Showing posts with label Val Lewton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Val Lewton. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

THE OLD DARK HEARST: Two points on re-watching Citizen Kane: 1) The fashionable consensus now is that it's overhyped. I suppose if you mean that it's not the best movie ever made, then okay. But it is about as good as The Bride of Frankenstein--and if you know me, you know that's very high praise. It's a terrific, engaging movie, and it's not Orson Welles's fault that you already know about Rosebud. I'll go ahead and say that even though it rips off and cheapens Heart of Darkness (I owe that connection to Ratty) it still attains a weird tinsel greatness of its own.

2) Perhaps more interestingly: Val Lewton's Seventh Victim is a horror movie made with the techniques of noir. Citizen Kane is the opposite. From the spooky old-dark-house opening to the extreme camera angles to the Chute de la Maison d'Usher-ish sequence with the jigsaw puzzle, this movie is made like a horror film where the monumental horror image is the poster of Kane's face. (Not Kane himself--he isn't the monster at the end of this book.)