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January 31, 2008

Chimezie Ononenyi: Sahara’s Racial make-up

It is well known that in many aspects the U.S. armed forces was very segregated. The film tried to conceal this reality but there are cues that still stood out.

The most obvious cue is that Sahara had only one black, Sudanese character named Sgt. Tambul, a French fighter. None came from the U.S. army side, which differs from today's U.S. army, where one would probably see a black soldier in every five.

Another cue is that Sgt. Tambul did not hesitate to fall under Sgt. Joe command. They both were allies and were on the same superiority level, but it is easily to tell that Sgt. Tambul was more of a servant to the group of allies. He did not socialize as much as everyone else in the group because there was an obvious sense that he did not measure up to the same level of superiority with them.

If Tambul were a white Sgt., he probably would not have been the one to labor for the water. He was just as thirsty as every other soldier, but being that he was the black one, he knew without asking that he was expected to do the labor.

The Nazi soldier initially resisted Sgt. Tambul as he wanted to search him and he said that he would not allow an inferior race to search him. Such resistance from a prisoner, and even worse the statement, would have been enough to stir a Sergeant’s anger.

In general I would say that the film accomplished its task of making the U.S. Armed forces look good as being humanitarians and strong. Whether or not it was intended to portray a back character as being inferior, racism definitely played a role.

Chimezie Ononenyi


Jess Doll's Sahara Reflection

According to the reading "Good War, Race War," the film Sahara was deemed "radical" because of the way the African American character, Tamdul, was depicted. Not only was he "equal" to the white Americans but he was also a hero for his acts of bravery during the film. This "equality" was unusual to see because during WWII the military was segregated, thus many African Americans who wanted to help the war effort cooked meals, rarely making it to battle.

While the film Sahara shed African Americans in a better light than most WWII films, it still managed to illustrate the racism of that time period, in subtle ways. For example, once captured, the Nazi soldier refuses to be searched by the African American soldier stating, "I don't want to be searched by an inferior race." Later in the movie, Tamdul was confronted about his "multiple wives", a stereotype assumed by the other soldiers in his platoon. Later to find out he had one wife just like them.

After reading "Good War, Race War" and hearing the personal stories of each platoon (specifically Manchester's memoir), it is a shame that the military did not desegregate during WWII. I say this because Manchester's platoon was like a "melting pot" and despite all the different ethnicities of the soldiers, they bonded on such a high level that Manchester said, " [We] didn't fight for [the] flag or [the] country . . . we fought for one another." Author of "Good War, Race War" Gary Gerstle makes the suggestion that if black men and white men had the chance to fight alongside one another in battle, the bond they could have formed may have helped to break down the vicious walls of racism. "When German shells and bombs are raining about them, they do not worry as much about the race or creed of the man next to them, Walter White (NAACP chairmen-1944).

Christina Johnston

In Sahara, there exists a strong undertow of governmental propaganda regarding the American war effort. Humphrey Bogart, himself, represented a tough-as-nails general. His portrayal was consistent with the masculine ideals being propagated by posters and advertisements on the American home front. The issues of the war were portrayed in an inherently biased way. The Germans were continually being vilianized; for example, radio transmissions using terms like “the Germans have wiped out…? and “The Germans took over...? These statements shadowed the reality of Germany’s European invasions during the war. The American way of life is addressed in minute instances: the Texan soldier talking about his hometown and wife, and the Italian’s brother in Pittsburgh, showed America as a land of opportunity and new beginnings for all. Similarly, when Bogart asks the troops if they agree to stay and hold off the Germans, or go home, he has nothing to lose, but t they have families and loved ones. This illustrates the importance on family values held by American’s during the war.
The German’s were consistently snide, ruthless, and untrustworthy in Sahara. As they were shown shooting the Frenchman in the back, stabbing the Italian in the back, and killing their own soldier who cracked under the pressure; the allies were shown burying their men, and Bogart couldn’t leave behind the Italian to die. There was an obvious attempt to completely polarize the compassion of the Allied powers from the heartless Axis powers.
The areas of material supply and civilian responsibility were addressed through the constant shortage portrayed in the film. The men are always in need of something, whether it be food, water, or ammunition. This portrayal was used as a motivator for the home front to continue to do their part in supplying the war effort with the above scarcities. Britain, France, and Italy listened to and obeyed the American general (Bogart), the strong and competent leader reflected the American “we are the world? mentality of military superiority and influence
For the time period, I feel that the non existence of women on the battlefield was appropriate, and did not take away from the film; it simply reflected gender roles at that time. The issue of race was also indicative of society, as all of the men of diverse backgrounds worked together to stop the Germans, however, they were not exactly all treated with the same respect. For instance, the black man was expected to climb down the well and check for water. Although I liked Sahara, it served no other purpose aside from spreading war propaganda.

Sahara and WWII Eric Nelson

Despite Sahara being predictable and having lame special effects, I was ultimately still able to enjoy the movie. It made me laugh, possibly unintentionally, but regardless I found it humorous. Sahara’s propagandistic purpose was bluntly evident throughout the entire movie, forcing me to classify it strictly as a propaganda piece. It followed practically every theme the government outlined. The issues of war were addressed in a conversation in which one of the characters is telling Bogart’s character how they are better than the enemy because of freedom. It shows the nature of two enemies, German and Italian, in the prisoner’s conversation, in which we are told the German’s are ruthless killers to the soul and are full of hatred, while the Italian’s are just fighting a war out of fear of what will happen to their families if they don’t. The movie obviously lays out the United Nations and the fighting forces by adding the English medical unit, “Frenchy?, and the Sudanese solider to the expedition. Sahara briefly discusses the production front and the home front when the Italian makes reference to his brother-in-law from Pittsburg who works in a steel mill, which could have helped to build the Lulu Belle.

