If Citizen Kane Was Required Viewing In School, Would The World Be A Better Place?

citizen-kaneCitizen Kane is most often cited as the greatest movie ever made. There’s really no point in arguing that because everything about it is superlative. The acting and direction are perfect. The cinematography and staging are breathtaking. Some will argue for other movies, but Kane is flawless. If I were forced to make one concession, it would be that Casablanca’s script was better. Maybe.

I think it’s safe to say that movies have become the art form of the masses. Walk up to a random person and try to talk about the most popular painting, play, sculpture, song, or book (religious texts aside), and you may have a hard time getting a conversation going. Talk about the most popular movie, and it seems hard to find someone that hasn’t seen it. If that’s true, wouldn’t it be a good idea to embrace that in education? Michael Pinto of Fanboy.com argues that indeed, Citizen Kane should be required viewing in school.

With the high regard and artistic value of Kane and the dominance of film/video in our daily lives, it’s hard to see how using the movie to educate kids as to what a movie should look like when everything comes together, as well as study of all the individual parts. When everyone is making their own videos, who couldn’t benefit from a little education on editing and composition? And with arts programs often the victims of school budget cuts, interjecting something of artistic merit can hardly be called a stupid idea.

My hope would be that exposing everyone to Citizen Kane early would create higher expectations of the movie industry and give prospective filmmakers a solid foundation. With the omnipresence of moving images in our lives, my motivation isn’t just personal, it’s for the betterment of society. There will always be contrarian crap like Disaster Movie, but maybe it would elevate the art form as a whole and prevent artistic depressions like the remake/sequel one we’re currently suffering.

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