Saturday, February 27, 2021
‘Citizen Kane’ to Set Film Lovers Up for ‘Mank’
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“Mank” reevaluates 1930s Hollywood through the eyes of scathing wit and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz.
   
Sunday, November 22, 2020
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Many critics, filmmakers and fans call it the greatest film ever made.

And, 80 years after it first screened, The Magic Lantern Cinema is set to have two special screenings of “Citizen Kane.”

The Ketchum movie theater will screen the movie today—Sunday, Nov. 22—at 4:15 and 7:30 p.m.

The screenings will precede Magic Lantern’s coming opening of “Mank,” a vision of 1930s Hollywood re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of “Citizen Kane” for Orson Welles.

“Mank” will take its place among other films for the Thanksgiving holidays.

“Citizen Kane, a thinly veiled quasi-biographical film based in part upon American media barons William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, was nominated for nine Academy Awards after it opened in 1941.

Orson Welles’ first feature film, it went on to win Best Original Screenplay by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Welles. It also has been praised for Gregg Toland’s cinematography, Robert Wise’s editing, Bernard Herrmann’s music and its innovative, precedent-setting narrative structure.

“Mank,” which offers a behind--the-scenes look at “Citizen Kane,” is one of the most interesting movies jumping into the forefront of the 2020 Oscar race, according to Rick Kessler, owner of Magic Lantern Cinemas. It could, he adds, end up being a classic in its own right.

Gary Oldman plays Mankiewicz who in real life came to hate Hearst after being exiled from Hearst’s circle. Mankiewicz also ended up tussling with Welles after Welles refused to give him credit for his work on “Citizen Kane.” Mankiewicz also wrote or worked on “The Wizard of Oz,” “Dinner at Eight,” “Pride of the Yankees” and “The Pride of St. Louis.”

Amanda Seyfried plays Marion Davies, an actress and mistress of Hearst. Both she and Oldman are garnering high praise for their work in “Mank,” as is the direction, black and white cinematography and production design.

Rotten Tomatoes has given the movie a 91 percent approval rating, calling it sharply written and brilliantly performed.

“ ‘Mank’ is a tale of Old Hollywood that’s more steeped in Old Hollywood—its glamour and sleaze, its layer-cake hierarchies, its corruption and glory—than just about any movie you’ve seen,” said “Variety.” “And the effect is to lend it a dizzying time-machine splendor.”

 

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