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Commentary,  Culture

The Contemptible Citizen Kane

Where we expose the insipid Orson Welles movie, as a rankling propaganda piece.

It is surprising they were able to get away clean, with this cover-up and whitewash, and hardly a soul seems to have jumped in to condemn the rotten pestilence. But nothing should surprise you any more. In fact, the people who did step up were censored, mocked, and subjected to all the usual hysteria and cover-ups.

Kane poster terrific

Oddly, though we’re talking about something almost universally praised, called “the very best,” there’s something very confidence-inspiring about trashing this crud. That is, the film can be torn apart with complete assurance, because every criticism can be backed up with facts, unlike the praise. We can conclusively say it is indeed, objectively, bad. In that, Citizen Kane, is an important movie, because it is an exemplary showcase of outright lies and propaganda, a model of guile to twist and manipulate the public.

Daffy Duck saying despicable

Naturally, original advertisements claim, “It’s Terrific!” in a sad misrepresentation.

Citizen Kane covers for the despicable William Randolph Hearst, which proves, without the need for any other justification, that it’s tripe.

A rewriting of history to whitewash the man, in a tricky way where they didn’t have to commit to actually saying it is Hearst. Its lies solidify Citizen Kane as one of the worst movies of all time, which is a fascinating reversal, but not surprising when we consider how many things we’re sold on are complete BS.

Then there’s the presentation itself, the looks and artistry. You have to laugh at the critical fawning over this stinker. For a start, it doesn’t help in the least that we are constantly reminded it’s a movie, on cheap sets that have all the charm of Ralph Kramden’s miserable apartment on The Honeymooners.

Those obvious backdrops, so bountifully praised by the press, are ugly and cringe-worthy. Who the hell in their right mind, after viewing those, could then even tolerate this fawning puff-piece, this dark, claustrophobic bore?

The story meanders and repeatedly stalls, like an old jalopy. It fawns over Hearst, who was a war criminal, and repeats its pathetic “theme” to justify the fool’s behavior, “Oh, he’s just searching for love…” Huh? Yes, they had to use a lot of fancy-pants tricks, part of a lifelong series of lies we’re fed, to try to perform the unlikely lionizing of Hearst.

The film is presented as “a series of loosely related vignettes.” That is to say, it’s disjointed.

The worst is all the hype and misrepresentation. Welles didn’t do all this himself. You can’t trust any critic or slavering fan. The sycophants gush over Welles “inventing” film-making techniques that had been around long before, all these tropes and clever devices, like a calendar advancing to represent time passing. Historians in a position to know contradict the notion that the film was at all inventive.

Welles didn’t write it, it was after someone else’s script; Welles didn’t film it, he found an experienced cinematographer.

As Goody Two-shoes is teased, “Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do?”

Jibberer Nicholas Barber, in an admiring crock of plop for the BBC sez:

Citizen Kane is an encyclopedia of techniques: a 114-minute film school which provides lesson after lesson in deep focus and rear projection, extreme close-ups and overlapping dialogue. The reason it’s so vibrant is that its own director was learning those lessons too.

So that means it was amateurish, then, if the director was visibly “learning lessons” in film making.

Welles is, inexplicably, darling of the media. The brashness of the imbeciles asserting that Kane is unquestionably great, based on pure presumption, is an interesting ploy. There’s another claim, about how Kane invented something else, a fundamental — oh yes, the rehearsal. At this point, they’re just plain nuts with their BS. Oh no, no one in the world was rehearsing anything before Welles came around and set the standard. Easy stomach, easy now…

These sycophants, called “critics,” don’t get the job just because they’re sycophants, they are relatives and associates, perhaps through various clubs or organizations.

The makeup, though, was quite fine, particularly the “old man makeup” Welles wore, for the era, at least on the small screen. Some of the dramatic pans, like upwards from the stage into the rafters, were nice effects. But even if they had been new creations pioneered in Citizen Kane, it would have made Kane innovative, a technical accomplishment, not one of the best.

