Saturday, December 22, 2007

Citizen Kane

I just watched this again for the first time in a decade or so. I've probably seen it between 20 and 30 times since my time as a film major in college nearly 30 years ago. I had to write several papers on it in various classes. The one that always sticks out for me was about the sound techniques in the scene where 'Boss Jim Geddes' has just confronted Kane in Susan's apartment in front of Emily. Kane refuses to drop out of the election in the face of Geddes' extortion, and Geddes leaves shaking his head at Kane's foolishness while Kane thunders "I'm Charles Foster Kane" from the top of the stairs. That paper (10 pages or so) is still in a chest in the attic somewhere.

Even after so many viewings, that film still sends chills up my spine with the depth and breadth of its genius. Every square inch of the film, every technique used, is shaped with such expertise and expressiveness -- mastery. He was only 24, and was new to filmmaking.

That depth and saturation of technique, artistry, expression, is what I want to see with knowledge art as well. The medium is capable of it, it just needs the genius to emerge. Could be happening now, somewhere.

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