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TCM tweets New York Times writer who says he won't watch old movies


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I was born 20 years after 1975. I first saw Citizen Kane when I was about 16, and I loved it . It was a masterpiece, a glorious film.  It prompted me to dig deeper with movies, and in the decade since I've gone hog wild on watching films, as one can see from my personal viewing page with all 4,592 films: https://letterboxd.com/BCarr95/. (yes, the name on the page is my real name) Admittedly, I have been on a recent run of watching more recent films (largely due to getting through what I need to on Netflix, because I really don't like to subscribe to them more than one month a year, plus a project for a poll that tends to be modern [films directed by women]) Yes, I might tend to be too positive on too many films, but I just have movies in my blood.

Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is that this reporter in question has invalidated 54.82% of everything I have seen, because that is the percentage of everything I've seen released before January 1, 1975. these films often include my favorite stars, have wonderful, literate scripts, and had a general sense of wonder and magic that has mostly evaporated since then. To cut oneself off from films because they feel they are 'old and boring' is a sign of immaturity and ignorance. To try to slur them is lacking any sense of authority or nuance. The only way to make a concrete judgement is to actually explore. And when one is not even willing to do that, it is a pretty sorry state of affairs.

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5 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

...If this movie [Citizen Kane] was released today would it be a blockbuster classic? Uh, no. It is a movie for movie buffs only.

 

5 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I think it depends how said film is marketed. Merchant-Ivory's HOWARDS END (1992) played mostly in theaters located in upscale neighborhoods and grossed $26 million on a budget of $8 million in 1992 dollars. It was considered a bonafide hit and then was nominated for several Oscars, including Best Picture. It won Oscars in a couple categories. 

I think something like CITIZEN KANE today would have to be marketed that way, as an arthouse film...and as awards bait.

Expecting it to be a blockbuster is quite unrealistic.

Good answer to MM's query here, TB.

And in fact, Welles' masterpiece was NOT a money maker for RKO when IT was first released, and as you may know.

And so, therein lies the false premise to MM's apparent use of box office returns or the popularity or lack thereof in regards to quantifying ANY motion picture ever made and its becoming known as a "classic" and/or a "great" and/or noteworthy film.

(...kind'a reminds me of a certain guy who recently,  like in the past four years, would always point to the ratings of some news networks of which he'd then negatively comment upon if what he heard from that source would displease him, and as if the popularity of something is the end all and be all of its quality...yeah MM, I'm talkin' about "your boy" here, dude)  ;)  LOL

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4 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

It's easy to say this writer is wrong, but you have to look at it from the perspective of those who rarely watch old movies, and in this case they are correct. Citizen Kane is not a movie that has stood the test of time because a viewer today looks at it as if there in nothing special to the story. They may not understand the cinematography or anything else, but they shouldn't have to. The movie has to stand on its own without an explanation.

if this movie was released today would it be a blockbuster classic? Uh, no. It is a movie for movie buffs only.

The trouble is that KANE was never a blockbuster, and didn't become a classic until years after its release. After a successful opening in New York in April 1941, the film flopped miserably in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles, despite near-universal critical praise. It really was the personality of Orson Welles that gave CITIZEN KANE the cachet it came to have. A great movie? Absolutely. But, like other classic films that flopped at the box office, greatness was thrust upon it much later.  As for standing the test of time, it was time (and television) that made KANE a classic. But if it's a movie for movie buffs only, then I gladly admit to being a movie buff.

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53 minutes ago, Dargo said:

And so, therein lies the false premise to MM's apparent use of box office returns or the popularity or lack thereof in regards to quantifying ANY motion picture ever made and its becoming known as a "classic" and/or a "great" and/or noteworthy film.

I never said that, although you are correct that it flopped. I think the same can be said for It's A Wonderful Life, which went on to become a classic that is hard to dispute. But I really don't see why Citizen Kane is still revered as much as it is, yes the visuals are stunning, but the story itself is not one that makes it the greatest movie of all time. And popularity is important, much more than you give it credit for.

The problem with Citizen Kane is you have to take a history class to understand why it is important. And few youngsters today want to do anything that hard.

