What was the motivation to pull the old reputedly-greatest-movie-ever-made down off the shelf? Some conversation about putting together a story by interviewing various people who knew a specific individual one had never met and wanted to try to understand. I said that's the famous, highly praised narrative structure of "Citizen Kane," you realize, but you didn't realize that because you'd never seen "Citizen Kane." How do you get through life without seeing "Citizen Kane"? People are always pushing "Citizen Kane," which you rightly pointed out is a reason to resist it. So thanks for not resisting it when I pushed it, which I did not because I'm shocked that you'd failed to take in the greatest movie blah blah blah — in fact, I admire resistance to that sort of pressure — but because it had to do with an idea we were already talking about that had nothing to do with the irritating pseudo-accomplishment of seeing all the things you're supposed to see.
"Citizen Kane" questions for discussion:
1. Why did you see "Citizen Kane," or how have you managed to avoid it? Have you been bullied into seeing it, or are you one of the bullies? Do you feel like there are movies you're supposed to see, and do you see them or avoid them?
2. If you've seen it, do you like it? What don't you like about it? Do you like that kind of extreme visual composition where one actor is right up against the edge of the frame and the other actor walks away into the set and looks about one tenth the size of the other guy? Do you like that stagey acting? Do those special achievements in makeup from 1941 drive you crazy or do you find them heart-rendingly touching evidence of striving after Art?
3. With all this snow we've been having, we could make a list of movies with important snow, and "Citizen Kane" belongs on that list. What else? "The Shining"...