Orson Welles was just 26 when he produced, directed, wrote (with co-writers) and starred in Citizen Kane, considered the best critically acclaimed movie ever made, a movie that was also his debut feature film.
Welles was born on May 6, 1915 and Citizen Kane was released in 1941. He started working on the concept and thus the movie in 1939 when he was not even 26. But by that time, he was already an established radio and theatre personality.
Like the cinematic greatness of Citizen Kane, the movie’s production had many firsts for the Hollywood studio system and for the film career of Orson Welles as the history reads now.
Though these trend setting experiments based on the perceived charisma of Welles failed initially when the movie failed to recover even its cost, the coming years established the experimental greatness of Welles over the craft of visual expressions exploiting the different elements of cinema.
The scale, the range and the possibilities in every frame of Citizen Kane look outrageously auteur and thus prone to be dismissed as an artistic mess during the first sit-in with the movie but a journey deep into its cinematic elements connect with this lovely experiment of Welles.
The experimental grandeur of Citizen Kane tells how fiery he was about introducing innovation and personal touch in his cinema as evident by one of his quotes, “I have always been more interested in experiment, than in accomplishment”.
An interesting wild afterthought on the birth anniversary of Orson Welles is – he was born on the same date, though 59 years later, and shared his birthday with the psychoanalysis great Sigmund Freud.
Sigmund Freud (1856) and Orson Welles (1915), both were born on May 6.
Freudian legacy, philosophy, feminism and literary undercurrents and Welles’ shaping of Citizen Kane (1941) – like or unlike Rosebud – expressed or unexpressed the way ‘Rosebud’ was intended to be, or not to be – the colours the characters of the movie put on – the inhibitions and the excesses that defined the characters – just an afterthought while reading the masters.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/