Friday, December 14, 2007

20:07 (Citizen Kane)

Screenshots from the 20th minute and 7th second of a movie

I got two surprises in my inbox the past couple of days, both 20:07 related. First, I received an e-mail from Kris Tapley (who you know from Red Carpet District and In Contention) expressing love and admiration for this long running and very soon ending [sniffle] series and he sent this image from Citizen Kane. With the following words:

First and foremost, I'm one of those people who thinks the cliché is a cliché for a reason. To my mind, Citizen Kane is the greatest film ever made for a number of reasons, not the least of which being Gregg Tolland's innovations behind the camera...which is where I come to this image.

The framing, the way Kane's father is captured in his belligerence the same as his mother is captured in her apathy, and certainly, the notion that there is Kane in the distance, caught between the decision that would change his life forever. In the end, it's a moment that will cause him to harken back to the innocence he left behind when, on his death bed, he exhales the most infamous word in all of cinema.

Suddenly I was struck with the notion that, of all the images of considerable merit in Citizen Kane, this one might indeed be the most thematically valuable.

I truly love this film the more I watch it, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to send this note along.
Thanks, Kris. I love the film too. Though here's an inexplicable fact and odd confession: I've only seen it once. You'd think I'd revisit.

Anyway, 20:07. I'm so glad this series has ignited so much curiousity and am thrilled that my very random impulse spreads like a cinephiliac virus --the best kind to catch. Next: total world domination. Mwaahaaahahaa

Second thing. I received an unexpected donation (Thanks James!) totalling $20.07. That's so cute and every little bit helps. It isn't easy juggling two jobs and this is the one I love. I'd rather let the other balls drop. So if you're feeling generous this holiday season, you can click on the little donate button and you make my life as a struggling writer $howevermucheasier. It's really a simple formula. Money = Time for writing. I won't be doing another huge fundraiser until I'm done with those "requests" (10 more to go --eep) but it is Christmahanukwanza so you can always add me to your gift list if you're a wonderful person. And if you're reading regularly, I can only assume that you are.

Happy Holidays!

Next week @ The Film Experience: Jennifer Jason Leigh, more awards hoopla, ABBA, thoughts on Sweeney Todd and Atonement, more Vanity Fair cover(age), the final week of 20:07, and then... a wee break for Christmas before the Year in Review festivities / Film Bitch Awards hit. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

JAMES sounds like a really sassy guy! Happy Holly-Days!


yeah. those Jameses of the world... what can you do?

tspatil said...

I respect the comment on Citizen Kane, but my personal opinion is along the lines of film scholar Ray Carney who says the film is "an all-American triumph of style over substance... indistinguishable from the opera production within it: attempting to conceal the banality of its performances by wrapping them in a thousand layers of acoustic and visual processing."

I personally was not moved by Citizen Kane, and like Carney, think it is one of the most hyperbole laden, over-rated films in the history of cinema.