The idea of war evoked depravities is clearly represented in Sahara. One example is when the German prisoner stabs the Italian prisoner in the back for not following orders. Another is when the German commander orders his men to fire on Frenchy, while his back is still turned. Another example of this depravity is when we find out the German prisoner who drank the water was executed for talking to the enemy. The morale consequences of fighting and dying for one’s country are addressed by Bogart’s character Joe Gunn. His speech about staying to stall the enemy being every soliders duty, even though they have families, and how it is most likely that they will all die, shows the consequences of fighting and dying for one’s country so that one’s country wins and protects the ideals they believe in.

The film does not reflect the reality of the emphasis of race in the military at that time, but instead shows a black man being a hero. The purpose of the gallant Sudanese solider was to get minorities to sign up for the war effort in hopes of the same glory that they could never attain due to racism. There was reference to wives and girlfriends back home, but no female characters in the film. This is because at that time the women’s place was not on the battlefield, but rather back home in the factories. This did not significantly take away from the movies persuasive purposes because it still made the point that we, the Americans and our allies, are good and that we will win because we’re smarter and righteous, while the enemy, who is bad and deceitful, will ultimately lose.

January 30, 2008

Alex Schreiner's Sahara and World War II

Sahara definitely fit the bill for a WW2 era propaganda film, presenting all the aspects intended by the Office of War Information that were outlined by Gerstle. It portrayed the iconic American hero, played by Bogart, taking charge and saving the day. It portrayed bravery and sacrifice, with the unusual crew risking and sometimes losing their lives to advance the greater good. They acted together with members from all the Allied nations to put their duty to their cause and countries above their own life. It also showed the humanity of the American GI, because they risked their own water and rations just to save an enemy from an agonizing death. The film also showed audiences what all were fighting for, as various soldiers displayed pictures and recounted stories of the loved ones back home. The Nazi enemy was portrayed as coldhearted and demonized, with a prisoner going so far as to literally stab his ally in the back to escape. It does not address the civilian side of responsibility and the roles at home directly, but the Frenchman’s account of his civilian life at home does emphasize once again what the troops are fighting for. This is definitely a pro-American film, as Bogart explains that the troop captured victory because “American’s are stronger,? and they “have that extra something? that the Nazi enemy lacks.

This film showed the human depravity that people are capable of that is displayed by the Nazi, but it also emphasizes the courage that it evokes, demonstrated by the soldiers turned heroes when the hard decisions and sacrifices need to be made. It showed that sometimes an individual’s death is not in vain if they lived and die to advance the “good fight,? as this ragtag group did. The film did incorporate the aspect of racism, but it was only displayed by the Nazi enemy. The Allies seemed ready to accept the Sudanese soldier as one of their own, but as Gerstle pointed out, the OWI was careful not to force Americans to address the issue of racial equality in their own forces. The Sudanese soldier even sacrificed himself for the good of the crew, which serves to provide African Americans at home with aspirations of heroism without granting them equality in their ranks. The absence of women in this film is inconsequential, because the war did not include women on the front and definitely not in the ranks. Overall, this film would have served as an ideal propaganda film to accomplish the intended messages the government wished the public to receive.

Sahara and WWII for Katie Kunik

After watching Sahara, I would definitely classify it as a propaganda film. The film touched on several of the points the government used as a guide for war time movies. The issue of war, meaning what American troops were fighting for was one theme touched on in the movie. The character Joe Gunn was the leader for the American platoon, and he quickly became the leader of all the other platoons. Gunn became the selfless leader by letting others drink the newly discovered water before himself while he parented the soldiers by allowing them so much to drink. He was looking out for the safety of the other soldiers before himself. This could help give American viewers the impression that America was fighting for other allied countries freedoms as well as it’s own. Sahara also did a good job of portraying the enemy as a common evil. The Italian prisoner is found first and is shown as a very cowardly, but still likeable character. The German prisoner, however, is shown as cold hearted and back stabbing especially when he stabs the Italian prisoner while trying to escape during the battle. He is only known as a killer. The movie is uplifted a little when his character is killed, which shows how much the filmmakers wanted viewers to get a negative reaction to the Germans from this movie. The movie also incorporates the theme of United Nations because of the union of all the different platoons in the beginning of the movie. They all came together and endured pain together when they were out of food and water and while they later watched their comrades die in battle at the hands of the Germans. The production front and the home front were not mentioned often in the movie other than a glimpse at a letter to or from home. The final theme of fighting forces is also touched on in the movie. It depicts the platoon fleeing from German attack while trying to find refuge. Then, they get caught up in battle where they out-wit the German forces to win their battle. This is an important piece of propaganda because it would demoralize the home front by showing the same platoon on the losing end of the Sahara battle. When they win, it helps boost the morale of the American people.

Amanda Ruffalo

Citizen Kane is almost always at the top of “the best of all time? film lists. Why do think
that is, and would you put it on your own “all time? list?

I don't think I would go as far as to say that Citizen Kane is at the top of "the best of all time" list, but it was a pretty decent movie for its time.
Citizen Kane had many positive elements. For instance, the movie experimented with many different camera angles which made for a more interesting film. Storytelling is a strong aspect of the movie as well. Citizen Kane takes us through the life of one man; his accomplishments and failures, marriages and divorces. It shows everything Kane had to do to achieve the American dream. This made for a more realistic movie, showing how hard one man had to work to get to the top and how lonely it really is up there. I also really enjoyed the symbolism that took place in the movie. Having the viewer unaware of what 'rosebud' meant throughout the film keeps them in suspense until the end when the meaning of 'rosebud' is presented.
I wouldn't put this movie on my top list because even though it was a pretty good movie it was a little too slow moving for me and it was actually quite depressing.

January 29, 2008

top five-Christina Johnston


1: "Memento"- This movie was really thought provoking. It takes your brain through two hours of confusion and in the end; you still may or may not have figured it out. He has no short-term memory and is trying to figure out the details of his wife's death.

2: "Ratatouille"- What can I say?! This is a feel-good movie, and personally, I really like France, furry things, and cooking, so you can see why this movie drew my interest. Also, it has something that most cartoons do not... Unlike most Disney films, they actually throw in elements of reality which make it interesting to adults too.