Any “innovation” has to be with purpose, in making the movie fresh, memorable or breathtaking. With Kane, the technical aspects don’t add up to a good-looking movie. Any lauded “innovation” is largely in the shills’ and fan-cucks’ heads An ugly film with a few dashes of flair just doesn’t cut it. A great movie is consistently wonderful, always admirable.

If such innovation fluttered from the mind of Welles, then why wasn’t it adopted, and why do so many ’40s and ’50s movies look the same: lifeless, drab, artificial? It wasn’t until the ’60s and especially ’70s they discovered the great outdoors existed! Going outside was a great innovation, discovering you could strip the paint off the tarps and actually film in the real world.

Then there’s the overuse of the “Dutch angle,” or tilted camera technique, which Battlefield Earth was pilloried for. Grasping at straws, the sycophants say, “Oh, it was filmed from below!” It is the perspective you’d get if you were in the audience watching a play on a stage. Hardly a work of genius. The director played around with camera angles and lighting, like any director does. Big deal.

Kane is like those bleak old British films that no one should be forced to watch. It wasn’t moving or mind-opening or inspirational, just tedious. To be clear, it’s monstrous idiocy to tell us we must admire and love this BS.

It doesn’t help that these old Hollyweird drama movies already lack soul. (Or, they’re the most insidious commie propaganda, like His Girl Friday — called a “comedy,” by humorless lunatics.) There’s no free will in those crappy old Hays era movies. That’s because the ending is never in doubt. It was policy that the bad guy had to always be punished by the end. Where is the sense in that? It doesn’t happen in real life. Are we so shallow that we have to be constantly fed fantasies to dull the hard truth? No wonder the new era introduced by violent and gritty new-style movies of the 1970s hit so hard, but was so welcome.

Ah, Citizen Kane, how I hate you. The most disastrous, horrible, great movie of all time.

For a true measure of a good movie, there’s a simple, obvious measure: Is it re-watchable? Big, fat fail there, too.

But… it would simply be another unremarkable picture, but for there being a far more interesting tale to be told. Of how Hearst’s propaganda machine helped get the U.S. into the unjustifiable Spanish-American war, and how he acquired and maintained his riches. There needs to be a real biographical tale of the meaning behind the castle at San Simeon, and his other houses. But particularly the yellow journalism, and the relationship with the government. Or how he became a Great Gatsby sort of host, with his opulent, decadent parties.

If you’re unconvinced, they will try to tell you that Kane is a “satire.” You can’t call it a satire when the character being satirized isn’t remotely like the real-world character, with only a few tangential similarities.

Here’s a review from Metacritic just as valuable as that of the slobbering “professional” critics, but mercifully more brief:

Just a word, this is a life movie . I like it so much! It is one of bests in history

They really heap the praise on these directors like Hitch and Welles who compose films on a bologna sandwich budget. No wonder the studios are pleased with them, but that doesn’t mean the viewer has to be. At least Hitchcock often turned out a good movie.

The entire apparatus of media works to lie and misrepresent things, and all the lackeys and suckers go along for the ride.

And here’s where it gets weird. Some time ago, there was scuttlebutt that Hearst was implicated in the Black Dahlia murder, but an internet search reveals not a peep, indicating it’s been scrubbed and sanitized. But, still, something else weird comes up: Welles himself was accused as a suspect in the murder!

You can find this in online references to the Black Dahlia case. Then it gets more bizarre. No explanation is offered as to why Welles was accused. There must be some backstory — what was the evidence presented to implicate a celebrity — is that somehow of no interest to anyone? How is that so cavalierly ignored? Its like strolling down the boardwalk, unaware of someone with their hand down your pants.

There’s a simple explanation, of course: Welles was a lapdog, and a “special agent” for projects like this, so he gets a pass. The extremely rich all have their lapdogs, suckboys who cover for them, to laud them to the world. Now we call them Public Relations, “P.R.” but “lapdog” is more appropriate. A lapdog gets the dirty work. In return, he is built up to the skies, lauded as a “great.”

Beyond making a propaganda piece to soften Hearst’s image, it looks like he even had to run cover over the Black Dahlia, Elizabeth Smart, murder.

