On the last day of Intro to Cinema, freshman film studies major, Warner Huntington III, told all of his classmates sitting with him at CVP that “Citizen Kane” was his least favorite movie of the course, and was “eh.” In a discussion that seemed to only be prompted by him, Huntington asserted that he didn’t enjoy being “forced” to see the 1941 classic film.
“I just don’t see the appeal,” he said to the bartender when his classmates ignored him. “It’s kind of meandering, and too commercial for my taste. Everyone sees this film, so why do I have to?”
While Huntington agreed with the syllabus’ inclusion of Vittorio De Sica’s “Bicycle Thieves” and even Igmar Bergman’s “Persona,” he can’t approve of the professor’s insistence on “Citizen Kane” being in the same stratum.
“I would’ve included more cerebral and controversial films, like ‘Blue Velvet’ or ‘Hiroshima Mon Amour.’”
After checking his tablet, Huntington said bitterly, “Oh, God. It’s #1 on AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies list. And yet they don’t bother to include Les Quatres cents coups [The 400 Blows].” At that moment, his classmate, sophomore Lee Benson, shouted,
“Hey, dude, that list only ranks American films.”
Benson continued to tell Huntington that Orson Welles’ opus maintained a 100% approval rating on critics’ site, Rotten Tomatoes. Huntington responded with,
“Are you kidding me?”
Benson pulled up the page on his phone, stating that “Famed critic Roger Ebert said of the film, ”Citizen Kane’ is more than a great movie; it is a gathering of all the lessons of the emerging era of sound.’” Huntington shook his head, tapping his pencil against his pastel shorts.
“Well, I much prefer reading the reviews of one French critic, Christian Metz,” Huntington said. “Everyone listens to Roger Ebert, so why do I have to?” Metz passed away in 1993.
Huntington was adamant about making sure the bartender and Benson knew he understood the meaning of the titular character’s last line, which is, “Rosebud.”
“Like I obviously get the point, it basically beat the audience over the head with it.”
When asked if he would have ended the film differently, Huntington said, “Funny you should say that, because I’m actually working on a screenplay myself.”