Citizen Kane Is The Most Overrated Movie Of All Time – Richard Elfman

Citizen Kane Is The Most Overrated Movie Of All Time – Richard Elfman


Film Courage: When I look back at some of
the Danny Elfman videos did you help direct any of those? Richard Elfman (Filmmaker of FORBIDDEN ZONE):
Yes, I’ve helped produced some, directed one (PRIVATE LIFE) although it was Danny’s
conception. He knows very much what he wants in the videos. Film Courage: They are very creative. And do you see a correlation…or not a correlation
but a difference in music videos from the 80’s and 90’s compared to now? In terms of the production value wasn’t
there as much but the story was. Richard: Well a story is very important in
a musical number or a video. Great videos have a beginning, middle and
end (so do great musical numbers) going back to CHICAGO which had great serviceable music
but it had beautifully choreographed dance numbers that had a beginning, middle and end. Extraordinary, extraordinary. Okay MOULIN ROUGE! unfortunately what they
did was they shot tons of footage for the musical numbers and then just shot, shot,
shot, shot, shot. No beginning, middle and end. You are bored by the end of the musical number. No story, just a bunch of images. Film Courage: What did you think of BIRDMAN? Richard: I liked it and I’m a huge Michael
Keaton fan. Well I loved him as BATMAN. And I want to see him come back for BEETLEJUICE,
they are talking about doing another BEETLEJUICE. Film Courage: He was great in THE FOUNDER
too (I don’t know if you saw that)? About the McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc? Richard: I did not see that. Film Courage: But when you look at BIRDMAN,
is there anything about his character that strikes you? Richard: Well it’s a very different…he’s
one of those actors who can just do anything. It was just an iconic role, not like anything
he has done. Film Courage: But in terms of…you’ve been
a film director, a theater director was there something that got you about the film because
it was not the most happiest of endings? Richard: To put it mildly. Film Courage: Without any spoilers but was
there a part that you really resonated with? Richard: I enjoyed the film but it wasn’t
earthshaking for me. But I loved the film. I have other films that are my top 10, my
top 20. Film Courage: Oh! Top Ten, I’d love to hear them. Richard: Gosh in a nutshell? Okay, Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, Scorsese’s CASINO,
what’s the one with RAGING BULL, Coen Brothers Oh Brother Where Art Thou?, David Lynch BLUE
VELVET, Coppola GODFATHER I and II…you know the classics. Film Courage: With Hitchcock I was watching
a documentary and they were talking about how some of his sort of sexual repression
was able to show… Richard: It sure did in PSYCHO! Film Courage: Right…so what could be a hindrance
to some people actually on screen (who knows what some of the stories were on set) but
that it really translated into amazing performances. Just want to hear your take on it since you
seem very open. Richard: I wouldn’t describe myself as repressed! And that’s the thing like how crazy or neurotic
does an artist have to be and how does it translate through the work? I don’t believe you have to be crazy or
neurotic as an artist. You can learn it in some method acting classes. I’ve learned tricks to make actors cry. Film Courage: They [the documentary] talked
about how he didn’t feel comfortable in his own body and that maybe he even used his
weight as a way to kind of keep people away from him but then there was something about
that which translated on screen because… Richard: I can relate to that because I need
to lose 10 pounds if I want to get into this senior boxing division next year [Richard
is a former boxer]. Film Courage: Well I don’t think you need
to lose weight and I wasn’t going there but I’m just talking about. Richard: I’m just kidding. He was a master and it’s hard to get into
someone’s head and to me that was the ultimate explosion of sexual repression. It was like a perfect film…Oh! THE THIRD MAN is one on the top of my list. That I can watch over and over and over. Film Courage: Do you think there are people
like Orson Welles still in this town today? Sort of this charismatic…I mean there are
so many charismatic people but… Richard: Here is what is going to get me into
trouble, CITIZEN KANE to me is the most overrated film of all time. Film Courage: Okay? Richard: Brilliant cinematography. I forgot the guy’s name but he actually
shared his director credit with the cinematographer. Film Courage: Not Elia Kazan but…? Richard: No but Elia Kazan is one of my favorite
directors but getting back to CITIZEN KANE so okay he takes this brilliant cinematographer
and gives him free reign and does innovative shots, innovative eating and has a really,
really interesting film. I have a simple test with film being great
or comedy being funny. The film being great is how easy is it for
you to turn it off? It is that simple, no rocket science. We’ve all got films that we don’t want
to turn off. We’re late for the appointment and we want
to keep watching. Those are our greatest films. I’ve never had trouble turning off CITIZEN
KANE. I can’t turn off GODFATHER I or II, I can’t
turn off Scorsese’s greatest films I just want to keep watching. I don’t know about you guys but it just
doesn’t hold me? I love the shots, I love the editing, there
is genius going on but I have no trouble turning it off. So it’s not on my top 10 or top 20. Film Courage: How do you feel about TAXI DRIVER? Richard: Top 20. Sorry about that, RAGING BULL, TAXI DRIVER,
my gosh! So brilliant. And then with modern films I liked WONDER
WOMAN, BLACK PANTHER, and Tim Burton BEETLEJUICE, EDWARD SCISSOR HANDS and some of my brother’s
greatest work [Danny Elfman] has been for Tim Burton. So these are all on my list. Film Courage: What would you say the difference
is between film directors let’s say in the age of Hitchcock, maybe Scorsese, Coppola
so we are spanning a few decades there compared to now? What’s the difference? Is it just the roles that they have to play
by in terms of there is such pressure… Richard: I mean every generation has brilliant
filmmakers and a lot of junk that time sorts it out, time sorts it out. Film Courage: That’s true because we’re
not really hearing about the ones that fell by the wayside back then even though it were
less filmmakers. Richard: Right, we remember Elia Kazan’s
ON THE WATERFRONT or A STREET CAR NAMED DESIRE. We think of those but we don’t think about
all the junk that happened in the 1950’s.

