The one movie every filmaker should see
Movie making is a great art of love and filmakers are deeply involved in their trade to the extent of their detriment. One of these pitfalls is not having the ability to "learn" and compare notes with what the greatest minds have created.
The artistry within every filmaker sometimes overshadows their willingness to see beyond their visual minds. Some resort to never seeing another movie made by someone else in order to prevent it's influence on their artistic psyche. No matter what type of filmaker, there is one movie which you must and should see. This movie although made a long while ago, is the single most profoundly great film ever produced.
If you are an aspiring filmaker who desires greatness, then you should watch Orson Welles's Citizen Kane. This movie is an amazing piece of creative work every made, even in today's super-hero saturated cinema. Orson's first feature film was packed with ground-breaking cinematic artistry beyond anything words can write. This motion picture was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Welles.
A crucial point to understanding and appreciating Citizen Kane is to place the movie within it's time (1941) and to watch it with a curious mind. It stood out particularly for its cinematography and the perfect manipulation of light, music and its narrative structure were so cleverly done and powerfully paced. It was the first time any film had purposefully utilised flashback storytelling and character-based narration, in a dark biographical style.
Citizen Kane's use of unfamiliar angles in photography to establish the tone of a scene is palpable. Some scenes are overwhelming and sublime, to say the least. Orson was a master of "lens bending", a technique where lenses are used in unusual ways and for purposes not designed for. The use of film-noir photography helped the film in showing off its monochromatic gradients during interior shots and highlighting individual characteristics.
Orson creatively applies escalation in violent rhetoric to move the audience through the exponential change in personality of the main character, Kane, as his idealistic persona gradually evolves into an insatiable power hungry individual. What is gratifying for every filmaker is Orson's use of dialogue, tone, language and lights to broaden and narrow the view point of Kane.
Even though the filmakers of today have perfected the techniques from past filmakers, it is significant that every filmaker takes his/her time to watch, study and imbibe the ethos of Orson's filming style. It will go a long way to visually representing and presenting movie ideas in a powerfully coherent movie. Viva la Cinema!
About the author: Sal Souza is an International Designer (Cinema, Graphic, Visual, Multimedia, Broadcast Media, Industrial, User Interaction, User Experience) and IT Consultant with expertise in New Media, Web 3.0, IPTV, DTV, Media Production, Product Prototyping, Desktop Software, Interactivity, Mobile Applications, Traditional Knowledge, Geographical Indications and Cultural Goods. He lives and works in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Follow me on @sldsouza