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Monday, October 3, 2011

Citizen Kane 1941 Classic Review

When it comes to Citizen Kane, one question eclipses all others: Is it the best film ever made?

For years, I have avoided writing a review of this movie, intimidated perhaps by its immense reputation. Having missed the 1991 fiftieth anniversary revival, I had only seen Citizen Kane on the small screen, and it didn't seem right somehow to discuss a picture of this magnitude without viewing it at least once in the manner originally envisioned. Well, some five years after I started writing reviews, the opportunity arose at a small film festival. This review is the result of that screening.

Citizen Kane has been lauded as the greatest motion picture to come out of America during the black-and-white era (or any era, for that matter). It also represents the pinnacle of Orson Welles' film making career. For, although Welles lived for more than forty years following the release of Kane, he never succeeded in recapturing the brilliance or fulfilling the promise of his first feature. Some maintain that his cut of The Magnificent Ambersons was more powerful, but the studio took the film away from him, slashing more than 40 minutes of footage. And, while Welles' Shakespeare movies and A Touch of Evil contain elements of brilliance, they are not on the same level as Kane. It has been argued, most forcefully in Thomas Lennon and Michael Epstein's 1996 documentary, The Battle Over Citizen Kane, that Kane not only started Welles' directorial career, but nearly ended it.

The movie opens with an unforgettable image of a distant, fog-shrouded castle on a hill. It's a classic gothic shot, and goes a long way towards establishing Citizen Kane's mood. We quickly learn that this place, called Xanadu, is the dwelling of America's Kubla Khan, Charles Foster Kane (Welles), a one-time newspaper magnate who could have become President if not for an ill-advised extramarital affair. Xanadu, in the words of the faux newsreel that gives a brief history of Kane's life, is the "costliest monument of a man to himself." Any resemblance to The Ranch, William Randolph Hearst's real-life San Simeon abode, is not coincidental.

Within moments of the film's eerie, visually-stunning opening, Kane is dead, uttering the word "Rosebud" as he hunches over. His death, like his life, is a big news event, and the paper he owned, the New York Inquirer, is desperate to unearth the meaning of his cryptic last word. Is it a woman he bedded? A horse he bet on? A beloved pet? Some long-lost, unrequited love? The truth, which isn't revealed until the closing scene, represents one of the all-time greatest motion picture ironies, and leads us to believe that, on some level, Kane regretted not having led a simple, quiet life.

After showing Kane's death, Citizen Kane presents a ten-minute "newsreel" that details the man's larger-than-life accomplishments. Then, as a reporter (William Alland) from the Inquirer digs into Kane's past to learn the meaning of Rosebud, the mogul's history is unraveled through a series of extended flashbacks that represent the sometimes-overlapping, non- chronological accounts of five eyewitnesses. As the story unfolds, we see Kane, aided by his closest friend, Jedediah Leland (Joseph Cotton), build a nationwide newspaper empire out of one small paper with a circulation of less than 30,000. To do so, he displays equal parts ruthlessness and generosity, willing to lose 1,000,000 dollars a year to win the circulation wars. His New York Inquirer specializes in bold, splashy headlines that don't necessarily represent the truth. By the time he marries Emily Norton (Ruth Warrick), the President's niece, Kane is one of the most powerful men in America -- a public giant with designs on the White House.

Eventually, Kane moves into the political arena, but his bid for the governor's office crashes and burns when his rival, Boss Jim Gettys (Ray Collins), exposes Kane's affair with Susan Alexander (Dorothy Comingore). Following this failure, Kane divorces his first wife, marries Susan, then goes into seclusion in his unfinished palace of Xanadu. As the years pass, he becomes progressively more bitter and less approachable, until Susan, weary of Xanadu's isolation, leaves him. Alone and unloved, Kane awaits the inescapable hand of death.

The script for Citizen Kane, written by Herman J. Mankiewicz (with an assist from Welles), is a thinly-disguised fictional biography of publishing king William Randolph Hearst, who was 76 years old when the movie came out in 1941. And, while Hearst was offended by Welles' characterization of him, he was supposedly more angered by Kane's unflattering portrayal of his beloved mistress, Marion Davies (who is represented in the film by Susan Alexander). To add insult to injury, "Rosebud" was allegedly Hearst's pet name for Marion's private parts.