3: "Breakfast at Tiffany's": I LOVE Audrey Hepburn. This movie is endearing because it makes me feel like a very independent person compared to her character Holly-Go-Lightly, who tends to leech onto men and use her wit, charm, and good looks to party her way through life.

4. "American History X"- This is a weird favorite because of its neo-nazistic theme. I have a hard time watching this because of the shock value of it, but the first time I did, it opened my eyes to the reality of some hate-mob mentality that I was completely ignorant of.

5. "Abandon"- This is about a girl who is being stalked by a former boyfriend. In the end, however, things aren't quite as they seem. I really like the psychological thrill of this movie.


1. Death Cab for Cutie - (favorite album: Transatlanticism) good for sleeping, relaxing, homework-doing

2. Arcade Fire

3. Amy Winehouse- apparently they didn't "try to make her go to rehab" hard enough! Her voice is beautiful in a way that is unexpected and intriguing.

4. R. Kelly- He may have a sketchy past, but the man knows how to make a 'phat' dance song

5. Anna Nalik- "chick music" at its finest

Citizen Kane-Brenna Munoz

I will admit that at first it was hard for me to focus and gain interest in the film Citizen Kane, partially because the films most of us engage in today are far more digitally enhanced and appealing to the eye; for example color vs. black and white. However, once I adjusted to this difference, I was able to see the film for its defiant strengths such as the story line, acting, connections with society, and creative filmmaking considering the limited resources and technology available at the time.
Although the movie was created years ago, it reflects on issues still relative to modern society. This allows people of today’s society the ability to make connections, which is usually an important aspect of films from a viewer’s perspective.
Citizen Kane reflects on the popular belief that having everything one could ever imagine does not always lead to true happiness. Implying that material worth is not what is most important. Americans, then and today, live for this story. It gives the less privileged hope and forces people to empathize and appreciate the non materialistic gifts life has to offer. Making connections and giving most people a better sense of worth.
The constant mystery of trying to figure out the meaning and significance of Charles Kane’s last word, “rosebud,? had me curious and intrigued throughout the entire movie. When the solution to the mystery is solved, revealing the symbolism of rosebud to the loss of Kane’s childhood, it implies that something as significant as one’s childhood is irreplaceable and no material worth can ever fill this void. This is always a popular storyline among modern society and never seems to get old.
I wouldn’t go as far to say that this is the greatest movie of all time. However, I would agree that this is a very excellent film that can still be appreciated today. The positive qualities found in the symbolism, connections, respectable acting, and creativity leave Citizen Kane a film quite deserving of a significant amount of credit.

Citizen Kane- Ashley Bergman

I remember my grandfather saying once that Citizen Kane was the best movie of all times, and that Plan 9 from Outer Space was consistently voted the worst. Personally, I enjoy Plan 9 a lot more than Citizen Kane if only for the fact that it induces some serious laughter. So when I first saw Citizen Kane as a senior in high school, I was left wondering what all the fuss was about. I thought Orson Welles was a good actor and that he made a pretty solid movie but—the best movie of all time? I didn’t think so and I still don’t. However, I don’t agree with this comment (seemingly written by either an old man who is wondering where the good old days disappeared to or some sullen teenager):

“Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message—all things that do not interest film-goers today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care.?

This I find to be very harsh (and also, if that’s all it takes to make a great film, I could make one tomorrow!). I would agree that people don’t care too much about Citizen Kane anymore as it is somewhat dated and a story that isn’t really relevant to your ordinary citizen as most of us aren’t multi-millionaires who can do whatever we want, but I don’t agree that the lack of interest is due to the fact that film-goers don’t care about cinematography, symbolism, or message. We do seem to care as the movies that get nominated to win Academy Awards tend to be fluent in all three of those categories. There’s even an award for best cinematography so someone must care.

Let’s look at the winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2006. Personally I was very annoyed that Crash, a story about racism, won over Brokeback Mountain, a story about, well, you know, because I felt Brokeback Mountain was the better film and Crash was nothing new. But I guess the audiences and voters felt different and no doubt it was due to the message of the movie: that racism is still prevalent even if it’s not overt. Take a look at the leading-contender for Best Picture this year, No Country For Old Men, which is seeping with symbolism and has a powerful message of its own. Movie-goers do care about these things, just not so much in out-dated, 60 year old movies.

Top 5- Ashley Bergman

Top 5 movies
1. The Shawshank Redemption- I love the chemistry (platonic) between Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, both are tremendous actors. Also the story here is wonderful-- intricate, surprisingy and believable, thanks to Stephen King. Plus the cinematography is gorgeous, Thomas Newman's score complements perfectly, and I always end up with a happy feeling when I finish watching it. "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best thing". I could gush longer but I'll stop here.

2. Lost in Translation- I can really relate to what Scarlett Johansson is going through in this movie, feeling lost and unsure of what to do with her life. Also good music and gorgeous scenery.

3. The Squid and the Whale- This is just a really awesome movie about a dysfunctional family and how divorce affects the two children in the family. The ending is perfect especially with Lou Reed playing as background music.

4. No Country For Old Men- Rarely does a movie end where I think it should. This one does.

5. Pulp Fiction- Probably don't need to say anything on this one. It's clearly a great movie. Best script of all time, I would argue.

Top 5 Artists
(I'm a music lover so this should be difficult)

1. The B-52's- this is a sentimental selection. Plus, they very nearly founded alternative music.

2. Dave Matthews Band- typical college band, but they are very talented and put on the best concerts.

3. Stars/Decemberists/Arcade Fire/New Pornographers/Death Cab for Cutie- Sorry, that's five bands, but they all run in the same "indie" vein.

4. Heartless Bastards- a favorite of today, subject to change. Very powerful, energetic blues-rock band.

5. Tears for Fears- I'm a sucker for melancholic 80s bands.

(honorable mentions? Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, The Who, Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, The Beatles, George Harrison, John Lennon, Thomas Newman, John Williams, Wolf Parade, Wilco, XTC, Tegan and Sara, Damien Rice, Snow Patrol, Jesus and Mary Chain, Muse, Alanis Morissette, Genesis, Collective Soul, Coldplay, New Radicals, The Strokes, The Suburbs, and Sufjan Stevens). (sorry).

