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The Beef discusses the notion of THERE WILL BE BLOOD being equated to CITIZEN KANE...

Hey folks, Harry here... I love THERE WILL BE BLOOD - in my opinion it is still by far, the best film I've seen this year... and probably the last several years. The performance by Daniel Day Lewis is toweringly iconic. And while bringing films like TREASURE OF SIERRE MADRE, CITIZEN KANE and THE GODFATHER up in comparison - to me, it isn't about this being the BETTER film, but rather a film of THAT QUALITY and that deals with the rather horrifying extremes that success at all costs can drive one. So I'm quite happy to have another viewer chime in with an examination about KANE and BLOOD - so lets hand it over to The Beef...

One of the more annoying things that people like to do when describing something that is not great, but is good enough, they sarcastically compare it to the greatest thing in that particular category of things. Such as, in the case of film, people like to say, "It ain't CITIZEN KANE, but...". Well, you know what, what the hell in the lifelong history of film is "CITIZEN KANE"? If you're going to describe something don't tell me what it isn't. I don't care if it's not CITIZEN KANE, because 99.998 percent of films are not "CITIZEN KANE." I'd rather someone say that something is like something than not like something. I'm happy to say, that with the film THERE WILL BE BLOOD I'm not tempted to say "It ain't CITIZEN KANE, but..." In fact, I'm saying, "...This may just be "CITIZEN KANE"." Without sounding like a cinema blasphemist, I do know what I'm dealing with. CITIZEN KANE will always remain the most influential American film ever. EVER. The change in filmmaking from before Orson Welles to after is too incredibly contrastive that no film will ever be able to change the medium the way that he did. So, in terms of historical significance THERE WILL BE BLOOD probably will not be on par with KANE. But, to say that another movie is incapable of reaching the quality of CITIZEN KANE is absurd, because P.T. Anderson's latest and greatest does just that. The film is about the steady rise of miner Daniel Plainview, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, from the rags of small time silver mining, to the riches of big time oil drilling. He begins somewhat of a simpleton, and by chance he comes upon a deep covered oil well in his mining efforts. This would be the starting point of his journey to wealth, and his descent into obsession, and a deadly degree of greed. That moment is really just the kickstart of his delve into a new business, but the more oppurtunities you get, the more chances you have to allow yourself to fall into the traps of temptation. While the by-luck finding of his initial oil well is presented almost as a gift, the next big piece of information that he purchases from a savvy farmboy, about untapped oil running beneath their land (and possibly even going throughout the thousands of acres of the surrounding townspeople's land) seems, from the get go, to have a potentially large amount of trouble attached, and I mean from both of ends of purchaser of the land and the honest, good ol' American land owners willing to sell it. But, when you see dollar signs, and you're as persistent as Daniel Plainview, not even the good natured religious folk that own this oil goldmine stand a chance against the cunning business and salesman skills of a ruthless oil machine. The combination of Daniel Day-Lewis with P.T. Anderson makes all kinds of parallel sense. In their respective fields of expertise, they've both shown meticulous care in project picking. But, making even more sense of the pairing of P.T. Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis, is the pairing of Daniel Day-Lewis with the character of Daniel Plainview. The reason being is that one person has already played someone like Daniel Plainview within the past 10 years. That person played the part so well that I was shocked that he wasn't awarded for his efforts the first go around. I don't foresee that same overlook happening again. That man was Daniel Day-Lewis. That role was Bill the Butcher. Before I make it sound like I'm giving Daniel Day-Lewis a backhanded compliment by saying that he's mimicking a role he's already perfected, I'm not. The characters share similar attributes, but Daniel Plainview is somewhat Bill the Butcher in disguise. On the surface, Plainview presents himself a caring family man (he does have a son) and a worker for the people. He tells the people whatever they need to hear to gain their trust so that he can drill. But, like every successful salesman, what you see is usually not what you get. We know these people shouldn't buy into him. How do we know that? Because Daniel Day-Lewis is so damn good at his craft, that he nearly made me believe that he was in fact a family man looking to work for the benefit of the people. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to portray a character this layered. It's not as if the character just completely evolves from one thing to something else as the story progresses. Very early on we see hints of Bill the Butcher, but they're constantly covered up after quick glimpses. Daniel Day-Lewis flawlessly keeps his wicked nature right beneath the surface, but directly behind his eyes. If Daniel Plainview was a house, and we were looking at it from the street, the Bill the Butcher personality is the guy we see eerily looking down at us from the attic window for a few seconds, and then is no longer there once we blink. Steadily, as the film progresses, we see The Butcher begin to look at us from the different room windows, and he looks for a bit longer. By the end of the picture, it seems as if The Butcher has murdered everyone in the home, and now watches over the entire property. If there's one thing that's better than seeing Daniel Day-Lewis play a character as physically brutal as Bill the Butcher, it's seeing him play someone with so much god given guile that he convinces you that he's not Bill the Butcher, and I was completely convinced. Also bringing in a strong turn is Paul Dano, as both the savvy farmboy who sells the information about the untapped oil-rich land, and also as that same boy's twin brother. Don't worry, that last bit about the twin brother is not a spoiler. This isn't some cheap gimmicky twist brought upon by P.T. Dano is given a great oppurtunity to play the character that helps bring out Plainview's true colors. Little by little Daniel Plainview has evident problems holding back his true self in public, and part of that is because Dano's character is the person most capable of getting under Plainview's skin. Plainview is a remarkably strong character, so it would take a great deal of skill for an actor to make us believe that his character is worthy of being the entire bail of hay that breaks Plainview's back. Few, if any things, are able to get to Plainview in a bothersome way, to a point where he has to let out his real self, but Dano's character can do that, and Dano is stellar in playing it. He's a confident boy with his own set of skills, and he uses all he can to go head to head with the master. And watching these two actors do just that with one another is one of the most satisfying screen faceoff's of all time. P.T. Anderson is methodically becoming the most consistently great filmmaker from the 90s generation of directors. His films give great roles to some of the greatest actors alive, some of which has been the highlight of their career. Beyond that, though, he's shown great skill with each passing film in making his films, HIS films. That's not saying that they're all the same, but they're all definitely P.T. Anderson. He has a visual voice that sounds talented and educated, and that comes across with each picture. Even the ones that put forth a challenge to really like. This film may be his most accessible to date. It's just classic storytelling told with a focus on including the points in the story that directly affect Plainview's conflicting rise in wealth and demise in morale. Just like a certain Orson Welles character. If there's one connective thread for each Anderson film, it's that they have a gorgeous presentation. In that sense he's become the modern day Terrence Malick with his ability to make beatiful pictures using sometimes empty scenery. What fun would film be if we constantly considered something to be untouchable? American film did not stop producing greatness after 1941. That wasn't necessarily the peak of quality, maybe just the peak of significant influence. THERE WILL BE BLOOD will probably not influence the film medium in a way that's on a par with CITIZEN KANE. I guess only time will tell. So, in terms of importance to American film, CITIZEN KANE will probably always reign supreme. But, come the worldwide release of THERE WILL BE BLOOD, I say see it, and judge for yourself which film you think may in fact be the best representation of the misguided goal of achieving the great American Dream. The dream to come from nowhere and reach the heights of the heaven of wealth, no matter what. I say, come December 26, 2007...let the debates begin. THE BEEF

