Dir. Orson Welles
US 1941 | Black & white | 119 mins | Cert U | Drama
Cast: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorthy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead
Rightly regarded as a groundbreaking masterpiece, Orson Welles’ debut remains a monumental achievement, its imaginative scope amply repaying countless viewings.
Seldom seen on the big screen in recent years, Welles’ witty, gripping film famously views the controversial life of the late Charles Foster Kane (Welles) – a media tycoon partly inspired by William Randolph Hearst – from the sometimes contradictory perspectives of his friends, employees and mistress. It’s an extraordinary work, not just technically (Gregg Toland’s cinematography, Bernard Herrmann’s score, the editing, design and quietly bravura direction are all superb); but in its dramatic sophistication and thematic richness. An affecting meditation on memory, self-knowledge, solitude and mortality; a wry reflection on fame, fortune and the spirit of America; an exhilarating exploration of the artistic possibilities of the film medium – Citizen Kane is all this… and so very much more.
– Geoff Andrew
Available on: 35mm
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