Comments

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    Jeremy

    I think the reason Citizen Kane doesn’t do it for some people is because it’s difficult to sympathise with Kane. It’s a fantastic movie but if the audience can’t relate or sympathise with a main character they can’t be enthralled all the time.

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    meg

    Keaton was AMAZING as Vulture in Spiderman Home Coming. Guys like Keaton, Harrison Ford, Denzel, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise… Living legends.

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    Sam Peebles

    Gregg Toland was the DP on Citizen Kane, and it's not overrated. Birdman was good but no one will be talking about it in 10 years, let alone in 80 years.

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    dex208

    I just watched Citizen Kane recently. I was astonished, outraged and baffled by how disappointing it was. What exactly made it so highly rated?? What's so ingenious about it? Were films before it really bad in comparison?

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    22grena

    Says (((Elfman))). Pretty sure this man with an incredibly stupid made up name (what was his original name before it was changed?) thinks that (((Wonder Woman))) or Black Panther is better.

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    gnarth d'arkanen

    Good video, and I can agree with a lot of this…
    AND I understand a fairly substantial amount of my opinion is likely to be dubbed unpopular or slip into the anal crevasse of forgotten (forbidden?) history… (lolz)
    "Citizen Kane" was a good movie, just not quite so good as publicly acclaimed, and thus, over-rated. I get that it's iconic (among a very short list) in technical excellence and daring cinematography innovations. It just doesn't make the movie great.
    Similarly, I find myself suspicious of anything that's caught up in the "Bandwagon of stuff getting or already done to death" purely for some political or societal angle of commentary or angst. (see "Black Panther" and "Wonder Woman" AND "Ghostbusters") That kind of practice CAN be alright in satirical comedy or an overt horror (even a noire sense) presentation IF it's done well. It's practically impossible for it to be done well outside of those.
    "Ghostbusters" is a prime example of just being TOO EXCITED about the politics involved to present decent comedy, and since comedy is the cheapest and easiest thing to put on screen… Frankly, it's cringeworthy for everyone involved.

    SOME movies get to be part of Cinematic Greatness simply because they're fun to watch. They don't have to "mean" anything, to give "meaning" to anything, or force some weird introspection about anything. They're just fun to watch, and like the guilty pleasures they are, we (audience) will happily binge on fat-saturated potatoe products and semi-plastic cheese-flavored goop-dips in our closets at the witching hour to watch them… again. We might well hate ourselves in the morning, when every other cinephiliac snob in the office is carrying on about the atrocious practices of whoever put those works into public view in the first (let alone the latest) time, but… we can hate ourselves silently.

    SO I propose, rather than scrutinize what anyone has in their personal "top X" numbers of great movies lists… we try swapping around movies that should be watched at some point. Possibly some certain movies that should be watched early on in our growing appreciation for the craft and the business, not just for the purposes of seeing great movies, nor JUST for putting great movies into a context historically, but to find some considerable appreciation for what's been done already, how much of it's done to death by now, and why so many in the audience or critics' boxes find such fault with some of the material hitting silver-screens recently…
    "Black Panther" wasn't horrible… It just struggles to avoid smacking too richly of "It's about time there was a super who wasn't {existential demographic demon}"… "Ghostbusters" wasn't the worst remake in history… It was simply WAY over-hyped for the faltering of humor in timing… the WAY too obvious retro-fit of "instead of four guys, four girls"… like that's NOT sexist… AND for the record, committing to outright feuds with fans is NOT a good marketing strategy… ever. "Wonder Woman" is a tough sell… Mostly because it was the obvious counterpart to "Superman" way WAY back when the first issue came out in comic-book form. I can't fault the movie or anyone involved for that, since it is franchise material… BUT there's a reason it's going to struggle, no matter how good it gets written or produced. ;o)

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    Josh Liam

    Right now my top 10 movies would be:
    It's A Wonderful Life
    Groundhog Day
    The Lord of the Rings (Full trilogy)
    The Empire Strikes Back
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    The Dark Knight
    Good Will Hunting
    Dead Poets Society
    La La Land
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    I do think Citizen Kane is overrated, but I just watched it a few weeks ago and it's still very very good.

