Page 4 of 6

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 7:04 pm
by admin-2
hey curt:

I don't know if this is REALLY the case, But I think that the message in CITIZEN KANE may be the reason why so many people from all over the world find it great. Going beyond its technical brilliance (something I take from what you wrote, you don't deny), I think the questions the film raises are...shall we say...universal!

How would you like to be remembered when you're gone? If you died tomorrow, would you like to be remembered as the person who defended Brad Pitt on www.foreignfilms.com? (I like him by the way, when he works with directors who know how to use him...Fincher and Gilliam in particular) I'm sure some of us on this board would define you by that ONE SMALL fact. But I think they would be wrong. You're more than that one little thing. If you died with the word s__t as the last thing you said, would that define you? KANE asks a simple question...can we ever truly KNOW someone? I think the reason why people love and identify with the film is because they also do not want to be remembered for what they are perceived to be, but for who they are. The sad thing is, that will never happen, because we all project our own prejudices and neuroses onto the people (and films?) that we encounter. Our perception of the person (or film?) will always be faulty because most of us cannot see beyond the ends of our noses. John Waters once said that when he dies he knows that the first thing that will be mentioned in his obituaries will be the fact that he got the late, great female impersonator Divine to actually eat real dog s__t on camera. I think that's right...and it's sad. He's so much more than his film PINK FLAMINGOS.

I've watched KANE at least 20 times from start to finish. I've probably listened to it over 100 times in my video store. Every time I see it, I see or hear new things that make me think of the "theme" I talked about (I can't believe how many "clues" are sprinkled throughout this film). Maybe I'm weird that way, but I enjoy spotting new things in this film. I guess it's like that for people who like to spot all the little subversive "flashes" sprinkled throughout FIGHT CLUB. Actually...I think I'm gonna check out FIGHT CLUB again tonight. I was gonna watch an old George Stevens film tonight, but I need some of that "male aggression" you talked about in your review above.

Anyway...thanks for your comments on KANE. I hope you'll check it out again some day!

DEREK

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 4:01 am
by Curt46n2
Man, I really hope I don't come off as an arguementative jerk when I say this, but I'm just trying to express my opinion and provoke thought.

Patsfan, you said that you often watched movies for the purpose of learning. I do this too. I completely agree with the idea that some people watch films just to be educated. But, the reason that they want to be educated is that for them (including myself) learning is very fun. Adding to your intellectual reservoir is always entertaining. So even if you watch the film to be educated, you are still being indirectly entertained by the film. Example: I watch A&E's Biography series whenever I get the chance. I don't sit down and say "Boy this biographer on steel baron Andrew Carnegie sure is a blast! I've been sitting on the edge of my seat since he was a stock clerk! " But I will say that it is an enriching, interesting show. Because it posseses these qualities, it is entertaining to me. Perhaps we just have different definitions of "entertainment."

Admin2/Derek
You have convinced me to give the film another try. I remember the one scene where Kane and his wife are eating breakfast and they show them aging when they move from a shot of Welles's face to that of the actress protraying his wife. That was an amazing scene. I'm glad you will watch Fight Club again, and agree with your comments on Pitt being impressive when directed by Fincher or Gilliam. Seven was another great movie.

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 2:27 pm
by admin-2
Hey curt:

I haven't been quite that honest with you. I will try to change that now.

When I read your original post on KANE, I was really upset that it was the first Welles film you saw. The truth of the matter is, whenever someone comes into my video store and says something like, "I've heard I should check out Orson Welles' films...What do you suggest?", I never suggest KANE. I always suggest TOUCH OF EVIL, THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI or even THE STRANGER first. Not because I think they are "better" films, but because they are solid "entertainments" that don't quite have the reputation KANE does. If these "newbies" like those films, then I'll suggest KANE and MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS. If they don't like them...well...the truth is.. I tried...But, I won't lose any sleep.