Aah… from there things become even clearer. We discover that Welles was a war propagandist, sent to cover up the war crimes of the Allies! Film-makers were needed to hush them up with distractions and outright lies. Obviously, they succeeded, because only now are the atrocities becoming better-known. Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder were also employed to make propaganda films at the end of the war.

Hearst castle

Hearst Castle appears to have been something of a precursor to Epstein island, a place for the Hollyweird perverts and the politicians and “connected” to conduct their debauchery, in luxury and privacy. That site could well be the place depicted in Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, itself heavily censored.

And what of Hearst in all of this? Hearst would be the Jeffrey Epstein of his day.

BTW, Hearst castle is quite beautiful, not the dowdy Gothic bleak nightmare presumably depicted by the paper-mâché set pieces in Citizen Kane.

front of Hearst castle

They “mystery” that Kane utters on his deathbed, “Rosebud,” referred, in actuality, to Hearst’s “pet name” for his mistress’s woo-woo, not a five-dollar sled. Note the “subtle” little allusion there — being of course that you ride the sled, also. They’re endless sneaky little references like this out of Hollyweird, like the movie, Fun with Dick and Jane, which can be parsed as “fun with dickin’ Jane.” They aren’t stupid; it’s a subliminal, easy to recognize when it’s shown, though you risk being called out as a pervert for pointing it out! Kane is simply an excuse to have everyone saying, “Rosebud,” while the perps of this trash quiver and giggle in childish glee.

The only thing we know is that at the end of his life, he was thinking about a simpler time; a childhood which he has filled with nostalgic joy.

Another wildly inaccurate assessment by another fanatic twerp. There’s no evidence that Kane had a great childhood, which seems to be one of the plot points, and there’s no indication he’s “filled (the idea of) his childhood with nostalgia” at all. He remembers a favorite sled, that’s all. In fact, they continually harp on how “he’s just looking for love,” which he didn’t get as a child.

Glossing over Heart’s/Kane’s role in the Spanish-American war, the picture passes it off as a big jest. Like Kane’s unrealistic approach to all his money, which he seems to be so cavalier about. If a person knows the least bit about anything, it’s that all these rich are compulsive about money and accruing more of it. Why is the looming issue of the creation of his fortune completely ignored? If a picture has not even a passing resemblance to the way people really are, or the real world, it is pure trash.

The deeper we delve into this exploration, the more we see how contemptible Citizen Kane really is in its content. How many dead, based on those lies of Hearst, that helped ignite war with Spain for no reason? Lapdog Welles, then, was treasonous, not some great “auteur.” In fact, he was accused of just that when the 1947, House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), investigated communists in the movie industry. HUAC was a U.S. House of Representatives group and Welles was subsequently blacklisted for his communist associations.

Then there are Welles other initiatives. He did the 1938 “War of the Worlds” psy-op, to try to terrorize and experiment on the gullible idiots. How many times do people have to be told, “aliens” aren’t going to appear on cue when convenient for a bunch of shysters and swindlers?

They lie about that too. That presentation, complete with commercial interruptions, didn’t have the effect or import we’re told it did. Most people weren’t fooled, and why should they be? Radio was the entertainment medium back then, and people were used to listening to dramatic radio plays.

The Third Man, an overrated 1949 movie of Welles’, gets 97/100 on Metacritic! Another outrage.

Yep, Kane is one of the greatest for film schools, the poseurs and pompous effete freaks to drool and slaver and pitch their worthless words about. For the rest of us, it’s another ’40s movie of spotty quality. A few good scenes, a few chuckles, and otherwise a dreadful bore. There’s something weird about reading reviews on-line, all saying basically the same things about “revolutionary,” “deep-focus” (referring to the depth of field of a camera), “innovative,” mostly from 20-somethings and 30-somethings. How the hell would they know, those posturing farts? Bugger off!

It helps to have seen a lot of movies at this point in life, which brings into question the role of “critics.” Who dares run around “criticizing” anything, when you need someone who has watched many, many films, good and bad, to make any judgments? Many of these folks are simply too young and naive to start throwing their opinions around. They’re making fools of themselves.