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:17 p.m. CST

    first

    by Shaolin1942

    too lazy to read, so just posting nonsense

  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:21 p.m. CST

    It's doomed to disappoint, it's doomed to fail

    by AlwaysThere

    Come 12.26.07 everyone will see how overrated it is.

  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Hope to god that "BEEF" is right!

    by y7jver01

    I was looking forward to a truly great film in my time.. Like GODFATHER or CASABLANCA.. And hopefully this is it!!!!

  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:38 p.m. CST

    I doubt

    by Mattyboy122

    This film will be on par with Kane. Don't get me wrong, it looks absolutely excellent (easily my most looked forward to film of the year), but Kane has the visual flourishes, the narrative jigsaw, etc, etc. Also, Kane isn't just a story that says 'the American Dream is bad.' It's not an out and out criticism of the American Dream. It's in shades of grey, and that nuance is what makes the film better than others that deal with the American Dream in fairly black and white fashion (ie The Godfather and, presumably, There Will Be Blood). That said, I can't wait for this film. Day-Lewis is maybe the greatest actor alive.

  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Call me crazy

    by TheMcflyFarm

    Citizen Kane is good and all, but people should stop sucking it's dick already. It isn't the greatest film ever made nor is it the majority of people's favorite movie.

  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Now there's a great way to fast track disappointment

    by shatterglass

    Comparing any movie to Godfather/Citizen Kane/Casablanca is just asking for trouble. The minute you start throwing that around people will automatically find everything wrong about it that they can. It's not about whether something is as good as those movies or not, you just stay away from the comparison altogether for any recent movie. 10 years down the road we'll look at it again and consider it then, because honestly, Citizen Kane is only considered the most influential film ever because of all of the film and filmmakers it influenced, which took time. You can't compare a movie like that without TIME. Stupid pointless review tactic.

  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:42 p.m. CST

    It would be nice if they would post the long trailer for this

    by Reynard Muldrake

    online - saw it at 3:10 to Yuma but all you can get of it is the shitmatic Youtube version of the 2:31 one...post that in the glorious QT!!!

  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:42 p.m. CST

    It didn't disappoint

    by GAH

    PTA is probably my favorite contemporary filmmaker, and this movie stunned me when I saw it during Fantastic Fest. Beautiful, haunting, arresting, with unforgettable moments of humor, joy, and terror.

  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Rather lofty comparisons...

    by RipVanMarlowe

    but then again, I haven't seen "There Will Be Blood." Really, I don't think you can come out and compare any film to a towering masterpiece like "Citizen Kane" until it has stood the test of time. But, having said that, I can't fucking wait to see Daniel Day Lewis tear this shit up.

  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:46 p.m. CST

    This trailer?

    by Pops Freshemeyer

    http://www.ifilm.com/video/2893471

  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:46 p.m. CST

    listened to commentary..

    by cp

    ..and watched bonus features on the DAYS OF HEAVEN dvd last night. and it just got me salivating to see PTAs new offering. GREAT job THE BEEF!! cannot wait. i feel the comparisons to those EPIC films will be warranted. for some reason i'm really anticipating the SOUND DESIGN for this FILM.