BTW the greatest movie of all time is Gone With The Wind, it is an easy one to say because of its modern popularity and historical significance. Nobody has to take a history class to figure it out either. If it was released today it would be a smash hit full of controversy.

But I wish we had ratings on which movies do the best on TCM when they are shown. That would clear up many of the complaints on what gets viewed the most. I imagine many watch Citizen Kane when it is shown, but then that's what we would expect from the TCM viewers. It is everyone else that I am talking about, and they would fall asleep i am afraid. You know it, and I know it.

So in closing, let me say that popularity is certainly a major factor in something as important as the greatest movie of all time. Would you call brussel sprouts the greatest vegetable of all time if nobody eats them?

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13 minutes ago, MovieMadness said:

So in closing, let me say that popularity is certainly a major factor in something as important as the greatest movie of all time. Would you call brussel sprouts the greatest vegetable of all time if nobody eats them?

Some of us like Brussels sprouts as much as we like CITIZEN KANE.

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 7.36.38 PM

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58 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Some of us like Brussels sprouts as much as we like CITIZEN KANE.

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 7.36.38 PM

If you want to eat Brussels sprouts, broil them in Worcestershire sauce and garlic, with bacon, onions and cran-raisins.    😋

If you want to watch Citizen Kane, see it in an old-fashioned theater, or on restored Blu-ray.     😎

There's always a right way to do something.

1 hour ago, MovieMadness said:

The problem with Citizen Kane is you have to take a history class to understand why it is important. And few youngsters today want to do anything that hard.

I had never really HEARD of Hearst except for his being Patty's grandfather, having a newspaper syndicate named after him, and his being a millionaire who owned a mansion and a yacht.  As such, I never really knew the depths of why Mank wanted to write a movie about him until I saw the PBS "Battle Over Citizen Kane" documentary.

All I responded to was what a golden-voiced bad boy actor-Orson Welles could be, in the scenes of young college boy Kane first taking over the NY Herald.  And since I was already listening to "The Shadow" on old-radio files, that was good enough for me.

And as for whether it's too "hard" to understand...well, how would you KNOW that until you've actually sat down and watched a good part of it?

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20 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

Just didn't want you to get woke anxiety.

Woke folk do make me anxious because they naively feel like they are at the peak of human moral superiority. Like Bill Maher said - and I can't find the exact quote - 20 years from now the woke of today will be horrified by what they once considered normal. 

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1 hour ago, LsDoorMat said:

Woke folk do make me anxious because they naively feel like they are at the peak of human moral superiority. Like Bill Maher said - and I can't find the exact quote - 20 years from now the woke of today will be horrified by what they once considered normal. 

"No matter how woke you think you are, you are tolerating things right now that will make you cringe in 25 years." It's at 4:30 here

It's a good spot. I liked, "You  can't believe people in old movies smoked? They wouldn't believe we put the cell phone in our pocket next to our nutz."

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3 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

I never said that, although you are correct that it flopped. I think the same can be said for It's A Wonderful Life, which went on to become a classic that is hard to dispute. But I really don't see why Citizen Kane is still revered as much as it is, yes the visuals are stunning, but the story itself is not one that makes it the greatest movie of all time. And popularity is important, much more than you give it credit for.

Yes, to some extent the idea of a film's popularity is important to some degree in these regards, but I still think this aspect should never be an overriding decider of its "greatness factor". There have been many many films released throughout the many many years which have topped the list of box office receipts each of those various years, but which quality-wise were lesser in both artistically or in any sort of groundbreaking manner. And thus no, I do not believe popularity is more important than what I've given it credit for.

3 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

The problem with Citizen Kane is you have to take a history class to understand why it is important. And few youngsters today want to do anything that hard.

In regard to this "having to take a history class" to understand this film, first, ironcally this "history class" you speak of here is actually the opening sequence of  Citizen Kane as you may recall, and so any novice to its viewing would not need the aforementioned. I however will not dispute your take on what does seem the general reluctance of today's youth to "work hard" in these regards and in regards to learning of our world's past histories. 

 

3 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

BTW the greatest movie of all time is Gone With The Wind, it is an easy one to say because of its modern popularity and historical significance. Nobody has to take a history class to figure it out either. If it was released today it would be a smash hit full of controversy.

