen Kane and thought it was also pointless, as I didn't understand the politics at the time. I picked it up at the lcoal Library and it also cam with a DVD explaining the movie.
After watching the DVD and Understanding that the whole movie was a Parody of William Randolph Hearst. Hearst has such Power at the time that he got the movie banned for over 10 years. And you do know what Rosebud was?
After watching the DVD, I thought the movie was hilarious and it all made sense... And realized that it is ranked in the top 3 movies of all time.
I actually knew this the first time I watched Citizen Kane. It's somewhat the same reason I prefer Shakespeare's comedies to his Tragedies because my worldview doesn't associate greatness with a person's wealth or power. In the UK that is tied to royalty and in the US it is tied to wealthy business people - they are seen as "superior humans" and "chosen by God" to be more successful.
The idea of the tragedy is that we are supposed to feel especially saddened when someone "great" (king or wealthy businessman) has a falls from their high born position. Kane suffers the desire of power through corruption and vanity and long for his childhood innocence which is what Rosebud (his sled) represents.
My favourite play, which is also a sad commentary on the American Dream, is Death of a Salesman which is about a regular Joe six-pack hopelessly trying to achieve the American Dream in a career is hopelessly no good at and will never achieve.
Kane achieves the American Dream but it ultimately didn't make him happy. I see far more happiness and smiles and joy when I go to the Philippines with people living in shacks than I ever witness from Rich Americans - Donald Trump only smiles when he is doing something nasty to someone. Otherwise, he looks miserable - and of course he does - he has to buy his women.
Thematically, Kane should be up my ally - what is important is not found in "The American Dream" and chasing that wealth and power at the expense of your soul will leave you an empty vessel. But it just doesn't work for me - I like the film but I don't "love" the film.
I find it more tragic that the Willy Lomans of the world (middle-class Americans) strive for this American Dream and 99.9% of them will never attain it and they are missing out on life as a result. They're duped. To me that is tragic. Kane's lot was his own doing. It's his sort of media empire that convinces the Willy Loman of the world to keep up with the Joneses. Ultimately, I prefer to watch Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich's version of "Death of a Salesman" over Citizen Kane.
Hey, it's free on youtube too.
is key; also, the conceit that strengthens the emotional hit is that if someone so powerful is brought low by his or her own all-but-inescapable flaws, what awaits us?
Welles masterwork is about the journey of a passionate young man from wide-eyed optimism and fraternity to an an elderly figure, withdrawn, alone, failed. The poignancy of the fall is made clear only at the very end.
I didn't love citizen Kane, but did think it was very clever and funny. And I believe that if you were alive at the time of the movie and paying attention to the politics of that time, there were probably a lot more nuances than you and I caught....
"I find it more tragic that the Willy Lomans of the world (middle-class Americans) strive for this American Dream and 99.9% of them will never attain it and they are missing out on life as a result. They're duped. To me that is tragic."
They're all probably saving up to buy Audio Note Speakers :-)
"And I believe that if you were alive at the time of the movie and paying attention to the politics of that time, there were probably a lot more nuances than you and I caught...."
Absolutely. I think the films you grow up with have far more impact fo you than future generations will view them.
When I was a kid and saw Dawn of the Dead - it was the goriest film made and well-reviewed - and I still enjoy it.
But if you show this to a Walking Dead fan who is 25 - they'll laugh at Dawn of the Dead. Sure some will look to the ideas/themes but it just doesn't hold up with modern eyes.
Don't even start on audio - the prices just keep going up and up. More than my salary - I've been on a 2 year wage freeze - a pandemic - but without a cost of living increase you effectively get a pay cut.
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