  • Oct. 28, 2007, 11:47 p.m. CST

    One of the things that makes Citizen Kane

    by Bronx Cheer

    such an important film is the influence it had on the artists who followed on the heels of Welles. It's unlikely any film made these days can carry that sort of mantle. The lexicon of cinema is fairly well established these days. DDL is my fave actor, by the way. No one gets close to his talent level.

  • There Will Be Blood is not a plot-heavy film. I think Citizen Kane is a lot more rigidly paced. They both have similar themes and deal with a ridiculously successful man struggling with his own humanity. But as far as looking at the American dream with shades of gray, yeah I think they have that in common too. But this movie also has a subtlety and grace that is a lot closer to vintage Terrance Malick than anything Welles every put on film.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 12:05 a.m. CST

    THERE WILL BE BLOOD isn't a film of Black & White Extremes

    by HEADGEEK

    Daniel Day Lewis' character is a monster - but a monster with degrees of sympathy to him. He's the sort of a character that was necessary in the forming of our country. A man that did what it took to acheive success, because others were not. This is based on one of the great books of Sinclair Lewis' career - and he was there to document the reality of the beginning of oil as the new gold rush in America. It's a great great subject and the film is a masterpiece of filmmaking centered around the best performance in Daniel Day Lewis' career. That said - I do know people that were not over the moon for it, that hated the score and felt the whole movie was an opening act for a larger story - which is true, this film is based on just the first 150 pages of OIL! But that's because the story of OIL! is bigger than any one film can do justice to. But what PTA captured is easily one of the great character stories for the opening act of one of the key industries that changed the world as it was known.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Limited Releases suck

    by Veraxus

    I just checked out the trailer for this film and then the release date. The movie looks fucking awesome, but like all movies I give half a rats ass about, it seems this is scheduled for one of those pathetic not-playing-anywhere-nearby, goddammit-I-really-wanted-to-see-that-too limited releases the day after Christmas. Fuck.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 12:15 a.m. CST

    sam shepard..

    by cp

    ..compared his wealthy farmer character in DAYS OF HEAVEN to that of CHARLES FOSTER KANE. i love you CRITERION COLLECTION.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Daniel Day Lewis and PTA...Need to.

    by Redfive!

    Daniel Day Lewis needs to play Blackbeard in the next Pirates of the Carribean flick and PTA Needs to direct Harrison Ford in something.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 1:16 a.m. CST

    "His films give great roles to some of the greatest actors alive

    by Uncle Bobo

    Yes, because Markie Mark, Burt "The Bandit" Reynolds, Tom "Top Gun" Cruise, and Adam "Waterboy" Sandler are among our Greatest Actors Ever. EVER. And while I'm here, what's with the "modern day Terence Malick" comment? Isn't Malick still making films or something? I do know PTA got his ridiculous contrived pretentious "frogs from the sky" scene from Malick. And I do know that PTA tries to emulate or "copy" everybody from Malick to Altman to Scorsese. Why not Welles? At least he's reaching high. A modern day copycat, is more like it. To his credit, he's done the copycat thing successfully. Guess PTA has achieved his version of the American Dream, right, Beef? Or should I say Plant?

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 1:39 a.m. CST

    Citizen Kane is considered "The Greatest" because...

    by Uncle Bobo

    ...it was the first "high concept" American movie. High concept idea (that the American Dream is meaningless without Rosebud), high concept metaphors. Critics and psuedo-intellectuals eat that shit up. PTA, the huckster that he is, knows this and injects his movies with such similar superficial hocus-pocus because he knows critics and college age psuedo-intellectuals will eat it up like last night's chop suey. Frogs biblically falling from the sky, indeed. Give me Jerry Lewis any day of the week over PTA's pretentious crap.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 1:47 a.m. CST

    re: Headgeek

    by Uncle Bobo

    "The sort of character that was necessary in the forming of our country?" You mean like John Wayne's "Ethan Edwards" from the John Ford film "The Searchers", or a more recent incarnation of that character, "Bill the Butcher" from Scorsese's "Gangs of New York?" I suppose under Martin Scorsese, we can now add John Ford to PTA's "I want to be like..." list.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 1:50 a.m. CST

    Another thing about Kane

    by TheMcflyFarm

    Just because after years of analyzing a film you find many facets and meanings, mostly opinion that had nothing to do what the filmmaker was going for, doesn't make it great. A film being important because it influenced so many subsequent films doesn't make it great neither. Films are meant to be entertaining when you watch them, not studied and interpreted afterward so that you realize you like it only after you find some sort of bullshit metaphor or hidden meaning or what have you. Also, many critics and movie goers hated Citizen Kane when it was released, so maybe Son of the Mask will be considered the greatest motion picture of all time in 50 years.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 2:06 a.m. CST

    Don't get me wrong...