I have also been less than forthcoming regarding why I think KANE is the greatest. The real reason is that I think the film is perfect! What I mean is...for the life of me...I've tried to find something wrong with the film. Questions of whether it is "boring" or not don't enter into my evaluation on this point. Some of my favourite films of all time are deeply flawed. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S is a great, fun film, but I cringe every time Mickey Rooney's racist streotype comes on the screen. THE GODFATHER is a lot of fun, but there are scenes in the movie that I don't necessarily think are important to telling the story. I get a kick out of the scene where Jimmy Caan is bangin' the wedding guset against the door, but if it was gone, it wouldn't LOWER my appreciation of the film (and they do usually cut THAT scene out on regular t.v. broadcasts). I can't say that about KANE. I've tried my damnedest to find ONE thing in it that isn't needed to tell the story. I used to think it was the cockatiel. I don't know if you remember it, but when the film goes into the butler's flashback, all of a sudden, a bird squawks very loudly! I thought, "What the hell was that all about?". Is that the flaw I've been looking for? Then I read an interview with Welles where he said the reason he did it was, I'm paraphrasing, "The movie is two hours long! I realised that some people may have fallen asleep. I put that there to wake them up so they will see the ending!"...I have yet to find anything to replace that damn cockatiel and I have studied the film to death! Maybe next time you check it out you can spot something.

I didn't get a chance to watch FIGHT CLUB again last night. My roommate, who hates violent movies was watching a women's hockey game (it's her t.v. so I have to sometimes put up with that kind of stuff). For the record, women's hockey is becoming just as violent as men's. I'm going to the premiere of a short film one of my staff made called, "THE BUSINESS OF SUICIDE" tonight and I plan to get very drunk (I have a suspicion I'll need to), so I think I'll wait until Thursday to give Fincher's flick another go (I'll need the time to recover from tonight, I'm sure!).

Respectfully yours,
DEREK

P.S. You mentioned SE7EN. I'm allowed one DVD (to add to my collection) as a bonus each week for managing my store (the owner barely pays me enough to survive!). SE7EN sits on my DVD shelf at home alongside SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and THE SEVEN SAMURAI. They're all great films and a hell of a lot of fun!

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 5:38 pm
by patsfan86
Great points Curt. And I agree, in fact I had said in one of the earlier posts that if done well they will both inform and entertain me. I guess with me it's just a matter of making things black and white or prioritizing them. When I go into a film/documentary and the reason I am wanting to see it is for educational purposes, then that is the way I concentrate on keeping it while I'm watching it. Afterwards, when I have time to reflect on what I've seen I can go back at a later time and watch it a second time for nothing but enjoyment if I want. But more times than not, I try to keep the two seperate. That's just the way I've always done it.

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 10:18 pm
by gratefultiger
on CITIZEN KANE ROBERT MCKEE gives a great & provocative critique in the J'ACCUSE series.most interesting as he expounds a 4th theory as opposed to the accepted 3 theories on the meaning of ROSEBUD etc.he calls it "THE BAD WRITING THEORY" a persuasive argument as he tears kane apart!
all style no substance? well i still love it but it is not above criticism of course. cheers

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2002 3:25 am
by Arletty
The cockatiel anecdote has entered into my store of dinner table conversation. Thanks to admin-2. Good posts on Kane and Pitt. Good to see the give and take on this board.

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:06 pm
by katsuben
Gosh, I seem to have missed the boat in recent times. I have nothing of interest to add to the Kane/Ambersons discussion since I admire Touch of Evil more than either (although one reason why is the function of Quinlan's cane, which obviously requires some knowledge of Kane to appreciate!). My ten is just *a* ten, and not necessarily a top ten because I have no idea how to justify to myself what constitutes "top" (re-watchability perhaps, but I'm not so sure that is an entirely valid reason). Here goes (chronological order, excluding umpteen no-brainers):

It's a Gift
The Major and the Minor
Gilda
Force of Evil
Unfaithfully Yours
Sweet Smell of Success
Rio Bravo
Day of the Dead
Showgirls
Bowfinger

I'm all for some mud-slinging re: the above!

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 15, 2002 2:46 pm
by admin-2
DAY OF THE DEAD?!! Why you...You...You had DAWN OF THE DEAD and MARTIN to choose from and you went with...

GREAT LIST!

Quinlan's cane? (Guffaw! Guffaw! Guffaw! Perfect!)

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 2:55 am
by nickpilarski
ordinary people
Shakespeare in love
deer hunter
It's a wonderful life
one flew over the cookoos nest
Chocolate
sent of a woman
roger and me
moment
Shindler's List (spelling)

Re: The Forbidden Topic (Enter at your own risk!)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2002 3:04 am
by nickpilarski
ordinary people
Shakespeare in love
deer hunter
It's a wonderful life
one flew over the cookoos nest
Chocolate
sent of a woman
roger and me
moment
Shindler's List (spelling)