Donald Trump reviews the film "Citizen Kane"


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Among the best things in life is the stuff you can't make up...


Words... He knows some of the best words, and he knows how to use them. Bigly.
Is that for real? (Sad, isn't it, that one must automatically ask such questions of anything purportedly said by Mr Trump).

If so, extraordinary. Suffice to say, Barry Norman (Brits of a certain age all get the reference) - who died this past week-end - he is not.
 

localoid

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Is that for real? (Sad, isn't it, that one must automatically ask such questions of anything purportedly said by Mr Trump).

If so, extraordinary. Suffice to say, Barry Norman (Brits of a certain age all get the reference) - who died this past week-end - he is not.
Amazingly enough, it's 100% real.

Back in the early 200s, filmmaker Errol Morris ("The Thin Blue Line," "The Fog of War") recorded this interview with Trump as part of an aborted project titled "The Movie Movie," which, according to Morris’s website, was based on the idea of taking Donald Trump, Mikhail Gorbachev and others and putting them in the movies they most admire. At the end, we hear Morris himself asking Trump a question...

I think Morris had a special camera designed for this project that allowed the person being interviewed to look directly at Morris, while the camera recorded the conversation from Morris' viewpoint.
 
Is that for real? (Sad, isn't it, that one must automatically ask such questions of anything purportedly said by Mr Trump).

If so, extraordinary. Suffice to say, Barry Norman (Brits of a certain age all get the reference) - who died this past week-end - he is not.
Yeah, I remember seeing this video quite some time back. The interviewer heard at the end is esteemed documentarian Errol Morris. Here are the Kane-related excerpts of his recollection of Trump and Kane, though the full interview is worthwhile (and Morris' response to the closing question about the United States and what this election may signify has a ring of truth):

Anthony Audi: I’ve been thinking a lot recently about your extraordinary exchange with Donald Trump, in which he talks about his love for Citizen Kane. What do you make of it now that he’s at the center of our politics?

Errol Morris: Well, there have been moments in my career where people have said things to me that raise all kinds of crazy questions about self awareness. To what extent is this person aware of himself? To what extent is this person aware of what he’s saying? And then there’s a whole set of additional questions. How could he not be aware of what he’s saying? How is this possible?

I have this concept based on possible revisions to the DSM V, the diagnostic manual for American psychiatry, and I was going to call it Irony Deficit Disorder: the absolute inability to appreciate irony on any level whatsoever, particularly when the irony involves oneself. Definitely a severe disorder. I would rank it well above paranoid schizophrenia, sociopathy and the like.

AA: Trump certainly seems to suffer from that disorder. What do you think he sees in Citizen Kane?

EM: Somehow he identifies clearly with Kane. Kane is Trump. And it’s not the kind of identification that I would make if I were Trump. Of course that issue—if I were Trump, what would I do, what would I think, what would I say?—it’s one of those counterfactuals I’m probably not equipped to address. But, if I were Donald Trump, I would not want to emphasize that connection with Kane. You know, a megalomaniac in love with power and crushing everything in his path. The inability to have friends, the inability to find love. The moral that Trump takes from Kane—I mean, it’s one of the great lines that I recorded. I ask, “Do you have any advice for Charles Foster Kane, sir?” You know, let’s get down to the psychiatric intervention. How can we help this poor man? He’s obviously troubled. How can we help him? Donald, help me out here!

And Donald says, “My advice to Charles Foster Kane is find another woman!” And you know, I thought, is that really the message that Welles was trying to convey? That Kane had made poor sexual choices, poor marriage choices?

AA: It’s an incredible line. And it makes you wonder what goes through Trump’s mind as he watches the movie. I still can’t wrap my head around if he just chooses to ignore its obvious moral undertone, or if he genuinely doesn’t see it.

EM: Well, that’s one of the great mysteries of self-deception. [Topic shifts to Donald Rumsfeld]

AA: So there’s a comparison to be made between Rumsfeld and Trump?

EM: I don’t like making facile comparisons, and probably there is really no true comparison to be made between the two, but there’s this illusion of depth where there really is none. When Trump talks about the film, he talks about how wealth can produce isolation, can produce loneliness. And he says, “I can understand that.” But he says it in a way to underline the fact that, “I am a wealthy and powerful man. I am like Charles Foster Kane in that respect. But this really hasn’t happened to me. This hasn’t happened to me because, first of all, if I have these kind of marriage problems, I just move on.”

And the problem that Charles Foster Kane is having is not because of a bad marriage choice. The problem is he’s an empty, hollow man, a simulacrum of a human being, a nothing, nowhere man who destroys the people around him, who’s incapable of love, incapable of compassion, incapable of self reflection, incapable of awareness of the world around him save that which suits his own slimy purposes of gathering wealth and power.