    by Uncle Bobo

    I'm not a hater. I'm sure PTA's a wonderful human being. I just despise his work and see them for the pretentious drivel that they are, and I don't think "There Will Be Blood" will be any different. Once a hack, always a hack, IMHO. I remember coming across an IFC interview where "The Great" PTA said he saw a small French film simply about a little girl looking for her kitten, and that that's what he wanted (key word "wanted") to make films about. The little girl looking for her cat. The simple things in life. So where is that film, PTA? Don't tell me it was "Punch Drunk Love". We haven't seen it and never will because PTA has no soul. He's like the T-1000. P"T-1000" Anderson. Able to assume the identity of countless filmmakers, but nothing of his own to give. Okay, I take it back about not being a hater.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Scrivener, Limited Release is Great

    by ImFixingtoDie

    I feel your pain, but by having the Oscar qualifying run and then rolling out slowly after Christmas, films get time to breathe and compete. Even better, it means great films are playing well through February. This year I took my girlfriend to PAN'S LABYRINTH on Valentine's Day. I will not object to a system that allows that.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 2:53 a.m. CST

    So, it's as boring and underwhelming as CITIZEN KANE?

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    Great.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 2:56 a.m. CST

    re: TheMcflyFarm

    by shatterglass

    The dumbest thing I've ever heard someone say was "A film being important because it influenced so many subsequent films doesn't make it great..." Uhhhhhhhh...yeah it does!! Look, the simple fact is that art, ALL ART, is subjective. Even film. That's why there's people on this board that hate Citizen Kane, or at least don't think it's that good. Because it's subjective. There is no absolute "this is good or this is not good". If you try to determine greatness based on "entertainment value" you'll always fall short because every single person has a completely different level of what entertainment value is. Therefore, you have no choice but to determine greatness by influence. Is it a perfect measuring tool? No, because to be honest, no one can EVER say what art is the greatest. Because of it's subjectivity it is a pure impossibility, but we try anyway, and influence is our best measuring tool for the job.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 3:17 a.m. CST

    Human greatness is based on level of talent, genius, and executi

    by Uncle Bobo

    "Influence" is just a side effect of human greatness. Peyton Manning is a "great" football quarterback. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is a great UFC fighter. Alfred Hitchcock was a "great" studio film director. John Cassavetes was a "great" independent filmmaker. Picasso was a "great" painter. Shakespeare was a "great" playwright. Those are objective factual statements. Simple. Please dispense with the "art is subjective" argument. That's such a cop out...

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 4:49 a.m. CST

    THERE WILL BE HYPE!

    by Sledge Hammer

    Swiftly followed by the sequel: THERE WILL BE DISAPPOINTMENT AS EVERYONE REALSES IT'S NOWHERE NEAR AS GREAT A FILM AS 'THEY' SAID IT WOULD BE. <p>Can't wait, such a big fan...

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Fucking February

    by 11dayempire

    February! I have to wait until fucking February before this turns up in the UK...

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 5:58 a.m. CST

    "Contrastive"?!

    by half vader

    Are you fucking kidding me? My head hurts as much as if I'd just read one of Harry's sugar-rush reviews. The gibberish!

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 6:57 a.m. CST

    Quote from Anderson's DVD commentary:

    by Knuckleduster

    "As far as influences over certain shots go, I'm completely aware of all that stuff. I do watch a lot of movies and I'm pretty film-literate. It's funny, because people talk about Scorsese... I've certainly learned a lot from him, riffed off his style and seen where he's taken it from - people like Truffaut. But to me, my greatest influence style-wise is Jonathan Demme. I remember talking to him on the phone - one of my idols - and saying, 'Did you see all those shots I ripped off from you?' And he said no! Nobody else does either, but... I think I interpreted a lot of the shots that he's done, the ones that really affected me. He's the most profound influence. I just hope that it vomits out of me in another way and that I'm adding to what he's done. It's like how every song we hear today is a Beatles song - verse chorus, verse chorus, y'know? - so the job now is just building on top of that."

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 7:05 a.m. CST

    Uncle Bobo

    by Knuckleduster

    It's an "objective FACTUAL statement" that Picasso was a great painter or Shakespeare was a great playwright? Really? Will you show me the scientific research? Those are generally accepted OPINIONS. Opinions I happen to agree with, but still opinions. Of course art is subjective. It's not a goddamn competition.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 7:11 a.m. CST

    CITIZEN KANE - why some people don't "get it"

    by Razorback

    Many who watch "Kane" are underwhelmed because they think all the praise it receives means it is the greatest movie of all time. They watch it and think "I have seen better than this." What they ignore is WHEN it was made. If you look at movies prior to it, then you will see just what a gigantic leap it was from everything else. Without CITIZEN KANE movies may have remained the melodramas they were prior to it.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 7:15 a.m. CST

    Kane's "When" factor

    by The Chosen

    You always should remember the "when" factor. Kane was tremendously ahead of it's time. It's the most "ahead-of-it's-time..ness..." of the entire world movie history, and that's why it gets the praise it does. Those who don't get this just think it's a boring movie.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Regarding Kane

    by beastie

    I understand and agree with all the statements about artistic, technical and innovative acheivements about Citizen Kane. However, am I the only person who can sit down and watch this film - just to be entertained? I think that, despite what it meant to cinema history, it is a phenomenally entertaining story. It just seams to me that people on this board say, that other than it's acheivements, it's boring. I couldn't disagree more.</p><p>All that being said, The Beef has set up some seriously lofty expectations for There Will Be Blood. I already expect a lot out of P.T. Anderson, but this is pushing it.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 7:46 a.m. CST