January 28, 2008

Citizen Kane - Katherine Lung

I wouldn’t list Citizen Kane as one of “the best of all time?. The appeal of the American Dream is not as relevant as it was back then, and I believe it’s just harder for the majority of the population to relate to this as the middle class families have been growing steadily. Although I enjoyed the movie to a certain extent because I do believe that there is much more to life than the American Dream. It is not about the quantity of materials, but the quality and significance of holding such materials, whether it is excessive or not. The difference in the adult’s (Kane’s parents) idea of what happiness is (wealth) compare to a child’s (Charles Foster Kane) idea of what happiness is (family), is significant in the movie as at the end on his deathbed when he mentions the name of his sledge, brings us back to the notion that all the wealth he acquired and the love he bought never filled the void of leaving his family and the simpler times during his childhood. As he acquires wealth and spends money ruthlessly throughout the movie, it is fairly apparent that he was becoming farther and farther from affections he desired. In his final home, his palace, the large fireplace was sparsely furnished, normal conversation was hard to hold (they were shouting in the grand hall or … living room?) and everybody was unhappy. It was ironic how Charles Kane thought wealth could buy back what lacked from him but at the end what mattered to him most was considered worthless when he died and was burnt. It was a good movie and the irony forces people to rethink the concept of the American Dream.

Top 5 - Katherine Lung

Top 5 – Katherine Lung


Running with Scissors – the dysfunctional family dynamics was funny and the fact that it was a real story.
Finding Neverland – I can’t specifically remember why, but it was enjoyable.
The Illusionist – the twist at the end made me shout out loud.
Perfume – the unexpecting ending and poignant twist to the plot was appealing.
Little Miss Sunshine – another dysfunctional family thing.

Musical artists…

Black Eyed Peas
Marie Digby
Gavin Degraw
Maroon 5
KT Tunstall

January 27, 2008

Jon Marshalla's Citizen Kane Entry

I would like to address several of the questions posed. First of all, as to Citizen Kane being considered the greatest movie of all time, I would have to disagree, although I do think that it was an amazing movie about what is important in life.

As far as this movie not interesting your average movie goer today, I think it wouldn't interest many. The first 5 minutes of the movie where it shows the life of Kane documentary are somewhat annoying in my opinion. Once the regular dialog and characters came into place, the movie become much more interesting. I think the depiction of the "American Dream" not being all that it's cracked up to be is very critical, today probably more so than before. Here is a man who had all the wealth in the world, and the final thing he thinks about on his deathbed is a time when he was with his mother and had a sled. He didn't want to leave as a young child because he desired the love of his mother. Later in life, when he had "gained everything," he had really lost everything in my opinion. The most important thing in life is not the money and things we acquire, rather it is the people in your life. For me it doesn't matter where I am, what I'm doing, or whether or not I am rich or poor, if I am not surrounded with people who care about me. Nothing is more important than this, and oftentimes people forget this in their pursuit of money and power. It is a powerful message about life, and I enjoy the storytelling method where the reporter goes and talks to people who have interacted with Kane in their life. It reminds me of the style of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" and has many parallels with it. Both old movies, well ahead of their time, filled with messages that are just as important today as they were in the 1940s.

Jon Marshalla's Top 5

Top 5 Movies:

1) Casino. - I'm a big fan of the mob movies and of Pesci and De Niro. there is no doubt in my mind that this is the best Las Vegas/Mobster movie of all time.

2) Braveheart - The definition of an epic movie. First of it's kind and so many more films were inspired from it.

3) Blow - Some unreal Johnny Depp acting, and on top of it all its a true story.

4) The Notebook - I know I'm a guy and shouldn't like this movie, but it is definitely the best romance I have ever seen and an amazing story as well.

5) Superbad - prime example of a satire of mine and I'm sure many others' high school days. Could not stop laughing during the entire movie.

Top 5 Artists:

1) Dave Matthews Band - I'm not a total junkie, but gotta say I love listening and chilling to DMB. I also went to his concert at Alpine Valley this summer.

2) Tech N9ne - In my opinion one of the best and under recognized rappers out there. Been to two of his concerts and absolutely loved them.

3) Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - love so many of his songs. Last Dance With Mary Jane, Learning to Fly, American Girl, Free Fallin, Don't Do Me Like That.... I could go on forever.

4) Led Zeppelin - Absolutely love Going to California, Over the Hills and Far Away, Dy'er Maker (which Sean Kingston eloquently ripped off for his song "Me Love") and so many more.

5) Toby Keith - I love some good country, and Toby Keith is pretty much the king. Went and saw him at We Fest in Detroit Lakes this year and had the time of my life.

Citizen Kane

At first I didn't see how this movie could be rated one of the best movies of all time. Now, I can see why this movie is classic. It has all the elements of the "rags to riches" story. Everyone loves to see the underdog make it. It makes good story because it correlates to people that want to be that person or strive to be that person from rags to riches.

The part that stuck out the most to me is his lost childhood. How he used money, power, and knowledge try to compensate for a childhood that he lost. He was never happy or satisfied with what he had in life, even though became wealthy and powerful. He used it to live his dreams through other people which in the end did him no good. It wasn’t self fulfilling because he was never satisfied. In the end all of things he acquired didn’t hold any value compared to his sled “Rosebud? did. His sled represented simplicity. It was a symbol of freedom and living in the present time.

I think this movie depicts people who get caught up in material possessions and living a lavish life that they forget the simple things in life that should be cherished and remembered. For example, parents who are so occupied working and forgetting that they need to be there for their kids. They don’t get to experience their child growing up and being a big part of their life because they are so occupied worrying about the future and forgetting what is important now.