AA: What about Trump’s take on Rosebud?

EM: It’s fun to hear Trump talk about how Rosebud somehow works, the metaphor works, “I don’t know why it works, but it works. After all, Steven Spielberg paid a lot of money for it, so it must work. Paid a lot of money, maybe seven figures, six figures.”

So Rosebud works! But what is Rosebud? Well, Rosebud could be a lot of things for a lot of people. One of the beauties of metaphors is they can fulfill multiple purposes at the same time. Certainly Kane has this sad ineffable longing for a lost past. I would venture to say it’s also the search for something that has meaning or significance in a life that’s become meaningless, empty, devoid of significance.

AA: Does Trump get that?

EM: I would say that Trump sees nothing.

AA: And yet, while being blind to the reality of his own hollowness—blind to the message conveyed so clearly by Welles—while somehow missing all of that, Trump still manages to identify Citizen Kane as the movie that speaks most profoundly to his emptiness; the movie that best demonstrates the danger he poses to the world.

EM: You know, in Borges’ review of Citizen Kane, he cites Chesterton in “The Head of Caesar,” and it’s one of my very favorite quotes of all time. “There’s nothing more frightening than a labyrinth without a center.” An amazing phrase, which can mean so many things. He of course applies it to Kane. But it’s a world where there is no truth or falsity. For me, it’s a world of randomness, a world of chaos. A world of appearances with no substance. A world really, truly devoid of hope. And I find the review very powerful, actually truly meaningful, given when Citizen Kane first came out and what happened to the world. We forget how charged of a time that was. 1941.
Of the film itself, Pauline Kael, the New Yorker's legendary film critic wrote a very good book on Kane and is famous for praising/dismissing the film as a "shallow masterpiece." It's message(s) aren't hard to grasp -- well, you wouldn't think they are. I once watched it with a fifteen year-old who got it. I held a screening at my home when I ran a film society and the members (ranging from mid-twenties to mid-sixties) didn't struggle with it and in fact commented they were surprised how entertaining and funny the film is in how it relays the story loosely based on the publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Kane's writer/co-writer (that's complicated), Joe Mankiewicz had been cordial friends with Hearst and had visited San Simeon, upon which Kane's "Xanadu" is based, with Hearst, his wife and other guests. Over the years he learned a personal detail -- Hearst's "pet name" for his wife's, uh, private place. Hearst was quite angered to find that this private nickname being used as the key to Citizen Kane: Rosebud.
[doublepost=1499029128][/doublepost]How I picture Trump when watching CNN, reading the New York Times or when someone's hidden his Twitter machine:

 
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macrumors Sandy Bridge
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Amazingly enough, it's 100% real.

Back in the early 200s, filmmaker Errol Morris ("The Thin Blue Line," "The Fog of War") recorded this interview with Trump as part of an aborted project titled "The Movie Movie," which, according to Morris’s website, was based on the idea of taking Donald Trump, Mikhail Gorbachev and others and putting them in the movies they most admire. At the end, we hear Morris himself asking Trump a question...

I think Morris had a special camera designed for this project that allowed the person being interviewed to look directly at Morris, while the camera recorded the conversation from Morris' viewpoint.
Absolutely extraordinary. And thanks for confirming the story.

Agreed, you couldn't make it up.

Yeah, I remember seeing this video quite some time back. The interviewer heard at the end is esteemed documentarian Errol Morris. Here are the Kane-related excerpts of his recollection of Trump and Kane, though the full interview is worthwhile (and Morris' response to the closing question about the United States and what this election may signify has a ring of truth):



Of the film itself, Pauline Kael, the New Yorker's legendary film critic wrote a very good book on Kane and is famous for praising/dismissing the film as a "shallow masterpiece." It's message(s) aren't hard to grasp -- well, you wouldn't think they are. I once watched it with a fifteen year-old who got it. I held a screening at my home when I ran a film society and the members (ranging from mid-twenties to mid-sixties) didn't struggle with it and in fact commented they were surprised how entertaining and funny the film is in how it relays the story loosely based on the publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Kane's writer/co-writer (that's complicated), Joe Mankiewicz had been cordial friends with Hearst and had visited San Simeon, upon which Kane's "Xanadu" is based, with Hearst, his wife and other guests. Over the years he learned a personal detail -- Hearst's "pet name" for his wife's, uh, private place. Hearst was quite angered to find that this private nickname being used as the key to Citizen Kane: Rosebud.
[doublepost=1499029128][/doublepost]How I picture Trump when watching CNN, reading the New York Times or when someone's hidden his Twitter machine:

I love that movie - it is so intelligent; I love the script, the story, the multiple narrators, the acting, the lighting, the way the passage of time is handled. Actually, it has aged extremely well.