Kane is not, however, all Hearst. There's more than a little Welles in the character, and, when one examines the direction the film maker's life took after Kane, the similarities become more obvious. After peaking with Kane, Welles began an slow-but-inevitable descent into isolation, eventually dying of a heart attack in 1985. Like Kane, he was a vital, passionate figure in youth, but a sad, pathetic one at the end. (Who can forget the Paul Masson commercials?) In retrospect, Kane can be viewed as being as much a representation of Welles as of Hearst.

Back in 1941, Hearst exerted his considerable power and influence to destroy Citizen Kane before it opened. He failed, but, even though Kane saw the light of day, Welles' young career (he was only 25 at the time) did not escape unscathed. A smear campaign in Hearts' papers branded him as a communist. Kane, nominated for nine Oscars, emerged with only one (best screenplay), and "boos" could be heard whenever the film was mentioned during the ceremony. And, before Welles had completed post-production, RKO wrested control of his next picture, The Magnificent Ambersons, from him.

As a film, Citizen Kane is a powerful dramatic tale about the uses and abuses of wealth and power. It's a classic American tragedy about a man of great passion, vision, and greed, who pushes himself until he brings ruins to himself and all around him. Of course, the production aspect that makes Citizen Kane so memorable is Greg Toland's landmark cinematography. In fact, it's impossible to have a serious discussion about this film without mentioning this element.

The movie is a visual masterpiece, a kaleidoscope of daring angles and breathtaking images that had never been attempted before, and has never been equaled since. Toland perfected a deep-focus technique that allowed him to photograph backgrounds with as much clarity as foregrounds (note the scene where Kane's parents discuss his future while, as seen through the window, the child plays outside in the snow). There's also an extremely effective low-angle shot late in the film where Kane trashes Susan's room. The cinematography documentary, Visions of Light, devoted an entire section to Citizen Kane. If any other film has come close to the nearly-perfect artistry of this one, I haven't seen it. Anyone foolishly wondering how black-and-white images could be superior to color needs only to watch the first few frames of Citizen Kane to understand. Not only is it impossible to envision this picture in color, the very thought is blasphemous.

There's no doubt that Citizen Kane was far ahead of its time. Uncompromising, unsentimental drama of this sort was not in vogue during an era that was better known for titles like The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and How Green Was My Valley (which beat out Kane for best picture). In challenging Hearst, Welles forced a clash of egos that had wide-ranging repercussions. Yet, out of the conflict, Citizen Kane emerged stronger than ever. Would the film be as compelling if we didn't know how close it came to never being released? Or if we didn't recognize the parallels between the life of the main character and that of the director?

All of this brings me back to the question that I opened the review with: Is Citizen Kane the best movie ever made? Many critics would argue "yes" without pause, but my enthusiasm is more restrained. While I acknowledge that Kane is a seminal masterpiece, I don't think it's the greatest motion picture of all time. Even so, there's no denying the debt that the movie industry owes to Welles and his debut feature. Motion picture archives and collections across the world would be poorer without copies of this film, which will forever be recognized as a defining example of American cinema.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pirates of the caribbean 4 : On Stranger Tides Review

Few could disagree with the choice of players. If one could choose only two humans in all of existence to actually seek out the Fountain Of Youth, they'd be hard-pressed to find a more suitable pair of specimens than Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz , worth rooting boisterously for. Two extraordinarily attractive actors drunk with talent but made special by their unique gift for embracing the silliness, they bob, feint and parry their way through Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, an altogether undeserving film. They do act, in short, their way out of this cinematic paper bag.

There are a few interesting ideas afloat in this fourth installment of the Pirates franchise, most intriguingly how the English, under King George II, commandeer various 'Privateers' to sail for them, so they can stay abreast with the feared Spanish Armada. These privatized pirates are a fascinating thought, and it is tremendously entertaining to see one of the series' most legendary sea-dogs looking even more sinister when in uniform and invoking His Majesty's will. In this particular film, in fact, he feels more of a conventional leading man than even Sparrow.