Martine Schroeder

The film “Citizen Kane? I must admit, was only mildly entertaining to me. However, I do feel that this movie conveyed an interesting message. The fact that Kane’s financial success was so unfulfilling to him is a message that continues to be a topic of interest today. This can be exemplified by the number of people who seek fame and financial success as an end to being happy. There are a number of recent movies based around the premise of wealth and success not necessarily producing happiness. I find it remarkable that Wells was the first person to present this message to audiences. Although this film was not the most entertaining movie I’ve ever viewed I believe that it does convey a message that is still appealing and holds some resonance with audiences today.

Martine Schroeder

Top 5 movies - I definately enjoy the chick flick...
1) While You Were Sleeping
2) Father of the Bride
3) Ransom
4) Stepmom
5) Wedding Crashers

Top 5 artists –I basically will listen to any type of music, but these are probably my favorite artists from each genre.
1) Justin Timberlake
2) Dave Matthews Band
3) Mariah Carey
4) Rascal Flatts
5) Bob Dylan

Joe Ross Citizen Kane

I've heard a lot of talk about this movie for most of my life, but going into class last Wednesday I honestly had no idea what this movie was about, much less what to expect. I particularly liked the way we learned about Kane through the stories and memories of those closest to him, but none of them knew him well enough to know what Rosebud actually meant. Kane is a tragic character, but brings the tragedy onto himself by succombing to tempatation of wealth and power, making it nearly impossible to sympathize with him.
Although the taste of moviegoers today has drastically changed since the time this movie came out, I don't agree that most people wouldn't care about the symbolism, message, etc, that this movie is based on. While the majority of us wouldn't put this movie in the top 5 list we just made, I believe most of us at least appreciate the differences between Citizen Kane and the dumb humor and redundant action movies that Hollywood wants us to watch. As a capitalist country, most people are concerned with acquiring as much wealth and power as possible, just like Kane does, but nobody really thinks about the consequences of having so much power in the palm of your hand. Therefore, this movie is still relevent in that respect, and probably will be for a long time...unless there is another communist uprising in the near future.

Citizen Kane

“If I wasn’t rich I might have been a good man.? Does wealth corrupt good people? I don't think so, but this movie brings up the idea that the quest for money and wealth has the power to turn good people bad. Kane is essentially alone when he dies. He is surrounded by material things that he has purchased in a house empty of family or friends. Sure he has a butler, but everyone in his life at this point, is paid to be in his life. I think that this movie is relevant to our society because so many people do strive for financial success, which is alright, but lose sight of more important things in the process. One problem this movie may have connecting with today's audience is that it was a little slow. Society has become more impatient over time and this could prevent it from being enjoyed by many people. Overall I found it entertaining enough with a refreshing message that money won't solve all problems and that maybe this American Dream that so many strive for is a little overrated.

Amanda Palazzo's Citizen Kane Reflections

When I read the syllabus and noted that we would be screening “Citizen Kane? in class, I had mixed feelings. I knew it was an iconic film, a masterpiece, listed as one of the best, as one of those films you just need to see. My initial hesitancy was that it would be boring, slow, cheesy, and would not live up to all the hype. I have been proven wrong when it comes to classic movies, as “Rebel without a Cause? is one of my favorites, but nonetheless, I was not expecting to like the film. I was even more surprised when I found myself quite captivated by it.

While Kane was certainly flawed, perhaps even despicable, he is also pitiable. I found myself, more than disliking his character, actually feeling bad for him. As we come to learn in the end, that the meaning behind his last utterance, “rosebud,? is a reference to his beloved sled, a relic from his childhood, it shows us how traumatic his separation from his mother, and essentially, his childhood, was. He knew a true kind of love before he was taken away, something he was never able to replicate through domineering behavior or bought affections. Kane died with wealth, but was empty and alone; the adage “money doesn’t buy happiness? certainly rings true in this case.

I do think that the idea of a less idealized depiction of the American Dream does resonate with people in this time. While this comparison is quite possibly sacrilegious, I think there are many similarities between Kane and the “starlets? and “socialites? of today, for instance Britney Spears. Her childhood was, essentially, lost to fame; she grew up quickly with the constant scrutiny of the public. Now, in her mid-twenties, she’s rich, spending some obscene amount of money monthly, and has the attention of the world, but (as we’re constantly reminded) she is in decline. Her career is all but dead, she lost her kids, and she may be battling some addiction/mental health issues. Again, “money doesn’t buy happiness;? she has everything, but nothing, as did Kane.

Miles Mendenhall

Miles Mendenhall favorite Music and Movies…

Songs: Ohia, the magnolia electric company (one whole album about an electric company that employs a small town)

Joanna Newsom, Y’s (I drove 7 hours to see her backed up by a 28 piece orchestra and have no problem admitting I cried)

Windmill, Puddle City Racing (#1 and #3 are just good enough to excuse any other lack luster track)

Leadbelly, Capitol Record Recordings (Leadbelly is just a cool guy)

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (Good toe tapping)

The Great Escape ( I modeled most of my masculine characteristics after Steve Mcqueen)

Tekkonkinkreet (Great art, brilliant story, cool name).

Oldboy (Has one of the best plot twists)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (It’s the scariest movie I’ve ever been made to watch and 75% of the scary things happen during the day)

Zeitgeist (A brilliant and well researched documentary summing up a scary theory and its future consequences. I wish its sources were illegitimate so I didn’t have to believe it)

Citizen Kane Review

Citizen Kane, cited often as one of the greatest movies of all time, holds little mainstream audience in today’s society. First and foremost, consider the differences in cinematography. Welles stretches out his scenes, sometimes going minutes without any substantial dialogue or emotion, a device that, although commendable, would never hold the attention of a generation who grew up on the ADHD inducing 10 second flashy scenes of MTV and action movies. It preaches patience to a distracted culture, and preaches a message that has become trite. Based around the idea that money can’t buy happiness, Kane fails to identify with a culture who has turned such a statement into a sort of mantra, quoting the phrase to anyone who works too much, buys extravagant things etc, etc. Although a progressive thought in the day it was made in, it becomes lost like anything else of worth in the present day, passed up for Die Hard and whatever Harry Potter installment they are on now.

