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AFI#1 - Citizen Kane

WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AFI PROJECT COMPLETE! It only took me, she said sarcasitically, 8 months almost to the day. I _really_ never dreamed it would take so long. More than twice my worst case scenario timeframe, but hey, its done!

Planned a low key victory party last night, which ended up being rather poorly attented. The roomie and one other guest were here for the movie, then we were joined by another person once the Rock Band portion of the evening commenced. It was still fun, and 4 people means no fighting over Rock Band instruments.

Okay, so what did I actually think of the movie? I was quite pleasantly surprised by it.

The biggest WHAAAA??? for me is how light most of the film was. I'd always imaged it was this really intense drama, but it was really funny (though it was still a drama, not a comedy) and had a lot of very tongue-in-cheek moments. After that realization, we all sorta sat up and paid even more attention, really getting absorbed by it.

Also, this is one of those few instances where Im glad I was spoilt for the film (dont worry, I'll still be crytpic, I wont say anything). I'd learned long ago was "Rosebud" was, even though I had zero context for that information at the time. Knowing that got me to pay a bit closer attention to some key scenes, that I woulda otherwise missed. I think I woulda been somewhat pissed off (not to mention confused) finally finding out the answer the mystery cause it wouldnt have felt very satisfying. As it was, the two other peeps here were surprisingly unspoiled, and they were incredibly confused by it.

Now, the million dollar question: Do I believe this really is the greatest film ever made? Noncommittal answer: I can definitely see where it gets that reputation. The film was pretty damn near flawless (bout as close as you could get). Incredible and intriguing narrative, superb cast, great direction, and masterful effects for its time (I need to rewatch the scene where he's speaking to a large crowd. IMDB trivia tells me the crowd was a photograph with holes in it that they'd pass a light through to give the effect of movement).

I find the typical "Greatest Movie Ever Made" debate tends to fall between this and The Godfather. Personally, I prefer The Godfather, but I think that's just cause I like my stories dark. I find that, in general, people on The Godfather end of the debate tend to be more passionate about it, but I can also see how that film would be more offputting to some. Whereas Citizen Kane feels a bit more accessible, and likely to be better received by more people (if less fervidly). Kane does have the special effects (for its time) win, so I guess that's another thing that ultimately gives it an edge.

But ultimately, quite happy that I finally saw this film, and I really did enjoy it. I feel so much more educated now :-D

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