Personally here, I've felt for decades now that "the greatest movie of all time" which coinincidently also contains the narrative of postwar Americans attempting to make their way in the world, but not after of events of the American Civil War but after the Second World War.  Yep, I believe William Wyler's The Best Years of Our Lives is even "greater" than GWTW in many aspects. The themes in Mr. Wyler's film are as topical and as relevant today as they were in 1946. And in addition, it's a film of which I doubt even those out there inclined to be "woke" could find at all "controversial". 

 

3 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

But I wish we had ratings on which movies do the best on TCM when they are shown. That would clear up many of the complaints on what gets viewed the most. I imagine many watch Citizen Kane when it is shown, but then that's what we would expect from the TCM viewers. It is everyone else that I am talking about, and they would fall asleep i am afraid. You know it, and I know it.

Frankly my dear, ahem, I mean MM, I don't give a damn about "ratings", but yes, I suppose there are those out there who'll find Citizen Kane "boring" and might fall asleep while watching it. In fact, I think I myself might've fallen asleep while watching it the first time. But then again, I think I was all of about 13 years old at the time when this happened, but eventually as I matured and watched it in later years, I would discover its greatest.

 

3 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

So in closing, let me say that popularity is certainly a major factor in something as important as the greatest movie of all time. Would you call brussel sprouts the greatest vegetable of all time if nobody eats them?

(...interesting attempted analogy here, but being one who enjoys almost all vegetables, I'm afraid I can't quite understand the logic of picking on the poor brussel sprout here)  ;)

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10 hours ago, MovieMadness said:

Citizen Kane is not a movie that has stood the test of time

 

This is just galactically wrong.  "Citizen Kane" has stood the test of time better than most films of its era.  

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9 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

"No matter how woke you think you are, you are tolerating things right now that will make you cringe in 25 years." It's at 4:30 here

It's a good spot. I liked, "You  can't believe people in old movies smoked? They wouldn't believe we put the cell phone in our pocket next to our nutz."

"This morning for breakfast he requested something called 'wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk'." 

"[chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties."

"You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?"

"Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true."

- (Future 22nd-cty. experts describing Woody Allen's health-food store owner, in Sleeper (1972))

8 hours ago, Dargo said:

Frankly my dear, ahem, I mean MM, I don't give a damn about "ratings",

And we just got rid of the guy who DID, because he had a TV set for a brain.

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9 hours ago, LsDoorMat said:

Woke folk do make me anxious because they naively feel like they are at the peak of human moral superiority. Like Bill Maher said - and I can't find the exact quote - 20 years from now the woke of today will be horrified by what they once considered normal. 

With so much anxiety-inducing wokeness all around, it was regrettable you were expending any on a false perception.  It was my aim to ally your fears so none of your anxiety would be wasted on faux-wokness, so that you may more appropriately direct it at real sources of woke concern.

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7 hours ago, Vidor said:

This is just galactically wrong.  "Citizen Kane" has stood the test of time better than most films of its era.  

Yes, the fact that people still know about CITIZEN KANE and the fact we're discussing it right here today proves that it has stood the test of time.

In the Games & Trivia forum, we have a thread called ClassiCategories. It's been going for over five years. And so many of the categories/topics we discuss easily relate to CITIZEN KANE. It's a highly influential and resonant motion picture. There's no escaping it. 

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10 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

"No matter how woke you think you are, you are tolerating things right now that will make you cringe in 25 years." It's at 4:30 here

It's a good spot. I liked, "You  can't believe people in old movies smoked? They wouldn't believe we put the cell phone in our pocket next to our nutz."

Thanks! That's the quote I was looking for.

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21 hours ago, EricJ said:

...Yes, we know what you're trying to say, but please cut it immediately--Watching the "First Reactor"-verse on YouTube, it's amazing what movies a generation HASN'T seen but will watch on a triple-dog-dare, and if you think "everybody knows" the Big Twist from "The Empire Strikes Back", boy, have about two dozen reactors I've counted so far have news for you.  (Half of them already did, but didn't have a clue what context it had to do with.)

