Mon, 1 March 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm GMT

Film Club: Simon Callow on Citizen Kane

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Shunned on release, Citizen Kane is now held to be the greatest masterpiece of American cinema. Join Orson Welles’s biographer Simon Callow as he separates myth from history.

The reputation of Citizen Kane dwarfs every other classic of world cinema.

Tokyo Story, Vertigo, The Godfather: other films may appear on occasion at the top of the critical listings, but they are only pretenders to Kane’s crown. Even those of us who have never seen the film know of its ingenious, time-bending structure, revolutionary deep-focus photography, and legendary twist ending.

David Fincher’s Mank offers a scintillating account of the Kane’s creation, mining the rich psychological and political tensions of golden age Hollywood, and transporting us inside the mansions of media magnates and into the minds of maverick, alcoholic screenwriter Herman Mankowitz and wunderkind Orson Welles.

But what was the true story of how Kane came to be made, and how did this commercial failure come to be regarded as the most critically acclaimed Hollywood movie ever made? What does Kane’s legacy mean for cinema today? And what are we to make of the reputations of its creators?

In this livestream talk, award-winning actor and biographer of Welles, Simon Callow, will tell the story of the making of Citizen Kane employing both his insight’s as an insider to the movie business and the scrutiny of an accomplished cultural historian. It’s an unmissable treat for cinephiles everywhere.

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Simon Callow

Actor, author and director. His films include A Room With A View and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Simon Callow is an actor, author and director. His films include A Room with a View, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, and Phantom of the Opera. He directed Shirley Valentine in the West End and on Broadway, Single Spies at the NT, Les Enfants du Paradis at the RSC, Carmen Jones at the Old Vic, as well as the film of The Ballad of the Sad Café. He has directed a number of operas and has made many appearances with the LPO, the LSO and the London Mozart Players.