    My crimminal record ain't Citizen Kane

    by Spandau Belly

    But it's in black and white and involves a sleigh.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 7:52 a.m. CST

    My greenhouse ain't Citizen Kane

    by Spandau Belly

    It's got buds, just not rosebuds.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 7:53 a.m. CST

    My appearance on COPS ain't Citizen Kane

    by Spandau Belly

    But I rewatch it just about as often and I always notice something new.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 7:56 a.m. CST

    My answering machine message ain't Citizen Kane

    by Spandau Belly

    But it sure gets a chuckle out of them telemarketers and I was as drunk as Orson Welles when I recorded.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Funny that you allude to Daniel Day-Lewis...

    by C Legion

    "mimicking" his own role, considering that I always thought he was mimicking Robert De Niro whilst playing Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting in "Gangs of New York". Still like the guy though, and hope I like this film.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 8 a.m. CST

    My marriage wasn't Citizen Kane

    by Spandau Belly

    But it last a few hours longer.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 8:09 a.m. CST

    By the way, your review is ridiculously hyperbolic.

    by C Legion

    You do make claims like that instantly, you wait, watch again, give it some time. Then you make bold claims. Also Magnolia was shit, though I did like Boogie Nights.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Kane's "ahead-of-it's timeness"

    by Uncle Bobo

    Citizen Kane was such a "gigantic leap", huh? Ahead of "the ENTIRE world history", aye? "Movies may have remained melodramas?" So what the hell was going on in Europe prior to 1941? I guess we can write off Jean Renoir's "Rules of the Game" or "Grand Illusion", Rene Clair's work, Carl T. Dreyer's "Passion of Joan of Arc", Fritz Lang, Murnau, Vertov, and many other pre-1941 filmmakers? All Orson Welles simply did was, being an American brought up on European culture, bring European pessimism and European ideas of art (film or otherwise) into a Hollywood studio film. Welles simply reiterated what he saw in great European films into his own American movie, but jam-packed it all into one scandalous hyped-up mish-mash of film techniques and European grimness supposedly based on the life of W.R. Hearst. In my opinion, Welles actually set back American filmmaking 1000 years, though he must be commended for doing it his way. Welles truly was a maverick from an American point of view. But there was also great American cinema going on prior to 1941. Let's not forget Frank Capra, John Ford, Charles Chaplin, among others, were making movies, as well. No, I think American cinema would have been just fine without Orson Welles. I think we would still have our Hostels I, II, and III and our many Ring re-makes...

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Knuckleduster

    by Uncle Bobo

    One day when you finish your college education, hopefully you'll have taken a one or two art history classes and learn that certain arrangements of forms or lines or color are pleasing to the eye, stimulate the senses. And if you take a literature class or two, you'll learn that particular arrangements of words, rhyme, meter, or plot structure are more receptive to the human mind. The same goes for music. The progression of art involves breaking these rules while still adhering to principles of "artistic form." This takes genius. And this is what seperates Picasso or Bach from mediocre drivel or from the scritch-scratch one's 3-year-old niece makes on a piece of paper...

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 9:38 a.m. CST

    The bar of expectations has been raised TOO HIGH!

    by Shady Drifter

    ... my mouth is watering with the prospect of American Gangster AND There will be Blood. But I hope not to be disappointed in the end. We'll see. DD Lewis is a stunning actor - perhaps the best there is - so hope is very high.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 9:38 a.m. CST

    by Uncle Bobo

    gtfyffccccccccccccccccn101010100011111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111g2y3323232335r8375556473427765555555888888555555555555555555555885749u789u4u5

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Uncle Bobo

    by Knuckleduster

    I completely agree with what you said. Some combinations of form are clearly more appealing than others. But from an audience's point of view, there will always be people who love or hate a certain film. And while I'm also inclined to sometimes call the ones who I disagree with idiots, I think it's a bit naive to just assume that one person is simply right and another is simply wrong.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 9:42 a.m. CST

    Sorry for the above post...

    by Uncle Bobo

    My 3-year-old got a hold of my computer for five minutes. A perfect example of my previous post, though.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Uncle Bobo

    by Knuckleduster

    No worries. I actually think it's quite pretty.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Knuckleduster

    by Uncle Bobo

    heh

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST

    re: Uncle Bobo

    by shatterglass

    How is "art is subjective" a cop out? It's true. Some people like things and others don't. Some people see greatness and some people don't. First of all, if I say art, then don't come back with an example using a football player or a UFC fighter. How does that have anything to do with art? WTF? Second, if you say Alfred Hitchcock was a great director, I am within every right to come back and say "I hated every movie I've seen of his. I don't think he's great at all". Obviously, he was. But I can say that and I wouldn't theoretically be wrong cause it's just my opinion based on taste. That's why art is subjective. There's nothing technical about Alfred Hitchcock that you can tell me that automatically makes it a fact that he's a great director, other than his influence. Cause Alfred Hitchcock didn't have "x-amount" of touchdowns or anything like that. In fact, that's why someone like Alfred Hitchcock can get away with not winning any Academy Awards and still be greater than 95% of the directors who have.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Star Wars changed the medium too

    by messi

    so don't give me the whole no other film had as much of a change. Citizen Kane and Star Wars are the two most influential films ever.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 10:47 a.m. CST