Joe Ross' Top 5


Star Wars - The original trilogy never gets old for me, and the special effects that Lucas uses are incredible for the time. The new movies are also good, but I don't think they can ever be considered classics like the originals.

Tommy Boy - The best performance by one of the funniest men to have ever lived, Chis Farley.

Dazed and Confused - Anybody that has lived through high school can relate to this movie in one way or another.

Boondock Saints - This movie really makes you think about the differences between right and wrong/ good vs. evil and whether ordinary citizens have the right to take the law into their own hands if the law enforcement is less than sufficient. And it's just straight up bad ass.

Girl's 'Yeah Right' - A skateboarding video that turns the sport and the filming of it into a piece of art. The tricks are innovative and technical as hell, great use of special effects (special effects in skate video? yep.), and the audio/video synchronization is amazing (the entire film is perfectly edited so that every trick pops and/or lands on the beat of the song playing in the background). Anyone can appreciate this video, even if you don't skateboard or know anything about the sport.


Operation Ivy - Even though they only recorded one full length album, they completely changed the way punk rock would be played from then on.

Black Keys - A twosome that puts a modern twist on blues rock, but still stays true to the roots.

The Roots - These guys have the best beats in all of hip hop, no questions asked.

Led Zeppelin - I don't think I could live with myself if I didn't put the greatest rock and roll band of all time on my list.

Pennywise - A punk band that plays hard and fast every song. They didn't really change the scene at all like Op Ivy, and after a while all their songs start to sound the same, but I love them nonetheless.

My Top Fives...

Why hello there! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I must say this is a hard topic for me because I love a lot of music albums and movies. It was hard for me to narrow my top fives but I did it. In no particular order…

Music Albums

1) Justin Timberlake: Justified. I really loved Justin’s style and swagger even when he was with N’sync. He has such a great voice and a great dancer. This album just set him apart from your stereotypical pop album that was expected from him. He really showcased R&B in this album. With the help of Timberland, he had great beats and melodies in this album. I can play through the whole album without skipping a song. Every song in my opinion was really good.
2) Justin Timberlake: FutureSex/LoveSounds: Okay you guessed it, I’m a Justin Timberlake fan. I really love this album as much as his first ones. Again, showcasing R&B flavor, he made an album worth listening to every song. The song “My Love? was such a hit and it had a unique beat to it. I can never get sick of that song.
3) Lupe Fiasco: The Cool. This is the latest album I just can’t get enough of. He a great lyricist. He is able to relay messages or tell stories vividly through his lyrics. He has this bboy/skater swagger unlike your typical hip hop artist.
4) Dr. Dre – The Chronic. This album will be forever classic. Dr. Dre really pioneered gangster rap through this album in its time. Though the album may be vulgar, it was comedic and informative about what goes on in the “ghetto?. The song “Ain’t nothing but a G thang? will forever be a classic hit in hip/hop. He really put the west coast rap on his back at the time.
5) The Game: The documentary. This is one hot album. For a period of time, west coast hip hop fell off. The rise of southern hip hop dominated the scene. The Game was noted at the “the Savior of West Coast rap?. With Dr. Dre mentoring the Game, they made a classic album. It had all the elements of west coast rap and was able to slow things down with the upbeat of southern rap. Every song on this album was really good!


1) Bad Boy 1 & 2. My two favorite comedic actors, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence teamed up and made a movie I can never get sick of. They were so funny in this movie. You can tell that they really had chemistry working together to make these movies successful.
2) Dodgeball – I love Ben Stiller and the whole concept of “Dodgeball?. They had funny characters and the movie was exciting from beginning to end.
3) She’s All That – I thought this was a great modern day classic love story. The movie was funny consistently and did a great job displaying the “ugly duckling? story to modern times.
4) Crash – I love the storyline. How in the end each character had a affect on each others lives without even knowing it.
5) Cloverfield – I really like the how they projected the movie in an amateur like filming. It seemed real and you can feel the terror and emotions that were going on at the time. I love how the story unfolds in the end with the relationship of the main character and his crush.


Amanda Palazzo's Top Fives

1. Arctic Monkeys - daily life in Sheffield, England, set to indie/garage rock aesthetics - fast, with amazing beats.
2. The Suicide Machines - hardcore punk/ska band with progressive political/social overtones
3. Muse - dystopia/apocalypse/conspiracy themes, amazing guitar riffs, and a singer with crazy falsetto skills.
4. Nirvana - what do you say about Nirvana? It's Nirvana. I guess that's all you really need to say.
5. White Stripes - Jack White is some sort of eccentric musical mad scientist; simplistic music, that combines country, folk, blues, and garage rock.

1. Amelie - My all-time favorite movie. Wonderfully quirky characters, amazing cinematography, beautiful score.
2. Last King of Scotland - this film gave me chills; the acting is extraordinary. Forest Whitaker is almost indistinguishable from Idi Amin.
3. About A Boy - This film has a surprising amount of depth, considering it's a Hugh Grant vehicle. It deals with issues of redemption, acceptance, commitment, and growth. It also has a great score by Badly Drawn Boy.
4. Pan's Labyrinth - Beautiful and terrifying at the same time.
5. Lord of the Rings/Master & Commander - This is a tie; both of these films launched obsessions, in their own right, and I couldn't bear to eliminate one. The geek in me needed to know everything possible about the making of LOTR, and in doing so, has left me in awe of its grandeur. Master & Commander, another great epic film, reenacted 19th century maritime life with an astonishing amount of detail and brought about my interest in sailing/ships.

Citizen Kane - My Feedback

Citizen Kane is one of the best movies of all time because it has various aspects that continue to appeal to many movie goers. The most apparent evidence is observing how the students were willing to spend 10 more minutes to finish the movie. It was captivating because the “Rosebud? word mystery continued throughout the movie. It is human nature to be curious and understand the unknown. Therefore most audiences that saw the movie since the 1940s, -no matter whether the genre of Citizen Kane appealed to them or not- wanted to figure out what Charles Foster Kane was thinking when he chose “Rosebud? as his last word. Citizen Kane is also one of my “all time? list because I too demand explanation for the word.

