Long upheld as the supposed “Greatest Film of All Time,” Orson Welles’ original opus, the astounding Citizen Kane, is one of few films to be labeled with such a title and manage to live up to its insurmountable reputation. Kane continues to be a paragon of cinematic ingenuity, with its erratic and inventive story structure, pioneering cinematography, and ingenious balance of wit, charisma, pathos, and commentary. The boundless influence of its grandeur has spilled into all manner of pop culture, starting with the redefinition of the medium itself in 1941 where, despite attempted oppression from the threatened studio heads and newspaper barons, its impact was already measurable and large. Citizen Kane is vital with energy in ways even many modern films fails to achieve. From the magnetic central performance of Welles himself to the enrapturing photography of the legendary Gregg Toland, Kane is truly the end-all-be-all of classic American cinema. Though Welles’ career was never given the same opportunity for unbridled creativity again, his visionary talents continued to flourish and expand. He never quite escaped the long shadow of his first feature though, but when it’s a film as colossal and inspiring as Citizen Kane, it’s not hard to see why.
0:00 Christmas at The Twin Geeks
13:28: How to with John Wilson
17:06: HBO Max fallout and the relationship of streaming and the theater
46:31: Citizen Kane