A clever ruse is in framing this whitewash as an attack on Hearst, that Hearst, “tried to use blackmail to stop from being produced.” More Hollyweird trickery and propaganda, of course. They use these movies to push an agenda, to mold opinion, to change perceptions. Why else produce non-profitable movies or other duds, like Kane was on release? Yes, Kane was a flop, justifiably.

It’s typical ’40s Hollywood BS. And it’s a betrayal. It’s an example of the yellow journalism it should have been satirizing. If you look deeply, it is a fantastic example of what Hollywood is: A propaganda machine that serves the low-lives of the world that we are conditioned to admire.

Its part of Hollywood dark ages, where they had color, but used B&W, went by the Hays code, and showed contempt for the audience with their cheap productions and piss-poor stories, with their cheap painted backdrops — just inexpensively filmed stage plays. It was easy to shove their tainted product down throats because it was a captive audience.

Even those praising the movie mention how it is “dated.” You can’t say that about the truly good old pictures — and there are plenty of those, where Hollywood succeeded despite itself.

Ingmar Bergman, considered one of the greatest filmmakers, thought Kane to be unwatchable, BTW.

For me he’s just a hoax. It’s empty. It’s not interesting. It’s dead. Citizen Kane, which I have a copy of — is all the critics’ darling, always at the top of every poll taken, but I think it’s a total bore. Above all, the performances are worthless. The amount of respect that movie’s got is absolutely unbelievable.

It beggars belief that it gets “100” on Metacritic, and almost perfect on Rotten Tomatoes especially when you have someone like Bergman criticizing it. But we’ll just ignore those reviews. They said Bergman was “jealous.” Then what are we then to call those who unthinkingly praise an undeserving movie, without an original thought of their own? Zombies? Ghouls?

But why all this false praise and slavering nonsense over something so indefensible? Why pick that particular movie and not some other claptrap? It’s because they take very seriously the adage, “If you can make people believe absurdities, you can make them commit atrocities.” The list of deceptions pulled on the public, well, it’s endless, and their hard work has borne obvious fruit, with the public transformed into brainwashed, gullible patsies. Kane is hypnotism. It would almost be a lark, a goof, a whimsical test to see how far they can push things, if they didn’t take their mission to control and manipulate the population so seriously.

In summary, we’ve stepped outside the Twilight Zone here, and we’ve proven, yes, we can objectively rate “art.” Two lines on a solid color background is not art, for example.

Vonnegut mocked “modern art” in his novel, Bluebeard, where he had an artist create such a painting, then explain the two strips of tape, one white, one orange, on a solid white background, represented an Arctic explorer and a charging polar bear. It wasn’t understood until the artist explained, the strips represented the eternal and pure souls of their lives shining out from the anonymous background. With that, the lazy effort suddenly became a masterpiece, making people coo and gasp in awe…

One general rule is, if just anyone can duplicate it easily, it’s not art. Another is, as soon as you see that even a single lie needs to be used to promote some BS, it is objectively bad.

The story of Kane is presented as history, when it’s not. It’s a falsification. It plays the viewer for a fool. An utter waste that, tragically, could have been interesting if we’d seen the details of how “Kane” performed his manipulations, accrued his fortune. Instead, it dwelled on Kane’s bleached and boozy, floozy strumpets, as though that were something world-shaking.

It has the additional benefit — to the manipulators — of making it less likely for someone to do a real — and interesting — expose of Hearst. “Been there, done that!”

So there we have it. We’ve singled out Kane, because it is perhaps the most instructive: the most overrated, one of the most deceptive, and quite astounding in that it was literally booed out of the building.

Yes, indeed. In the day, Kane was actually “booed out of the building every time it was mentioned during that year’s Academy Awards.”

WTF? I guess they were all jealous!

Yet, in something right out of the novel, 1984, this is completely overlooked by contemporary reviewers. Just how far are they willing to push these deceptions? Don’t answer that, it’s plain that they’ve no limits.


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