So far, only one has been brave enough to consider watching Citizen Kane (he hasn't yet) so...don't be a Lucy trying to comment on other Lucys. ...

You're right -- I should have been more careful when I posted the 12/9/73 Peanuts strip containing a Kane spoiler.   Sincere apologies if my post ruined a mystery from that movie for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.  But at the same time, I think the strip might (or might not, I'll admit) be interesting to folks who've seen the movie, so I've left it in my earlier post with SPOILER ALERT added -- which I should have included from the start.

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14 minutes ago, BingFan said:

You're right -- I should have been more careful when I posted the 12/9/73 Peanuts strip containing a Kane spoiler.   Sincere apologies if my post ruined a mystery from that movie for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.  But at the same time, I think the strip might (or might not, I'll admit) be interesting to folks who've seen the movie, so I've left it in my earlier post with SPOILER ALERT added -- which I should have included from the start.

That specific strip was how I learned about Citizen Kane long before I saw the movie.  So I knew what the big mystery was going in, but it's still fun to watch how it unfolds.

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14 hours ago, BingFan said:

You're right -- I should have been more careful when I posted the 12/9/73 Peanuts strip containing a Kane spoiler.   Sincere apologies if my post ruined a mystery from that movie for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.  But at the same time, I think the strip might (or might not, I'll admit) be interesting to folks who've seen the movie, so I've left it in my earlier post with SPOILER ALERT added -- which I should have included from the start.

You didn't spoil the ending. The rosebud thing really isn't the point. It's a device employed as an excuse to tell the story in the way it is told, a reason for the reporter to interview Kane's associates. It's a nice ironic touch in the ending, but it isn't the point, and the last frame certainly isn't a twist in the sense of being a sudden revelation that provides a meaning. It's more a discovery the viewer can make, but the characters cannot. Cute, a nice little bow on the gift box, but not truly relevant.

It mattered only to the reporter, and as we follow him while he looks for it's meaning, we learn who Kane was, where he came from, how he rose, who he touched and changed, and why he ended the way he did - mostly things everyone we meet along the way already knew, including the reporter, but it's all news to us. There are people who watch it and don't make the rosebud connection at all but still enjoy the story. 

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I was probably not quite old enough to have read that particular strip in the newspaper, but it was in one of the many Peanuts collections I had as a child. Around the same time, they also revealed Rosebud's identity on an episode of Eight is Enough, and elementary school me was like, "Okay, what is this movie everyone keeps talking about?"

I was quite interested to learn that Citizen Kane was scheduled to air one Saturday afternoon, a day because my parents were going to a wedding or somesuch function I had to spend with my dad's parents in a town 10 miles south of our own, but I guess they were on the same cable system (back when cable was about 13 channels), because it was also airing there. I told my grandparents I had to watch it. Outside of Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music, it had the potential to be my first classic movie viewing and certainly my first one entirely in black-and-white. I arrived too late for the opening credits, but it was a black-and-white movie, so I assumed it was Kane. There was an opening sequence about some children playing together, swimming, swinging in a barn. It didn't look very wintry. Eventually, it segued into their young adulthood. I was like, "Wait a minute. I didn't see any sled. There was no sled. This isn't Citizen Kane!" So, I turned it off, and I think my grandad and I went outside and threw a football around. I didn't watch Kane until my introduction to film class in my freshman year of college maybe 10 years later.

Many years after that I watched Kings Row for the first time on TCM and realized it was the movie the station had apparently accidentally aired instead of Kane that day.

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On 2/18/2021 at 6:38 PM, TopBilled said:

Some of us like Brussels sprouts as much as we like CITIZEN KANE.

Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 7.36.38 PM

I think those brussels sprouts look pretty good! I like them roasted in olive oil with salt and pepper. My husband will make brussels and add them to a balsamic reduction with red bell pepper and bacon. 

I like brussels and I like Citizen Kane. lol. 

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4 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I think those brussels sprouts look pretty good! I like them roasted in olive oil with salt and pepper. My husband will make brussels and add them to a balsamic reduction with red bell pepper and bacon. 

I like brussels and I like Citizen Kane. lol. 

SOUNDS GOOD!

Especially with a bit of pepper and bacon.

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