"Citizen Kanes" of cinema

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick McCart, Feb 17, 2002.

  1. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    A Birth of a Nation is thought to be a total showing of how far cinema has gone at that time. Citizen Kane is thought to be the second film of this kind.

    What films do you think accomplished this feat of showing how far film has gone at their time like Nation and Kane?
     
  2. Luc D

    Luc D Second Unit

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    2001: A Space Odyssey
     
  3. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Ben-Hur (when epic set pieces were becoming the norm)

    Star Wars, without a doubt.
     
  4. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Gotta disagree on "Ben Hur," Seth. While it is very spectacular and supremely entertaining, I don't see how that one advanced the art of filmmaking in any way, or proved particularly influential in style.

    I'd vote for D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance," for its innovative use of four parallel storylines running simultaneously, possibly "Psycho," since it started a new genre, the slasher film, and yes, definitely "Star Wars," because it changed not only every sci-fi film that came after it, but the film industry in general -- Hollywood focused on a different kind of movie after "Star Wars." (Unfortunately, one of the side effects was that it became, and still is, very difficult for a straight drama to make any money. Example: "The Godfather" was the highest grossing film of 1972. That could never happen today.) Also, "Star Wars'" grand symphonic score was extremely influential. Film scores sounded very different after "Star Wars," even though it was a return to a certain style rather than a new style.

    I'm sure there are tons of others. Chaplin's "The Gold Rush," maybe? Perhaps Bergman's "The Seventh Seal"? Possibly "Bonnie and Clyde" for being one of the first films to star really bad people in sympathetic leading roles.

    Going to foreign films, I know Roberto Rossellini's "Open City" was one of the early "neo-realist" films, which forever affected filmmaking style in the US and all around the world, although his next film, "Paisa," is considered the bigger classic today. I believe "Open City" was awarded a special Academy Award, before the Foreign Language category existed.

    Orson Welles thought Jean Renoir's "Grand Illusion" was the greatest film ever made.

    Take a look at the top ranked films in the Sight & Sound poll that comes out every 10 years. If I think of it when I get home, I'll post all the winners. Citizen Kane has been #1 every year since 1962. (Hey, there's a new poll coming out this year -- that should be interesting.)
     
  5. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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    Star Wars Saga

    2001

    LOTR:FOTR (Coulda never made this movie 20 years ago)
     
  6. Ben Motley

    Ben Motley Supporting Actor

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    Maniac [​IMG]
     
  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Battleship Potemkin

    Snow White

    Toy Story

     
  8. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    I would agree with Snow White as a moment that showed what could happen with film as the first of it's kind; Toy Story is another interesting pick that I would probably agree with as it was the first pure digital animation full length film.

    Star Wars would also be on my list.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    This may be too narrow, but Willow was the first film to use the special effect "Morphing" (I believe), has since become a bread-and-butter effect for movies.
    Definitely Snow White for animation; and Toy Story for animation again. I will also suggest The Little Mermaid which heralded the return of excellent (U.S.) animation after a >10 yr hiatus.
     
  10. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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  11. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  12. Guy_K

    Guy_K Second Unit

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    A recent example is the Toy Story movie. This revolutionized the way animated films were made. After Toy Story, computer animated movies were the primary, and successful method.

    How about Jaws? That seems like a good example. I read somewhere that it gave birth to the 'summer blockbuster'.
     
  13. Josh_Hill

    Josh_Hill Screenwriter

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    Tis true, Jaws and Star Wars pretty much gave birth to the summer blockbuster.
     
  14. Gabe D

    Gabe D Cinematographer

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    The Matrix
     
  15. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    Apocalypse Now
     
  16. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Patrick,

    I"ve heard BIRTH OF A NATION listed in the context you described above- but I'm unclear as to exactly what it was known for specificaly. I'm not all the familiar with the status of film at the time, so forgive my ignorance. Was it just that it was the first feature length story? I've also seen it credited as the birth of modern filmmaking techniques (camera closeups for example).

    Is there any site that talks about specifics of what this film is credited for inventing.

    -Vince
     
  17. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    I can't seem to find many sites about Birth of a Nation but the review at this site seems okay: http://www.filmsite.org/birt.html. Personally, I remember in film class a few years ago watching many silent movies of that time and when we got to Birth of a Nation I was absolutely stunned by how relatively modern it looked compared to those other primitive films. The story is utterly repulsive but in terms of style and technique, I've been convinced since then that no film is more important to the development of the medium.
     
  18. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Birth of a Nation is heralded for originating or streamlining several technical advancements. These included night photography, moving camera techniques, tinting, iris effects, subtitles, fade outs, parallel action, and extensive cross cutting among others.
    Cinematographer G.W. "Billy" Bitzer was obviously a very busy man at the time. [​IMG]
    Addendum the above link has a much more comprehensive list than mine. Good link!
    Regards,
     
  19. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    A Birth of a Nation is usually thought to be a condensation of everything film was up until that time. Sure, several of the techniques in the film are not originally from that film (many appeared earlier than 1915), but this film brought all of it together.
    Citizen Kane is also thought to be a film like this...most of the revolutionary techniques are not originally from that film, but the film brought them all together.
    Sort of like a final exam made from 10 different tests. [​IMG]
     
  20. StephenA

    StephenA Screenwriter

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    Godfather series

    Star Wars series

    Indiana Jones series

    Jaws

    Night of the Living Dead

    Halloween

    Metropolis(1927 version)

    Akira

    If I can think of more, I will.
     

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