Fellow Film Club Members & Movie Buffs:
The TFC theme for August is “Western Movements/Western Moments
Well, Summer is half gone already. We all enjoyed the terrific party at Jim Robbins’ home; with a fine turnout, deep fellowship, & terrific food. It is now time to kick things back into gear & begin our screenings again. Director Michael Kagen will distribute our TFC placards over at the Grand Cinema, & perhaps we will be welcoming new members to our fold very soon.
This Friday, August 1. 2014, the Tacoma Film Club is truly excited about screening what is considered the finest film ever made, CITIZEN KANE (1941). Most everyone knows it was co-
written, directed, produced, & starred a 25 year old Orson Welles. He made his primary living as an actor, appearing in 120 films from 1941-1987; always contending that he used most of his money to finance his directing career. He directed 46 films during his career, including THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (1942), THE STRANGER (1946), MACBETH (1948), TOUCH OF EVIL (1958), THE TRIAL (1962), CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (1965), & THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (1972).
He won two Oscars, the first for co-writing CITIZEN KANE, the second as a lifetime achievement. He founded the famed MERCURY THEATRE on the radio in 1937, & broadcast WAR OF THE WORLDS in 1938. Most of the films he directed, including KANE, were financial & commercial failures–but in retrospect he is lauded as a Master Filmmaker. He died at 70 in 1985.
Welles said, “I started at the top & worked down.” & “Just keep Ted Turner & his goddamned crayolas away from my movie (CITIZEN KANE).
CITIZEN KANE (1941)
Directed by Orson Welles @ 119 minutes.
Written by Orson Welles, John Houseman, & Herman J. Mankiewicz.
The film stars Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, Ruth Warrick, Everett Sloane, Paul Stewart, with cameos by Nat “King” Cole, & Alan Ladd.
Synopsis: This is a tale about Charles Foster Kane, a man whose extraordinary rise to fame was only matched by his downfall off “the top of the world”–& of the journalistic quest to understand & decipher his final utterance: Rosebud.
Tagline: It’s terrific! The classic story of power & the press.
A year in the making–& every minute an exciting new thrill.
I hate him! I love him! Hero or heel, scoundrel or saint, or
just a crazy genius?
The Musical Score was written by Bernard Herrmann, & it was his first score for a movie. He wrote scores for 85 films between 1941-1975, including JANE EYRE (1943), THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951), THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO (1952), THE MAN IN THE GRAY FLANNEL SUIT (1956), VERTIGO (1958), NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959), PSYCHO (1960), CAPE FEAR (1963), FAHRENHEIT 451 (1966), & TAXI DRIVER (1976).
The Cinematography was done by Gregg Toland, who shot 66 films from 1926 to 1948 (died at 44 years of age), including BULLDOG DRUMMOND (1929), INDISCREET (1931), TUGBOAT ANNIE (1933), LES MISERABLES (1935), WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939). THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940), THE OUTLAW (1943), BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946), & A SONG IS BORN (1948).
TRIVIA: Made for 700K, despite a lot of publicity, the film was a financial flop at the BO. It even got booed at the 1941 Oscars every time one of its 9 nominations was announced. William Randolph Hearst, a friend of Welles’ father hated the film, and politicked against it relentlessly; never letting any of his vast empire of newspapers run ads for it, or any other RKO film for over a year, calling Orson Welles a communist, among other things.
It has since been revealed that “Rosebud” was Hearst’s pet name for Marion Davies’ ( his long time mistress) clitoris. The opening of the film, only having the title & no more of the credits was unprecedented in 1941.
Welles & Toland pioneered several types of new techniques for camera work. The original title for the film was AMERICAN, later JOHN Q. Orson Welles’ Oscar for KANE was Auctioned off in 2011, selling for $ 861,542; more than the budget for the whole film.
Rotten Tomatoes rated it at 100% Critic’s Approval, with 91% of Audience Approval; quite the rise from being an embarrassing flop in 1941.
John C. Firm of VARIETY wrote: “Orson Welles has found the screen to be as effective for his unique talents & showmanship as he did on Radio & in the legitimate Theatre.”
Chris Cabin of SLANT MAGAZINE wrote: “Welles’ deeply haunting depiction of the life of William Randolph Hearst has long been synonymous with the director’s spectacularly odd & genuinely tragic career.”
So mark your Calendars for this Friday, August 1. 2014, & join the Tacoma Film Club for the screening of “the most important movie ever made”, Orson Welles’ CITIZEN KANE (1941). It will screen at the Center for Spiritual Living, located at 206 N. J Street, on the Corner of J St. & Division, across the street from Group Health hospital.
Arrive early, around 6:15 p.m. & join some of us downstairs in the kitchen area for fellowship & snacks. Those who wish may bring snacks & beverages, including wine, to share with others–but please remember to clean up after yourselves, & no food or drink is allowed upstairs in the sanctuary where we will watch the movie. CITIZEN KANE will be shown at 7:15 p.m. & it runs 119 minutes; so the show will be over before 9:30 p.m. See you at the movies!