Yes, I had read that - or been told that story - about the actual origin of the "Rosebud" quote; but yes, I love how it is treated in the story.
 

darksithpro

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Trump uses simple words, as it resonates with the crowds better. The more intelligent a candidate appears, the less of a connection they have with the common man, or typical American voter. IMO this is one of the reasons Hillary didn't connect with her crowds. The scripted vocabulary was too much and not engaging on a more personal level.
 

jkcerda

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Trump uses simple words, as it resonates with the crowds better. The more intelligent a candidate appears, the less of a connection they have with the common man, or typical American voter. IMO this is one of the reasons Hillary didn't connect with her crowds. The scripted vocabulary was too much and not engaging on a more personal level.
He did say he loves uneducated voters :p
Trump is at or belies the level of Forrest Gump :eek: but he is a millionaire and won the election so you can complain about his tweets his vocabulary his lack of manners but the man is successful
 

darksithpro

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He did say he loves uneducated voters :p
Trump is at or belies the level of Forrest Gump :eek: but he is a millionaire and won the election so you can complain about his tweets his vocabulary his lack of manners but the man is successful
In my book he's a master entertainer and somewhat of a manipulator. He's the kind of guy that everyone is paying attention to and talking about at the party, telling his stories and gloating about his achievements. He can easily fill a baseball stadium and charge the going game rate, without a script and get everyone all riled up. That's his natural ability. It's a very powerful gift to have.
 

MadeTheSwitch

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Wow...what insight by Donald himself. Now we know what is going on with Trump. He has found that his wealth does not make him happy and is retreating to his childhood. It's all so clear now!
 
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So Trump's review is spot on?
I'd say he gets it about as well as I get Duck Dynasty, that reality show where Daffy, Donald and Daisy vie for Scrooge McDuck's wealth while Huey, Dewey and Louie do press interviews defending their uncle.


well, he does sound more lucid that he does nowadays, but his review seems more telling about him rather than the film.
Lots of editing. Lots. And even then it sticks with the most generic aspects, trailing off to recognition of rosebud with only the most basic resonance. So, yeah, more lucid than "mean bill" and a tad better than I get Duck Dynasty.
 
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localoid

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I'd say he gets it about as well as I get Duck Dynasty, that reality show where Daffy, Donald and Daisy vie for Scrooge McDuck's wealth while Huey, Dewey and Louie do press interviews defending their uncle.
Do you think he actually watched the film?

Lots of editing. Lots. And even then it sticks with the most generic aspects, trailing off to recognition of rosebud with only the most basic resonance. So, yeah, more lucid than "mean bill" and a tad better than I get Duck Dynasty.
Oh, when I said more lucid, I wasn't referring to the quality of his review, I meant he didn't seem as rambling as he is today. Even with the wonders of editing, you'd be hard pressed to take a recent audio of trump speaking and make it sound as lucid. Today, Trump's train of thought can't stay on the mainline for even a complete sentence before it hops off onto a side track, usually then quickly taking a series of even more side tracks, then starting down yet another mainline only to jump off to another side track, etc.
 
Do you think he actually watched the film?



Oh, when I said more lucid, I wasn't referring to the quality of his review, I meant he didn't seem as rambling as he is today. Even with the wonders of editing, you'd be hard pressed to take a recent audio of trump speaking and make it sound as lucid. Today, Trump's train of thought can't stay on the mainline for even a complete sentence before it hops off onto a side track, usually then quickly taking a series of even more side tracks, then starting down yet another mainline only to jump off to another side track, etc.
I have no doubt he's seen it and probably multiple times. He does a fairer job in the broad strokes than I implied since I focused my analogy on amusing myself more than accurately depicting my sense; I'm more careful on the meaningful topics than something as silly as this. Silly as a favorite film for this cinephile, that is.

On Kane/Trump, the only comparison I detect is in the emptiness of character that becomes more evident in the later years — and also the private charm employed to conceal it until people get too close. Trump's current bellicosity rises to a level I don't see in Kane who, perhaps if he'd won his own race and based on the script's tenor, may have hewed more closely to his declaration of principles than Trump has. That's the trouble with fiction — outside of complex novels even a film as adventurous with multiple unreliable narrators relaying a life story defiantly non-chronologically — characters are more shaped to suit a narrative; to be made to make a kind of sense we can believe in, whereas we accept the inconsistencies of real people. I don't suspect Trump has much depth but that in itself manifests a lot of complication that will make for both compelling written biographies and hackneyed docudramas.
 
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localoid

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Dunno... I figured one of Trump's staff wrote an executive summary of the movie and then coached him on it prior to the interview. If he did watch it, could Trump have watched it multiple times? Is his attention span long enough for that?
 
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