    Uncle Bobo

    by the beef

    I didn't say KANE was the most influential film in history. I said it's probably the most influential American film. Yes, there were very influential films from around the world prior to 1941, but I was speaking of American films influencing other American films. Chaplin, Capra, Ford, Raoul Walsh, Buster Keaton, Griffith were making great, and influential, pictures prior to Welles, but I don't see them as prevalent, from a technical standpoint, in today's films as I do CITIZEN KANE.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 10:49 a.m. CST

    There Will Be Blood is this year's Little Miss Sunshine

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    "Daniel Day-Lewis is the sexiest beanpole tomboy on the planet, Bro" - Hulkster

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 10:54 a.m. CST

    No, it's this years Citizen Kane, can't you read

    by Guy Who Got A Headache And Accidentally Saves The World

    Get it right.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 10:57 a.m. CST

    Welles and Kane

    by Lazarus Long

    Bobo, I think it's a little too easy to reduce what Welles did to a "mish-mash" of world cinema, boiled down for mass consumption. You're forgetting a couple things here. For one, Welles was a genius/prodigy to begin with. He had already revolutionized the medium of radio (unless you'd like to direct me to all the European radio personalities he ripped off for War of the Worlds), as well as the theatre with some adaptations that may not have been avant garde, but were certainly outside and ahead of the norm at the time. He does all this before he's 25. So when he's given a chance to film ANYTHING with final cut, you have the rare occurrence of talent, timing, and opportunity. That's really what makes Kane the best. If you want to talk specifics, of course none of the camera tricks or technical innovations were new to the medium, but it was the way they were used by Welles that makes the film revolutionary. You also have the distinction of a radio man bringing his acute sense of sound design into the visual medium. I doubt he was the first person to make that transition, but I don't know if you can point to another film that USED these radio techniques on this level. And while you can point to the influence of Ford, Renoir, and possibly Dreyer (who I'm not sure if Welles was even familiar with at this point), he still had a distinct style all his own, and not being the first doesn't take away from the "fact" (sorry, shatterglass) that his shot composition is among the best in cinema history. It goes far beyond a simple aping of any particular filmmaker. If you want a simple formula, you have the striking images of Dreyer, the ensemble work and comprehensive depiction of humanity from Renoir, plus the storytelling and unpretentious directness (among other things, clearly) from Ford. This equation is altered slightly in future Welles efforts, but for Kane it works. What other filmmakers possessed all of these skills at once? To me's he's the most complete filmmaker with the largest arsenal of ideas and tools, and because of the carte blanche opportunity Kane is the most fully realized of his efforts. This opportunity probably wasn't seen again until Coppola was poised to do anything after The Godfather Part II, and the difference between Apocalypse Now and Kane is really only one of restraint. And lastly, as beastie put it above, Kane is just so damned entertaining, much more than any art film. It's got melodrama, suspense, mystery, and some very witty comedy. Just too much for any other film to compete for the title of "Best of All Time". It's easy to say that Citizen Kane isn't the best; what's harder is to come up with anything that so fully deserves the title more.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Citizen Kane comparisons..

    by Automaton Overlord

    ..make me apprehensive. I admit Citizen K. is a movie, both great and influential. but, I hate haveing symbolism jammed down my throat. it's like; </p> man1: "I hate citizen kane" </p> man2: "Really? Did you realize that the giant fireplace represented Kane's desire to both, create something solid in this world, and his yearning to return to the womb?" </p> man1: "Dude!, symbolism is supposed to hit you in the gut, not in the head. </p>

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 11:50 a.m. CST

    There will never be another Kane just like there will never be a

    by joesmith123

    Look, everyone needs to stop placing movies of today alongside movies of yesteryear. The comparisons are stupid just as the awards each year for best pic are stupid because opinions change, moods change and tens years down the line no one is going to say Crash is really one of the best all time movies or now this one becasue although they may be good for the movies coming out during that period of time, but the real great movies begin surfacing around them and rising above them in public opinion as they are viewed more and more and revealed for what they really are, great. But anyway no movie will reach the ranks of a kane or Godather or Raging Bull until it has become a piece of history as well. It's like how there are now great heros in baseball these days(And not because of steroids) but because there is no mystique around the game anymore like it used to be. There are no icons or legends like a babe ruth or ty cobb or ted williams but ten, fifteen, twenty years down the line the A-Rods and Ortiz, and Jeters will become legend And so do not make these statements of movies being on a par with the greats of yesteryear until they too become yesteryear, or at least until you've watched it more than once or twice. Oh, and as for The Beefs mention of Daniel day Lewis' role as Bill the butcher in gangs of New York being one of the greats, he was decent in it but nothing spectacular and anyway that is one of scorceses ugliest and worst and over rated movies he's ever made. It shouldn't even make the top ten list of scorsese movies. 1. Raging Bull 2. Taxi Driver 3. The Last Temptation of Christ 4. Mean Streets 5. The Departed 6. The King of Comedy 7. Casino 8. Bringing out the dead 9. The Aviator 10. Goodfellas 11. Gangs of NY