I do not think that Citizen Kane’s depiction of the American dream resonates with today’s film goers. Not very many people would wish to use their wealth and power the way Charles did. Many people, including the audience of the movie, would probably choose to stay happy while living a regular life than trading wealth for happiness.

I do not fully agree with the statement that nobody would care if I were to show the movie to a random audience because even though the movie is very dated, it still has the curiosity aspect that will continue to captivate its viewers.

Comparing Citizen Kane to movies I see today, there isn’t much angle differences that stand out. However a few differences did show. It seems like there was always a camera zoom in one’s face in order to make one's expression really stand out. Another difference was that none of the characters seemed casual. Everyone was always uptight. The men all wore a suit and the women wore formal dresses.

I think that the portrayal of Charles was fair because it showed that no human being has power over everything no matter how rich they are. Charles was a decent man but he couldn’t use his wealth and power to make his abusive relationship workout with his partner .

Brian Andreen Citizen Cane

Citizen Cane was a thought provoking movie. The movie never came out and specifically spelled out what I the concepts the movie conveys, but instead subtly alluded to them throughout the entire movie. This caused me to inadvertently think far more about this movie and the meanings behind it than any other movie I have ever watched. This is a large part of the reason why Citizen Cane often appears on the top of the best movies of all time lists. Critics watch hundreds of movies, so a movie that does not let them stop thinking about it obviously appear high in their lists. Also although it is an old and black and white movie the acting as well as the story line was exemplary even if they do not meet up to current standards.
The first major theme was that the American Dream is not necessarily what it is made up to be. Cane as a child had everything that he wanted in his sled and his family. His parents were not able to realize this and so sent him off to a place he could live the American Dream and in so doing took away everything he really wanted. Following in his live Cane gained power and respect which are what many people strive for, yet all he wanted in the end was love and acceptance, things he was never able to buy. Cane never realized this as even when he had a woman who was willing to love him as he continued to try to buy her affection; instead of earning it by the way he acted toward her. In saying rosebud when she left I believe that he realized what he had done by treating her as he did. He had done the same thing to her in buying her everything and removing her from the life that she knew as his parents had to him when they sent him off to live with the well educated man for a better upbringing.
Another theme was how mass media is able to influence public opinion and beliefs.

Brian Andreen Favorite Songs and Movies


Semisonic-Closing Time (has been my favorite song since the first time I heard it years ago and I listen to it on my computer all the time)

Green Day-Boulevard of Broken Dreams (awesome song even though it was originally way overplayed on the radio)

Weird Al-White and Nerdy (I love satire and this was an awesome remake of Riding Dirty)

Chris Rice-The Cartoon Song (Great worship song with a great point)

Trace Adkins-I Ain’t Never Had Too Much Fun (I don’t like very much country but I really get a kick out of this song, I love it when a song makes me laugh)


The Matrix (Love the concept and the whole general movie, had awesome action and plot. Was seriously disappointed by the two following sequels)

Lord of the Rings (all three movies were awesome both in their storyline and their visual quality)

Gladiator (Awesome story of what it is to be a person who sticks to their beliefs and is willing to die for them. I enjoyed the portrayal of the greatness and weakness of the human kind)

Red vs. Blue (very cleverly made inside a video game with voices put to characters. Great satire that needs a good understanding of the game (halo) to understand but is simply hilarious)

Fantastic 4 (The move was very entertaining and I love things that have a hypothetical scientific background that is made to seem believable, even if it is not actually possible. I felt that this movie did an outstanding job of this)

Top 5 Movies & Artists

Top 5 Movies:
Almost Famous- I love the spontaneity portrayed throughout this movie and also thoroughly enjoy the soundtrack.
Pulp Fiction- In addition to the numerous amazingly talented actors, this movie also contains an intriuging story line and is an all around excellent movie.
Juno- Recently became one of my favorite movies. I found it to be adorable, touching, and hilarious all at once. The soundtrack is also wonderful.
Dazed and Confused- This movie reminds me so much of my own High School experience and is always a fun one to watch.
Across the Universe- I love musicals and what better music to incorporate than The Beatles.

Top 5 Artists:
This was a very difficult thing for me to do.
Bob Dylan- An extremely gifted artist with amazing lyrics.
Red Hot Chili Peppers- A band I can listen to over and over again and never get sick of them.
The Beatles- Classics that will always be remembered and appreciated by numerous generations.
Norah Jones- I love bluegrass and find her music to be calming and always puts me in a happier mood.
Mason Jennings- Mason's acoustics and lyrics are moving and always make me happy. I grew an even bigger appreciation for his music after seeing him live.

Kane Review

Considered one of the greatest films of all-time, Citizen Kane certainly does many things well. First, the film exemplifies that, for some, money simply can't buy happiness. I believe this is a view that resonates with many modern film-goers. Living in a society in which they are exposed to corporate scandal, greed by professional athletes and celebrity vanity on a daily basis, I truly believe that the greater theme of Citizen Kane would ring true for many of today's film-goers. Second, I would have to disagree with the comment posted on the assignment page that no one today would appreciate the magnificence of Kane's cinematography, symbolism and its message. I would argue that while the modern trend in movies is to go bigger and better with visual effects, true film-makers and film-goers are just as concerned with a film's content (cinematography, symbolism and its message) as they are with surface-driven action sequences. Third, there is a stark contrast between Welles' shooting methods with those of today's filmmakers. In Kane, one can observe the long takes imposed by Welles. Often times, a scene will stretch the limits of dialogue or emotion before cutting to another scene. This couldn't be further from the methods of today's producers. Short, concise sequences full of visual stimuli have replaced the longer takes of older films such as Kane. Whether this is a positive or a negative is, in my opinion, still up for debate. Last, I wish to comment on the status of the film as one of the greatest of all-time. For me, Kane is a very good film. It breaks the boundaries of genre, as it could be seen as a mystery, drama or tragedy. Welles deviated from the norms of film-making, as he was among the first artists to depict the affluent lifestyle in a negative manner. In doing so, he took a risk and produced a classic film that stands the test of time. Although I wouldn't put Citizen Kane in my top five films, I can certainly see why others have.