Then again, Jack -- "there's a captain in there somewhere" -- Sparrow would sooner be dead than conventional. By now clearly Depp's flagship character, the devastatingly original and uncannily charismatic charlatan is a hoot as ever, and it is wonderful indeed to watch him lurching magnificently around on screen again -- even if the lines are weak as bilge-water and the plot is predictable. And then there's the jawdropping goddess Cruz, playing Angelica, the only woman to give Jack "stirrings", and justifiably so -- O perfect, pneumatic, pirate's daughter Penelope.

The cast and characters are, without question, the finest part of this film. Ian McShane has a wild old time as the infamous Blackbeard, looking like a grizzly old nightmare version of Sparrow himself. Geoffrey Rush, unencumbered of having to teach monarchs how to enunciate, sinks his teeth into Hector Barbossa's part yet again, the role meatier this time than ever. Keith Richards returns as Jack's father Captain Teague, while Richard Griffiths is visibly tickled as he plays King George II. And nobody has ever quite carried off mutton-chop sideburns like Kevin McNally's Joshamee Gibbs.

Yet despite this smashing bunch, Jack putting the 'arr' in Sparrow and his eyebrow-singeing chemistry with the swoonworthy Angelica, the film disappoints because of its complete lack of ambition. Director Rob Marshall, the man behind Chicago and the inexcusably hideous Nine, never quite seems to find an assured footing on board this ship. The action sequences, of which there are far too many, are long-drawn and exhausting. There is, as said, extreme predictability in an all-too-convenient movie constructed by the numbers. Oh, and there's way too much room given to a blubbering priest who speaks in platitudes and deserves to be shark-bait. Wit and smarts are here replaced by vampire mermaids and zombies, and that really is all you need to know.

There is a Jack voodoo doll, the Black Pearl will return with a perhaps tiny fleet, and Ponce Da Leon's skeleton has a fabulous moustache, to be sure, but that makes up for little in the final tally.

The first Pirates movie was a great adventure, the second extremely enjoyable while far too cartoony, the third an overcrowded mythological minestrone staggering under the weight of its own bloat. This fourth is an unoffensive and entirely unimpressive venture, a piece of popcorn that doesn't even try to be anything interesting. It's just not savvy.

It's like a forgettable hit song, a random piece of bubblegum. And 'yo' never worked as well as 'yo-ho-ho!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

FOREX-Dollar up on yields; euro slips on Irish downgrade

Dollar supported by higher Treasury yields, U.S. tax cuts

* Euro slips after Fitch downgrades Ireland

* Market awaits 30-yr U.S. debt auction, U.S. jobless claims

(Adds comment, updates throughout)

By Naomi Tajitsu

LONDON, Dec 9 (Reuters) - The dollar edged up on Thursday, still supported by a jump in U.S. Treasury yields this week, while the euro slipped after ratings agency Fitch downgraded Ireland's sovereign debt.

Fitch cut its rating on Ireland to BBB+ to reflect the additional costs of restructuring Dublin's ailing economy and banking sector, after Dublin secured a bailout from its European neighbours last month. [ID:nWLA0394]

The dollar continued to draw support from an extension of U.S. tax cuts announced this week, but further gains were capped as a retreat in the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield from a six-month high hit on Wednesday quelled demand for the dollar.

Analysts said the extended tax cuts were seen as supportive for the economy and therefore the dollar, while U.S. Treasuries have sold off heavily this week, as the stimulative move fuelled fears of inflation and deteriorating U.S. fiscal health. [US/]

"The latest fixation is the tax issue and that's created a bond angle, and it's created a growth story that is positive for the U.S.," said Daragh Maher, FX strategist at Credit Agricole.

Other analysts said investors were wary of taking on big positions as liquidity dries up towards year end, and this was why the dollar's rise had been limited compared with the jump in Treasury yields.

The dollar index has risen only 0.7 percent this week as the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield has soared around 25 basis points.