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 12:12 p.m. CST

    "without sounding like a cinema blasphemist"

    by yesiamaplant

    Well I can certainly say as a writist you're one of the more creative word make upists. Dug the review though.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Uncle Bobo

    by Mattyboy122

    Kane is high-concept? Really? That's about the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Beastie

    by Mattyboy122

    I agree with you completely. Kane is not only incredibly influential in terms of style, but it's a very entertaining film. What's more, it was the first big American film to basically tell you that life isn't all tulips and daisies, that you can have all of the money you ever wanted and still be unhappy. It flew in the face of the American film industry at the time.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 12:44 p.m. CST

    There is only one The Beef!

    by fiester

    And he is starring in the next Indiana Jones. This Beef is a fraud.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 12:49 p.m. CST

    This better get..

    by Series7

    a wide release, I lived overseas when Mag and boogie came out, and I had to see Punch Drunk Love in a shitty small theater. Nothing against independent theaters, just it was in CT and all theaters sucked like the state.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 3:40 p.m. CST

    yesiamaplant

    by the beef

    Touche.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Where's our Citizen Kane Remake?

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    I want to see a studio with the balls to update it to have Shia LaBeouf star as the webmaster of an internet blog and have other bloggers try to figure out his last post "OMG Cloverfield!"

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Bill the Butcher should have been the story of Gangs of New Yor

    by lettersoftransit

    Because it was obvious Scorsese had fallen in the love with the character. Problem was he also had Leo DiCaprio's character, who was supposed to be the hero, and you can't just cut Leo down or out of the picture. So, instead of a story that told the story of Leo's character perfectly, or told the story of Bill the Butcher perfectly, we got a movie in which neither story was told as well as Marty could have told them, and a movie that was just pretty good instead of great.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 5:26 p.m. CST

    I'm concerned Daniel Day Lewis is aping John Huston

    by lovetoall

    from "Chinatown." Watching the trailer, I couldn't help but be distracted by his avatar performance of Huston. Did anybody else notice this? The voice, mannerisms, facial tics...

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 6:42 p.m. CST

    Why I say "art is subjective" is a cop-out...

    by Uncle Bobo

    Because saying "it's all a matter of opinion" lets us, society, off the hook. It frees us from the responsibility of truly understanding art, and limits art to the definition of "entertainment." I remember watching Tarkovsky's "Sacrifice" (a truly great film) some years ago and being completely bored with it and wondering why this was considered by film scholars a great film. In my opinion, it was overrated crap. I turned it off half way through and went back to my Scorsese movies. But a few years and a film education later, I see "The Sacrifice" for the supreme work of art it is. Simply leaving something as socially elusive as art up to one's opinion is selling ourselves short. Perhaps we should do some research, found out why we liked or disliked a certain film, particularly if learned scholars say differently. Was there something wrong with the movie, or something wrong with my understanding of it? Maybe said scholars were wrong. If so, why? And is there anyone out there who agrees with me? Why am I watching this film? For cheap thrills? Simple entertainment? Or something deeper? Should I take a film class in college, being that movies are such a regular part of our lives, to perhaps better understand what I'm watching? These questions and more get thrown out the window when we leave our judgements up to our opinions...

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 7:36 p.m. CST

    re: Uncle Bobo

    by shatterglass

    Our opinions are made up of those exact kinds of scrutiny, but they're still opinions. You're essentially saying that you can PROVE that a one movie is particularly better than the other. So you're telling me that if some scholars claim that the Godfather is better than Citizen Kane, or vica versa, than one of them has to actually be wrong? That one of those movies is FACTUALLY better than the other? Bollocks. That doesn't make sense. There's a dozen "greatest films" lists out there and they all don't have Citizen Kane at the top and the reason is because you can't state that one film is better than another factually. It can't be done. It IS subjective. It's not a copout it's just true. Now, I do understand your point. You can still determine a level of greatness. Obviously "White Chicks" is not as good as "Citizen Kane". I'm sure there are people out there who love "White Chicks" who would hate "Citizen Kane" (Dear God, I hope I never meet that person), but we know that that has nothing to do with the technical greatness of those films. But the point remains the same. Some people prefer Monet over Van Gogh. Some Van Gogh over Monet. That's called "taste" and it's what makes art so glorious. But as soon as you start claiming that "Monet was better than Van Gogh" you've put yourself in a very limited and biased position.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 8:21 p.m. CST

    hells yeah

    by seniorspeilbergio

    This movie can't come out fast enough. Thank god for motherfuckin PTA. Wow me again, brother.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Monet vs Van Gogh

    by Uncle Bobo

    Monet was a master at portraying the world and light, through his palette of colors, an "impression" of the world around him. An impression that seemed to float on air, like supple reflections of light or clouds of memory. Impressionists seemed to almost reject reality. Van Gogh, who came later, rejected these lofty ideas of art. His work, with its bold lines, contrasting colors, was much more grounded in reality. However, there is also a tension, a subtext, an uneasiness, an emotional complexity in his work not present in a serene Impressionist work by Monet. It can be said that Van Gogh, perhaps more than anyone before or after, was able to communicate his state of mind through painting. If one approaches art through the execution of pure technical superiority, the advantage here goes to Monet. But if one approaches art as the subjective expression of human existence with all its emotional complexities, the advantage goes to Van Gogh. And if one assumes that technical achievement between the two artists is equal, the advantage again goes to Van Gogh for emotional complexity alone.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 9:01 p.m. CST

