The first in a news series bringing to light little known filmic gems and rarities that have somehow managed to slip through the collective cinematic consciousness. You’re welcome.
1. Citizen Kane
Made in 1941, this ‘black and white’ film (as they were known) was the cinematic debut of renowned radio actor Orson Welles.
Although largely forgotten today, Orson Welles was quite the celebrity in his time, not only for his many talents as an actor and director, but also for his uncanny ability of eating all the pies and leaving nothing for his then wife Rita Hayworth.
The film sketches a posthumous portrait [SPOILER ALERT for that] of a Rupert Murdoch like media mogul – based apparently on someone called Hearst – whose rise to power leads to loneliness, obesity and morbid nostalgia. Now this might not sound appealing, but don’t worry, it really is worth a watch.
Why? Well, for one thing it’s told in a jigsaw mess of contradictory narrators as an anonymous reporter seeks the meaning of Kane’s last word ‘Rosebud’. With cameraman Greg Toland, Welles experimented with a whole series of tricks and even today the film looks fresh and original, even though it is undeniably in Black and White.
It might be difficult to get a copy, but if you ever have the chance of seeing it, don’t listen to the naysayers of the lame-stream critical community, give it a chance and you shall be rewarded.
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