Monday, October 13, 2008

The Real Rosebud

One of my prized possessions is a book about the film, "Citizen Kane." I don't think a lot of people have this BIG book (14 x 10.5 inches!) and I am really a lucky one! Got this in a National Bookstore sale for P90!!! It was piled with a lot of "junk" books and found this treasure underneath them.
It is one of the best films I have seen so far and even if I have watched it many times, I am still in awe with the talent of Orson Welles as a director. He made this debut film in 1941 when he was 25 years old. Very versatile---he was the actor, director and co-writer.


"The 25-year old Welles was at first unprepared for the demands of acting before a camera. Having acted on stage for many years and directed and produced radio broadcasts, he was an able director. However, with film, unlike live performance, it is essential that actors hit their chalk marks, and this was something Welles found difficult to do. After completing his scenes during rehearsal he would ask for constructive criticism from the cast, gaining confidence in his ability to move before the camera. Sometimes he would watch another actor move through his own scene just to get an idea of what he looked like on film. In return, he would scrutinize the actors' movements and insist on perfection."


A little trivia: Welles broke his ankle while filming the scene in which Kane chases Gettys down the stairs of Susan Alexander's apartment the night before the election. A real pro, he continued directing in a wheelchair!


The American Film Institute placed this film at number one of the 100 GREATEST U.S. MOVIES OF ALL TIME in 1997 and 2007!


"Citizen Kane" unfolds before our eyes through the recollections of many people in multiple flashbacks searching for cinema's greatest secret: Rosebud.

The symbolic sled 'Rosebud' used in the film was bought for $60,500 by film director Steven Spielberg in 1982. Spielberg commented, "Rosebud will go over my typewriter to remind me that quality in movies comes first." (Wikipedia)

Below is a postcard I have from Absolut---Rosebud is a vodka bottle!

Look at how Welles destroys the stage for his camera placement! Shooting from the floor enhances the stature of the actor and is a perspective that was employed repeatedly for Welles' screen appearances.

Welles had nine different sets of false teeth and implants made to change his appearance and facial structure in order to simulate the human aging process. He is even made into a 70-year old man! Beat that!

Here he directs a scene in a fin de siecle brothel that was ultimately cut from "Citizen Kane." The original screenplay was censored by the Production Code Office for depicting Georgie as a madam and for setting a scene in her brothel. The scene introducing Georgie had to be rewritten, elilmating Georgie completely and replacing the prostitutes with dancing girls.

The camerawork of this film is excellent and should be the guide of our current crop of filmmakers. If your debut film is like Welles, you don't have to make another film. I bet you're going to be in history books if you are a genius like Welles!

A politico should copy this stage design---great presence for anyone who's speaking/campaigning during election fever!
The poster magnet I got from Duty Free Phils. for $1.

8 comments:

jepayuki said...

wow, this is interesting....please lend me the movie and the book! =) i know that citizen kane is the number one film of all time, but i never really took the time to see it. enighten me further twin =)

Twin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Twin said...

jepayuki, one of the perks of being a student in my class is they get to see/touch the book and watch the film with me. too bad, i'm not going to be your teacher at any given time hehehe...

eye in the sky said...

one of the greatest films of all time, citizen kane is. that era had so many good films. some of my favorites: it happened one night, casablanca, whatever happened to baby jane, breakfast at tiffany's and so many others. what a golden era of films.

tr3nta said...

One of the best movies I ever seen!!!

Twin said...

@ Eye, so true...I also like Hepburn at Breakfast at Tiffany's---love the jewelries hehe...

@ tr3nta, its 30 right? Spain colonized us for hundreds of years, some of our words came from your country. Your photos are really amazing! Keep it up. I am so envious of your visual talent...

Pietro said...

This is an interesting post. Wonderful images and very good text.

Twin said...

Thank you Pietro for dropping by. Cheeers!