    Hey Harry

    by KorbenDallas

    It's Upton Sinclair, not Sinclair Lewis, you fucking ginger.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 9:45 p.m. CST

    We'll see.

    by TattooedBillionaire

    I'm highly looking forward to viewing this. Citizen Kane is such an amazing movie, so it will not be easy to come close to its greatness.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Re: joesmith123

    by chaplinatemyshoe

    Any list of top 10 Scorsese movies that doesn't include After Hours is fundamentally fucked.

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 10:58 p.m. CST

    WTF!?!?

    by shatterglass

    Well, there it is folks. The final word on the subject. According to Uncle Bobo, when it comes to "the subjective expression of human existence" Van Gogh is the clear winner over Monet. Forget the fact that Monet's paintings bring my mother-in-law to tears. She likes Van Gogh, but they don't really "touch" here the same way. But that doesn't really matter does it. Uncle Bobo has proved that the emotional impact of a piece of art can actually be measured against another. Phew. Thank God. Now I can tell my art professor that he is wrong. Thanks Uncle Bobo!!

  • Oct. 29, 2007, 11:42 p.m. CST

    dont, use, commas, if, you, don't, know, how

    by Prossor

    what, kind. of, review, is, this?

  • Oct. 30, 2007, midnight CST

    re:WTF!?!?

    by Uncle Bobo

    A lot of people cried during E.T., but that doesn't necessarily make it a greater film than Raging Bull. In my final word on this, I believe that art is experienced subjectively, yes, we bring to the experience our own beliefs and what-have-you. But I also believe that art can be analyzed and critiqued ALMOST as objectively as a math theorem. The universe itself is a subjective experience. Einstein proved that with the Theory of Relativity. But from our relative points-of-view, we still require rules and laws, otherwise everything would be chaos. This holds true for the laws of physics, sports, life, not to mention art.

  • Oct. 30, 2007, 12:17 a.m. CST

    Evil Dead 2 is more influencial than Raging Bull

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    As is the Matrix, Something About Mary, 2 Fast 2 Furious, etc. Just saying.

  • Oct. 30, 2007, 5:10 a.m. CST

    P.T. Anderson is gret but...

    by cifra

    Boogie Nights was overlong - pun intended - and ultimately boring. Magnolia was better paced and Punch Drunk Love, definetly not for all tastes. TWBB might be great, but I certainly can't see it being a b.o. hit or sweeping Oscars. DDLewis has a good shot, and I'm thinking is getting Screenplay and Lead Actor wins and nom'd for some technicals, direction and maybe Dano, but no Best Picture.

  • Oct. 30, 2007, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Oh, and this year's LMS is...

    by cifra

    Hairspray. I'll concede that Juno or Sweeney Todd can upset Hairspray for the BP nom, though. But the impact of Hairspray is probably too big to ignore.

  • Oct. 30, 2007, 5:38 a.m. CST

    Citizen Kane: good, PTA movies: shit

    by Maniaq

    Thank you to whoever mentioned Star Wars. I've only seen Kane a couple of times but you know I *LOVED IT* immediately. I didn't feel the need to go back and analyse it over and over to reaffirm what an absolutely awesome movie it was and few films do that to me - but... a few films do that to me! <br> <br> A friend of mine couldn't watch it and he commented that he can't stand the pacing of "old" films, while acknowledging that life, in general, moved at a slower pace "back then". So I can understand that it's not everyone's cup of tea but a lot of people, like me, thought it was one of (if not THE) best films ever committed to celluloid. <br> <br> I must admit I appreciated it more after learning about the background and seeing actual photos of the fireplace and giant jigsaw puzzle and other things Welles used - but that stuff just adds dimensions to something that it was immediately apparent was something truly wonderful. <br> <br> As for PTA, so far his career has been... less than spectacular... OK it's been pretty craptacular! Admit it!

  • Oct. 30, 2007, 7:49 a.m. CST

    I agree with Bobo...

    by Knuckleduster

    ... that people need to get more film-literate. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to go out and buy a formal education, but at least do some research, try to keep up. Watch On The Waterfront before you say shit like "Boondock Saints is the best fuckin movie ever, bro". Otherwise, you might end up like Maniaq who doesn't like PTA or The Thin Red Line. Cheap shot, I know. It's all subjective, but for fuck's sake, man.

  • Nov. 3, 2007, 3:57 a.m. CST

    Most have missed the point.

    by dsbnh

    It is amazing that the majority of people have completely missed the point of the article. It specifically highlights why the comparisons to Citizen Kane are made out of a correlation in the subject matter, not the quality of the film. Uncle Bobo, next time spare us your poor man's philosophies on film and stick to the facts. We get it. You hate PTA for a number of innumerable reasons that only you can understand.