"We've seen a corrective move in U.S. Treasuries, whereas at the moment, we don't see a need for such a corrective move in the dollar," said Antje Praefcke, FX analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

The U.S. bond market may be vulnerable to more selling if a 30-year U.S. Treasury auction on Thursday attracts only limited demand. A 10-year auction on Wednesday saw average demand.

The dollar index .DXY, which tracks the dollar's moves against a currency basket, inched up 0.2 percent to 80.172. It crept above its 100-day moving average at 79.953, which seen as supportive for the U.S. currency.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bihar Board Matric Result 2010 | BSEB Intermediate 2010 Results, Patna | Bihar School Examination Board

Bihar Board Matric Result 2010 Or BSEB Intermediate 2010 Results, Patna Has Been Announced By Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB).

Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) Has Declared The Intermediate, Secondary Examination Results 2010 Or Intermediate, Vocational Examination 2010 Results.

Student Can Check This BSEB Intermediate, Secondary Examination Results 2010 At Website. To See This Intermediate, Vocational Examination 2010 Results You Need To Enter Your Roll no.

The Bihar School Examination Board is established for holding and conducting an examination at the end of the Secondary School stage, for prescribing course of studies for such examination and for carrying out such other objects and duties as may be considered necessary for the purpose as stated in the Act, Rules and Regulations of the Board.

To Read more about visit at Official Website Of Bihar School Examination Board.


JKBOSE 12th Results, JK BOSE 2010, J K Board Of School Education

Get The Latest updates related to jkssb, jk bose, jkbose results, jkbose results, india results pseb, jkbose, jkbose 12th results, jk bose, jkssb, j k board of school education, JKBOSE 12th Results, JK BOSE 2010, J K Board Of School Education.

Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education Has Been Declared The Result of Higher Secondary Part Two Bi-Annual - 2010 Or JKBOSE 12th Results.

JK BOSE Also Announced The Higher Secondary Part Two examination results and consequent to Re-evaluation kargil

Student can check all these JKBOSE 12th Results, JK BOSE 2010 or JKBOSE Part Two Bi-Annual 2010 Results at their official website of Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education :

You Can Check Your Result Of JKBOSE 2010 Either Searching by Roll Number or Searching by Name.

The Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education was established in 1975 under The Jammu and Kashmir State Board OF School Education Act, 1975 to advise the Government on matters of policy relating to Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Higher Secondary Education and other matters pertaining to promotion of Education for All
For More Detail About JKBOSE Visit At official website of Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education :


Maharashtra SSC Results Oct 2010 At, 10th Board Result Oct

MSBSHSE SSC Result Oct 2010 Or 10th Result Oct Has Been Announced By Maharashtra State Board for Secondary and Higher Secondary Education on Dec 7, 2010 at 11:00 Am.

This SSC examination results October 2010 Now Available At Official Website Of MSBSHSE :

You Can Also Check Your 10th Result Oct 2010 Directly Using Following Direct Link From You Just Need To Enter Your Roll No.

Candidate who want to apply for re-evaluation for their marks can submit their application from December 11, 2010. The last date for submitting re-evaluation application form is Dec 20.

Related Tags : MSBSHSE SSC Result Oct 2010, ssc result oct 2010, ssc result october 2010, ssc result, 10th Result Oct 2010, SSC examination results October 2010, October 2010 Examination Result for Std. X (10th)


Burdwan University Result 2010 Part 2 At

Hello Friends Here Is The Latest Updates Related To burdwan university result 2010 part 2, burdwan university result, burdwan university result 2010, exametc, the university of burdwan

Burdwan University Has Announced The Result of B.A. 3 Year Degree Honours and General (Under Pattern 1+1+1) Part-I & Part-II Examination 2010 On 8 Dec 2010.

Candidates Can Check This Burdwan University Result 2010 At Official Website Of Burdwan University.

To Check Your Burdwan University BA Result 2010 You Just Need To Enter either Your Roll No. or College Code : CHECK RESULT


Burdwan University Also Announced Admission to MBA, MBA(HR), MBA(Tourism) during 2011-12 For More Detail You Should Visit At Official Website Of Burdwan University.