    My most overrated film, although it's a different kind of overrated, would be 300. I know people love it but the whole speed up slow down gimmick never did anything for me.

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    Maxwell King

    Yes, citizen kane is certainly overrated, but justice league is infact the most overrated film ever! It is scene for scene a lazy and blatant rip off of better movies! I hold a firm belief it is due to fanboys and their desire to beat marvel! The simple fact is however the film is just the lame man's marvel avengers and xmen!

    Furthermore, citizen Kane may be boring but justice league is a chore!

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    Space Catboy

    12 best..
    LONESOME DOVE
    FOREST GUMP
    CHRISTMAS STORY
    OUTLAW JOSEY WALES
    THE SEARCHERS
    TRUE GRIT (not the turd that was made in 2010, but the real one)
    NEVER CRY WOLF
    MR MOM
    SHANE
    JEREMIAH JOHNSON
    EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
    CAPTAIN RON

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    voikuvoics

    Unsubscribed after this shit interview. You don't like CK but you talk about Black Panther..
    CK is about how it revolutionised the industry not just about story or actors. Look how films, sorry, movies looked before and after CK and maybe you will understand why it is considered to be one of the greatest.

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    break2262

    "The legend of 1900" the most naive and overrated movie ever. If I were allowed to burn only one movie, that will be the one. Sorry)

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    Epictetus

    There is a contemporary alleged masterpiece I'd like to nominate – Tree of Life by Terrence Malick.
    Sometimes it's just impossible to understand why a movie gets the praise it does.

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    MrAlsgaard

    Coming from Richard Elfman, the director of Shrunken heads and a couple of music videos, that certainly means a lot….looking forward to his explanation why directors such as Bergman or Kurosawa are charlatans and how Kubrick's Odyssey is a boring and pointless movie.

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    Can2274

    I saw Citizen Kane for the first time when I was a teenager. Didn't understand why everyone called it the best movie ever made. It wasn't until later on when I saw it again thanks to one of my college instructors, who had pointed out why the movie was considered an innovative classic, that I appreciated it more. Looking at Richard Elfman's filmography it's obvious he's not a cinefile like Scorsese or Tarantino. A wasted interview. Not to mention he didn't know who Greg Toland was and this idiot is a few decades older than some of us.

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    WallKenshiro

    My top 10 this week, it frequently changes depending on my mood. The only one that always stays the same is #1.Robocop (1987) 2.Pulp Fiction 3.The Dark Knight 4.Conan The Barbarian (1982) 5.Blade 6.Reservoir Dogs 7.The Matrix (1&2) 8.Ghostbusters (1984) 9.The Shining 10(joint).The Terminator. Aliens. Predator. The Crow. Apocalypse Now. The Godfather (1&2). I can't decide between all #10s, so like them all equally. EDIT: I can't believe I forgot to include Jaws, The Blues Brothers and Sin City in there somewhere.

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    john joseph

    This is the problem with art. Anyone can have an opinion. Anyone can have an opinion if it is not related to maths. U need quantification.

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    Nx Doyle

    I totally understand why contemporary audiences would conclude that a movie like Citizen Kane was overrated. But in analyzing Kane, contemporary critics are worth their salt only if mindful of context, especially the social and political climate and, above all, the movie industry up to and including Kane.

    It's perfectly fine to watch Citizen Kane and come away feeling that it didn't resonate with your 21st Century aesthetic and sensibility. But that's all you get to feel. Kane changed the way movies were made. Indeed, if it weren't for a handful of groundbreaking films produced in the few years on either side of Kane, today's industry would look very different.

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    Michael Accorsi

    I took a film class where the professor had 25 films in reverse order, Rope, Giant, Potemkin… the suspense was incredible. #1 was Citizen Kane. I thought before seeing this, I need someone to explain why and how they see it. I think at the time it must have just floored people, the intrigue of Rosebud, the significance, the realistic connection to Hearst… I went back recently eyes wide open thinking, I must have missed something. The shots are remarkable, remarkable. (Not Barry Lyndon remarkable, but beautiful)…. but I wonder how much of it is the plain fact that its' kindof imbedded as #1. Like in the day Stairway to Heaven was everyone's #1 song of all-time in the 80s, 90s… Just is cemented up there.

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    Michael Accorsi

    Overrated: I think Raging Bull is across the full length of the film. Parts are incredible. But, for me Forest Gump. One of the best first watch films. And, an incredible story, but it's a bit overinflated.

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    Dez Parker

    My God, he mentions Scorsese's "Casino" as one of his top 10 before "Raging Bull" and "Taxi Driver". "Casino" has got to be one of my Top 10 most depressing, ugliest films of all time. Technically brilliant, as all Scorsese's films are, but not a single decent, empathizable character in the entire movie, they're all despicable, awful people. If you want to feel horrible about being alive, watch "Casino".

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    some guy on the internet

    After watching 3 minutes of Citizen Kane I was pissed that I wasted my money on it!!!! Citizen Kane is f**** trash don't buy it don't rent its overrated trash

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