I finally got around to watching Citizen Kane yesterday, which I'd never seen. It's been sitting in its little red Netflix envelope on top of our TV since June, taunting me, and for the first few months I didn't realize that Tom had already seen it and that I didn't have to wait for him. Oops. Anyway, I can now at last say that I've watched what many claim is the greatest movie ever made.
It was...good. For its day, it was quite good. It was certainly better than the other movie we watched this weekend (Transformers...the impressiveness of the special effects was directly proportional to the insipidness of the dialogue). But greatest movie ever made? Meh.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I finally watched it. I don't feel like I wasted 2 hours of my life in the process (Crash, anyone? Last Tango in Paris, perhaps?). But there are plenty of other films out there that have been more thought-provoking, more suspenseful, more intriguing, with better character development, better acting, better writing. I think the main thing is that it's really difficult to compare movies from different genres and eras. Plus, I am obviously more likely to be able to relate to a film created and set in the present day than one made forty years before I was born and set another ten or twenty years before that. You certainly couldn't remake Citizen Kane today, not without drastically changing the circumstances and punching up the plot. That it's not something easily remade makes it a classic, for sure, but it doesn't necessarily make it great.
Anyway. At least now I know that Hannah (in Playing by Heart) was actually saying "Why don't you go find a theater that's showing Citizen Kane and yell out, Rosebud is a sled?" and not "Rosebud is a slut." Hehe.