February 21, 2024
Citizen Kane | Movies | San Luis Obispo

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  • Photo Courtesy Of RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
  • IS THAT YOU, WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST? Orson Wells directs himself as publishing tycoon Charles Foster Kane, in the 1941 classic Citizen Kane, screening on Jan. 19, as part of the Bay Theatre’s Salty Cinema series.


What’s it rated? PG

When? 1941

Where’s it showing? Bay Theatre on Friday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. ($10 at my805tix.com)

There’s a reason Citizen Kane frequently tops lists for the greatest film ever made. On a technical level, there’s its innovative lighting design, which is further highlighted by filming in black and white even though color was available at the time. Cinematographer Gregg Toland was praised for his inventive camera focusing technique, as was the dramatic editing by Robert Wise. It was star Orson Welles’ debut as director, and his groundbreaking nonlinear storytelling was masterful.

Technical aspects aside, it’s a terrific story that begins with publishing magnet Charles Foster Kane’s death, focusing on his final utterance: “rosebud.” What did it mean? The film, through flashback episodes of his life and in correspondence and interviews, lays bare his spiritual and ethical decline.

You can see the film, which was loosely based on the life of William Randolph Hearst, on the big screen at Morro Bay’s Bay Theatre this Friday, Jan. 19. Watch as investigative reporter Jerry Thompson (William Alland) searches for the meaning of Kane’s last words through archives and interviews with Kane’s business manager, an old friend, and a past lover, and in the process unearths the portrait of a powerful man whose successes appear pyrrhic. (119 min.) Δ

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