Ebertfest Day Five – Citizen Kane

Citizen KaneIf you enjoy watching movies even a little bit, then Citizen Kane is required viewing as far as I’m concerned. I would hope that everyone in attendance for the last viewing of Ebertfest had seen the film at least once because we viewed the film with Roger Ebert’s commentary playing over.

Citizen Kane is known as the best movie ever made and I will not debate this (mostly because I agree) but I will say that even after seeing the film at least half a dozen times, Roger Ebert’s commentary blew my mind the first time I listened to it. It is an incredibly detailed commentary of the film and unless you are experienced in critical film analysis it will probably blow your mind.

Ideally, we would have watched the film in its entirety and then immediately watched the commentary because Roger’s track is so packed that I don’t think a single line of film dialogue makes its way in. Regardless of this, the commentary is so enlightening that you don’t need a deep knowledge of the film to appreciate it. In fact, during the Q&A session, Roger sent up a note that he apologized for the woman in the lobby demanding her money back for someone talking over the film the whole time, apparently she didn’t get the memo.

If you own Citizen Kane, and you should, I would urge you to check out this commentary on your own. If you have four hours to spare sometime, watch the movie then stretch, get a drink, and put on the commentary. I did this as soon as the 70th Anniversary Blu-Ray came out and was blown away then too.

As a way to close out Ebertfest, I cannot even imagine anything more perfect. To hear Roger’s voice again was emotional for me, and when Chaz Ebert came back on stage, she was in tears. Luckily Roger recorded commentary tracks like this before he lost his voice in 2006 because they are incredible. To bring his voice back to the Virginia Theater for Ebertfest was fantastic.

As for Citizen Kane…

I give it 5 out of 5.

Some interesting Ebertfest links:

The festival’s main site: http://www.ebertfest.com/
Stream the interview sessions for free: http://ustre.am/JauL


Rotten Tomatoes


15 responses to “Ebertfest Day Five – Citizen Kane

  1. Pingback: Ebertfest Wrap-Up | Andy Watches Movies

  2. It’s one of my favorite films of all time, though I like The Godfather Parts I and II a little bit more. Orson Welles’ direction is incredible, and it’s undoubtedly one of the greatest films ever made.

    • I’ve always been more fond of Citizen Kane but there is a huge part of that appreciation after watching this commentary. There is so much going on that would never even occur to me I wonder if it was intentional because it is that genius.

  3. you have a sentence left unfinished: “It is an incredibly detailed analysis of the film and unless you are experienced in film analysis.”

    i’m not sure if i’m going to review this film other than to simply talk about what the film was about, just as i did the others. at the same time, there’s nothing really to say that hasn’t been said. the only purpose might be in case someone reads my blog and hasn’t seen the film, then it might interest them enough to see it for the first time. yeah, good enough reason.

    i didn’t stay for a discussion afterward as i had to hit the road. i left immediately and got home about 6am, but that’s because my gf had to go to work the next day, but luckily she got enough sleep in the car.

    • Oops! Fixed that whole sentence, thanks for proofing.
      I wasn’t sure if I was even going to count this as a film I watched but I have seen the movie enough times to know what was going on and I’ve already watched the commentary track so I wrote this basically just to recommend. Other than Chaz coming out, the discussion wasn’t terribly enlightening, David Bordwell came back out and spoke a little bit about the film, but really, Roger covered it all with his commentary.

  4. Nice post. Like the previous commenter, I also noticed you have an incomplete sentence. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t seen this film in its entirety. We started watching it for a class but didn’t finish it. I was loving the film, though, and I thought the camera work was spectacular, but for some reason I haven’t completed. I should do it soon.

  5. Pingback: April Movies Round-Up | Andy Watches Movies

  6. Nice. I really liked this one, but I think it’s a bit overrated. Maybe it’s because I saw it when I was ten or eleven years old, which was the age at which I was trying to go through all the (wholesome) movies on AFI’s “100 Movies…” list. That age was a prequel, so to speak, to my film obsession. Back then, I would give this a 4/5, but I’m sure I would understand a lot more of the themes and plot, so I think I’d best to be giving it a second watch. I’m already planning on re-watching a few classics this summer, such as Gone with the Wind and The Jazz Singer (also saw those two at that age and loved them), so I’ll try to add Citizen Kane to my re-watch list.

  7. Pingback: The Movie Freak Blog – Movie Questionnaire | Andy Watches Movies

  8. Pingback: Breakfast at Tiffany’s (12/16/12) | Andy Watches Movies

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