Orson Welles' Citizen Kane is a masterpiece of cinematic artistry and ingenuity, which commented on the control and manipulation of mass media, while creating a controversial media firestorm itself. Citizen Kane follows the rise and fall of Charles Foster Kane, a media magnate allegedly based on the real-world tycoon, William Randolph Hearst. With themes of power, greed, and corruption, especially as applied to the media, Citizen Kane remains relevant for its message as well as its technical production, which was groundbreaking in its use of the media to enhance the narrative. Though its release was nearly thwarted by outraged Hearst surrogates, Citizen Kane represents a triumph of filmmaking and often tops the list of greatest films ever made.
On the morning of August 28, 2016, Karen Redrobe (Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Endowed Professor in Film Studies) and John L. Jackson (Richard Perry University Professor) presented talks on Citizen Kane and the Year of Media. Professor Redrobe’s talk, “Citizen Kane (1941) and the Radical Media Experiments of Orson Welles,” can be found on the Year of Media website.