The BEST movie you've never seen

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Re: The BEST movie you've never seen

Postby LizR » Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:52 pm

Sid Rat wrote:I watched it for the first time just the other day. It was on one of the movie channels. It's often billed as the greatest movie ever made. It must have gone right over my head because I didn't find it to be anything special. It wasn't because it's 'an old black and white movie' because I have enjoyed many such films over the years.

I did see the opening sequence, it was a sort of surreal collage of scenes culminating in a mouth saying "rosebud" if I remember correctly (?)

Whatever it was, I didn't feel the urge to watch the rest.

It might be interesting to watch it having first read up on all the history about Randolph Hearst and Orson Welles, I guess, but seeing it at this date with no context seems unlikely to work.

Although if someone wants to do a similar job on Rupert Murdoch (or even Mark Zuckerberg) I'd probably watch that.
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Re: The BEST movie you've never seen

Postby shuzbot » Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:35 am

We can't watch Citizen Wells as it first appeared then because it accumalted several artistic and technical traits that had not converged until that point.

John ford had used muslin ceilings to hide microphones and had ceilings built as part of sets. Other directors had shot low down to converge the two. The cinematographer, Gregg Toland had been an expert in the use of deep focus cinematography, but Orsen brought all these together in a way that emulated realism with expressionistic traits such as fades and chiarasuscuro lighting that hadn't been combined before.

It bored the arse off me, but let's not pretend that it wasn't until innovative in 1942. For one shot they even dug a trench to shot from a low enough angle. That's dedication. It earned its reputation. It was stylistically and technically innovative.
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Re: The BEST movie you've never seen

Postby LizR » Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:49 am

shuzbot wrote:We can't watch Citizen Wells as it first appeared then because it accumalted several artistic and technical traits that had not converged until that point.

John ford had used muslin ceilings to hide microphones and had ceilings built as part of sets. Other directors had shot low down to converge the two. The cinematographer, Gregg Toland had been an expert in the use of deep focus cinematography, but Orsen brought all these together in a way that emulated realism with expressionistic traits such as fades and chiarasuscuro lighting that hadn't been combined before.

It bored the arse off me, but let's not pretend that it wasn't until innovative in 1942. For one shot they even dug a trench to shot from a low enough angle. That's dedication. It earned its reputation. It was stylistically and technically innovative.

Yes I (more or less) guessed as much. That opening sequence (from memory) seemed like it was pretty innovative for the time. Having since, I'm sure, been imitated countless times - probably by films that have a more comprehensible narrative structure - means it didn't particularly grab me.

Plus you need to appreciate the historical context of Orson Welles taking on Hearst and other magnates. If you know enough of the history involved, I'm sure that would make it far more interesting, but it's a "film à clef" and without the key I suspect it's fairly meaningless to a contemporary audience.
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Re: The BEST movie you've never seen

Postby Cygnus Prime » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:12 pm

paulhickling wrote:
Servorobot wrote:
Cygnus Prime wrote:I have never seen VERTIGO (but keep meaning to).


Boy have you been missing out Cygnus.

Vertigo is one of my all time favourite films. There is so much going on there that you need multiple watches just to get it all.

And the colour green is very significant (as is grey). I always have a soft spot for films where colours are significant.

You won’t be disappointed.


And the music score by Bernard Herrmann is incredible.



As of last night I have now finally seen it.

I went in blind and had no idea what the plot was, just knowing that James Stewart is hanging off a roof at some point.

I gasped out loud at that moment, totally not expecting it. And the film kept me guessing all the way.

A masterfully crafted work and I have now read that
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Difficult to talk about it without giving anything away and it really is best going in blind to this movie.

Well deserving of it's high reputation - and I watched the documentary about the making of and restoration of it afterwards too.
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Re: The BEST movie you've never seen

Postby StarQuake » Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:29 am

LizR wrote:
shuzbot wrote:We can't watch Citizen Wells as it first appeared then because it accumalted several artistic and technical traits that had not converged until that point.

John ford had used muslin ceilings to hide microphones and had ceilings built as part of sets. Other directors had shot low down to converge the two. The cinematographer, Gregg Toland had been an expert in the use of deep focus cinematography, but Orsen brought all these together in a way that emulated realism with expressionistic traits such as fades and chiarasuscuro lighting that hadn't been combined before.

It bored the arse off me, but let's not pretend that it wasn't until innovative in 1942. For one shot they even dug a trench to shot from a low enough angle. That's dedication. It earned its reputation. It was stylistically and technically innovative.

Yes I (more or less) guessed as much. That opening sequence (from memory) seemed like it was pretty innovative for the time. Having since, I'm sure, been imitated countless times - probably by films that have a more comprehensible narrative structure - means it didn't particularly grab me.

Plus you need to appreciate the historical context of Orson Welles taking on Hearst and other magnates. If you know enough of the history involved, I'm sure that would make it far more interesting, but it's a "film à clef" and without the key I suspect it's fairly meaningless to a contemporary audience.

If you're interested in cinematography, pretty much every shot is great. Story-wise it's just about a not very likable rich guy who misses his childhood toboggan.
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Re: The BEST movie you've never seen

Postby LizR » Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:33 am

StarQuake wrote:If you're interested in cinematography, pretty much every shot is great. Story-wise it's just about a not very likable rich guy who misses his childhood toboggan.

I believe there'sa ton of subtext but "you had to be there" to get it. (For starters, it appears "Rosebud" may not be just the name of a sled...)
"I’m mentioning these things now not in an attempt to garner sympathy, but out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces” — J.K.Rowling

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Re: The BEST movie you've never seen

Postby shuzbot » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:55 am

Kane was based on William Randolph Hearst who tried to get the film destroyed.

I remember there's an extremely low shot in one scene where they dug a trench into the floor of the audio to get it.

Also, there's a samurai film that emulates on the shots in Kane where the young Kane is playing in the snow and the camera pulls back through the window. The way it's done in Zatoichi and the One-armed Swordsman is a bit different and slightly comical.
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Re: The BEST movie you've never seen

Postby paulhickling » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:50 pm

Interesting that both Vertigo and Citizen Kane are being discussed here. Both with interesting scores by one of my very favourite film composers, Bernard Herrmann. The difference is that Vertigo is top-drawer entertaining, and CK is of course a very acquired taste. The music is better in one than the other, though I do still like both.

The first is an easy watch because Hitchcock made brilliant popular taste films and Orson Welles is doing what new young firebrand directors do. I only saw CK once because of the reputation and the composer, and I was bored and perplexed as to what the hell I was watching. Of course I was a kid then, and maybe one day I might give CK a go again.

Vertigo was one of my first dvds, and will have to get a Blu ray probably next. I think the difference for me is obvious....


CP, so glad you watched Vertigo. Magic film from Hitchcock's best period.
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Re: The BEST movie you've never seen

Postby StarQuake » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:04 pm

The score for Vertigo is amazing. Just incredibly atmospheric. I don't own many film scores, but Vertigo I've had for years.
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Re: The BEST movie you've never seen

Postby shuzbot » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:15 pm

Just watching Rebecca with the commentary on. They love drawing similarities between Rebecca and Citizen Kane. I don't think Welles would have approve as he was quite disapproving of what he referred to as the cult of Hitchcock.
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