citizen kane is boring

so coming back to an earlier discussion about why i don’t think ‘citizen kane’ is the best film ever made. first of all, i have an issue with top 10 (or even top 100) lists. they’re mostly created by self-righteous critics/arbiters of taste who think they’re better than everyone else and since their opinions are sold as such (expert, valuable, sacrosanct), the film/artwork’s rating becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. if such lists were compiled more organically, bottom-up, they wouldn’t be static or anachronistic. also, films/art wouldn’t be assessed eternally through the lens of white heteropatriarchy, which is so very tired.

as a friend pointed out, citizen kane’s cinematography, camera angles, structure and writing might have been inventive for its time, but our response to art is visceral – it’s not some kind of intellectual calculus, rather an emotional response. i’ve never been able to watch the entire film, all the way to the end. it doesn’t engage me.

if u think about it, why should an american film made by a white man in 1941 be universally accepted as the best film ever? my repository of favorite movies doesn’t have room for ‘citizen kane.’ here are a few films (in no particular order) that work much better for me. pls check them out if u haven’t already.

Garam Hava by M.S. Sathyu
This 1973 Indian feature by first-time director M.S. Sathyu takes place in the days immediately following the Indo-Pakistani partition, as a Muslim shoemaker (Balraj Sahni) in Agra, India, tries to resist the prejudice and economic pressure that tempt him to abandon his family business and emigrate to Pakistan. Sathyu brings a naturalist touch to this detailed family drama, shooting in color and on the streets, often with a handheld camera.

Charulata by Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray’s exquisite story of a woman’s artistic and romantic yearning takes place in late nineteenth-century, pre-independence India, in the gracious home of a liberal-minded, workaholic newspaper editor and his lonely wife, Charulata (Madhabi Mukherjee). When her husband’s poet cousin (Soumitra Chatterjee) comes to stay with them, Charulata finds herself both creatively inspired and dangerously drawn to him. Based on a novella by the great Rabindranath Tagore, Charulata is a work of subtle textures, a delicate tale of a marriage in jeopardy and a woman taking the first steps toward establishing her own voice.

Close-up by Abbas Kiarostami
This fiction-documentary hybrid uses a sensational real-life event — the arrest of a young man on charges that he fraudulently impersonated the well-known filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf — as the basis for a stunning, multilayered investigation into movies, identity, artistic creation, and existence, in which the real people from the case play themselves. With its universal themes and fascinating narrative knots, CLOSE-UP — one of Kiarostami’s most radical, brilliant works — has resonated with viewers around the world.

In The Mood For Love by Wong Kar-wai
The Battle of Algiers by Gillo Pontecorvo
Ikiru by Akira Kurosawa
Scenes From A Marriage by Ingmar Bergman
Miss Julie by Alf Sjöberg
Titus by Julie Taymor
Away From Her by Sarah Polley
The Sea Inside by Alejandro Amenábar
Moonlight by Barry Jenkins
Una mujer fantástica by Sebastián Lelio
Bab’Aziz by Nacer Khemir
Korkoro by Tony Gatlif
The Double Life of Veronique by Krzysztof Kie?lowski
Forever by Heddy Honigmann

i could go on:)

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