One of my lifetime movie goals has always been to see Citizen Kane in a theater on a big screen. I was able to achieve that goal two years ago at the AFI Silver in Silver Spring, Maryland, an experience you can read about here. It was perhaps an even bigger thrill to program the film at the Severna Park Library last night, showing it to others.
My co-worker Julia and I alternate in picking/introducing the films in our Great Movies series as well as leading the audience discussions afterwards. Initially when Julia picked Citizen Kane, a part of me thought, “Man! She beat me to it!” but another part of me thought, “Whew! I’m glad she’s going to tackle this one and not me!” But as I expected she would, Julia did a magnificent job relating the history of the film, it’s challenges (and those of Welles), it’s place in film history, and much more.
We actually had more people in the audience last night than the AFI had when I saw the film there and probably would’ve had more had not the weather been so bad last night. About seven or eight people (and not just younger folks) were seeing the film for the very first time. It was amazing to hear comments from people who had seen the film many times, yet discovered things they’d never noticed before. I can echo those sentiments.
If you haven’t seen the film – or have seen it and would like to own it (and you should) – you have many options. The 70th Anniversary Edition pictured above is the edition I own, but you can find others containing more bells and whistles.
Be sure to get one that has both the Roger Ebert and Peter Bogdanovich commentaries as well as the excellent documentary The Battle over Citizen Kane.
Many thanks again to all who came out and watched the movie with us last night. Thanks also to those who faithfully stick around afterward to stack chairs. Special thanks our branch manager Karen, of course Julia, and Clint, who helped us greatly by solving some audio problems just before the show.
We’ll have a special international movie in three weeks on August 24 at 6:30pm. You can find out more about that film here.