Film - Feature | June 12 | 7 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Inventing modern cinema is a tough act to follow, Orson Welles remarked later in his career. Indeed, Rosebud may be the cinemas most beloved red herring, for the mystery of newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane is solved early onit is lonely at the topbut Citizen Kanes gothic, labyrinthine modernism remains its great mystery. Its as distanced as Kane himself, protecting the power of enigma with a No Trespassing sign; the narrative is like the jigsaw puzzle with which Susan Alexander Kane vaguely amuses and tortures herself. Welles didnt invent chiaroscuro lighting, deep-focus cinematography, overlapping dialogue, and lightning flashbacks, but he used them in a Brechtian way to alienate us from the monster he created. The hollowness of his American dream played out in full is captured in a magnificent overhead shot of Kanes art collection (plaster pieces RKO had lying around) crated for auction, looking everything like the naked city of film noir.