Thursday, June 21, 2007

AFI's Top 100

Once again, it's time for AFI's list of the Top 100 American movies. And once again, Citizen Kane came out on top. I may be a bit biased, my name is WellesFan, but this time around I agree with the ranking. Ten years ago, I hadn't seen Citizen Kane. I thought that Casablanca should've been the top one. Now, I think that Casablanca would be the only film I could accept as taking the #1 spot over Kane.

I know some people may have issues with this list since they can't stand black and white movies, but to me it doesn't matter if it's b&w or color. What matters is the art of the film. Citizen Kane deserves the top spot because it has something for everyone. A great story, rich characters, fantastic performances, and innovative direction by Orson Welles. Not just every scene, but every shot had something extra jammed into it. A lot of this we take for granted now. Shooting from all angles, overlapping dialog, a non-linear story, all this was groundbreaking in 1941. Director/actor Peter Bogdanovich brought up something I hadn't thought about before. Orson Welles, at 25, played the character of Charles Foster Kane from age 25 to age 85. And was believable at every age.

Like I said, Casablanca is the only film I could take over Kane. The direction by Michael Curtiz isn't flashy like Welles, but he allows the words and actions of the characters to tell the story. It has the perfect script and tremendous performances by all the actors, especially the stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Any movie that has the likes Claude Raines and Peter Lorre in supporting roles has something going for it.

So even if you don't like old (or black & white) movies, do yourself a favor and watch both Citizen Kane and Casablanca.

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