Matt Hobbs - Citizen Kane

What first strikes you in the film Citizen Kane is just the absolute massive scope of everything. From the towering Xanadu to the close ups of the imposing characters, this is a film that really turns a critical eye on the grandeur of the object, and in so doing the American obsession with over indulgence.
While the film could have easily started with Charles Kane as a boy on the streets, it instead starts with a time line of the man's life at his death. Doing this allows Orson Welles to forefront the image, as the opening montage becomes of series of grand structures and scenes. One after the other, each of a more and more massive scale. From the towering Xanadu, to the birds eye shot of the union square as literally a sea of people, Welles puts the idea of the American dream on display from the very beginning. This effect is achieved due to the often used low angle shots to show us the buildings giving each place not only a stature to it, but also a dark, foreboding aspect to it as well. Welles’ heavy use of shadows also add to this the opening is at times very reminiscent of the early German expressionist films (the way the buildings are sculpted with the light reminds me of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari). As the film progresses and the characters are introduced, we often see them in close up, and very frequently from low angles. Again this is a technique used with success throughout the film to really situate the people as men of power. In this way Welles really turns the camera on what Americans generally equate with success. By making the standard objects of power so immense and sinister he really forces the viewer to analyze what it means to be successful and if our view isn’t itself a little warped and twisted

Melissa Colbert's thoughts on Citizen Kane

While I would not go so far as to say that Citizen Kane is one of my favorite movies of all time, I can appreciate what it brought to American cinema during the 1940’s. Welles’ message of wealth and life in the limelight causing such personal turmoil was one unfamiliar to people during that time. I feel that this message is relevant today, but it has lost the punch it once had because of the countless films since Wells' exposing the same pitfalls of trying to achieve the “American Dream?. In an age of computer graphics and high demand for bigger and better special effects and camera angles, it is no surprise that the typical American cannot appreciate what progress Citizen Kane represented in cinematography. Perhaps only those who have a deep appreciation and understanding of the art of film might consider this to be one of the greatest movies ever. Even though I was slightly let down by the film, one part of the movie that I enjoyed was when Welles is talking about how if had he stayed poor, he may have been a good man. You see his struggle throughout the course of the movie when he attempts to “buy love? and never really lets anyone in close enough to impact his life and his heart. It is sad to see his life slowly falling apart piece by piece and a part of me felt bad for him. Overall, I feel the movie is worth watching; however, I was disappointed that it did not live up to its hype.

S. Sorensen's Citizen Kane Reflections

Overall I enjoyed the film, but I believe that the film is severly overrated. I see that the film set the standard for films in which the main character is completely miserable due to his or her own actions. The acting left something to be desired, the characters in the film are very specific, but the portrayals of the characters are shallow. However, I did enjoy the film's style and how the audience learns more about Charles Foster Kane. The concept of releasing details to the viewer through detective work after the man's death in order to understand what his dying words meant was a clever way of progressing the plot and telling Kane's story. The story's development effectively built up my desire to comprehend "rosebud". I appreciated how the film came to a close with the cathartic burning of Kane's beloved possession from the only time period he was truly happy.

Citizen Kane

In the film Citizen Kane, it became evident that the American Dream was “hollow? for Charles Kane, and I do think this somewhat has resonance in today’s moviegoers. As people are still understanding of the original idea and purpose of the American Dream, it becomes almost necessary by today’s standards for some people to behave as Kane did do achieve such status, especially financially. We exist in the “me generation?—one that somewhat mirrors Kane’s desire in the film to attain everything for himself before others. It is after Kane establishes himself financially that he pursues the more real things of life, such as companionship and world travels, which also corresponds to our latest generational trends, for the most part. Even then, at the end of the day the only love Kane has is for himself.

I believe that if people were shown this film today, they would at least be understanding of its meaning, even if they didn’t care. True, this film would not be the most intriguing at first glance, or be the top seller at the box office, but the symbols and messages in Citizen Kane are still well applicable in today’s society, and I think everyone who watched it today would be appreciative. For example, the monopolization of public media and use of it to sway opinions is still an issue today (although it is not always readily evident) as it was when Kane controlled newspapers countrywide in the film. The thing that could be asked of people today after viewing Citizen Kane is at least to take a second thought at how they are being influenced in their every day lives by surrounding media.

As far as the cinematography of this film goes, it was a little too different from current films for my liking. I felt that some scenes, both significant and not, were awkwardly lingered upon during the filming, and certain visual or audio effects were too overdone for their purpose. Thankfully, these things were not a great hindrance to the plot.

S. Sorensen's Top Five

in no particular order..
1. Beastie Boys- they mixed their first album in a college dorm room
2. The Velvet Underground- the first indie rock band
3. Blondie- a truly versitle female, worked with rock and roll and hip hop
4. Bob Dylan- the greatest american folk singer/song writer
5. Talking Heads- my favorite band

1. Annie Hall- Diane Keaton is adorable and Woody Allen is comicly gifted
2. Fargo- an enjoyable storyline and it's set in Minnesota
3. American HIstory X- huge Edward Norton fan and I believe this to be his finest role, such an important story
4. Edward Scissorhands- I love Tim Burton's work and Johnny Depp gives an amazing performance
5. Pulp Fiction- my favorite Tarantino film, great cast, great plot.

Nicole Carroll: Citizen Kane

As a regular film watcher and have never seen Citizen Kane before, I found it to be rather dull and boring. I'm a person who loves the tear jerker films and this one I was just in disgust of how he used his life for very little good. He's a man of great power, especially through all his relationships he had with people, but instead of using them to create common good he only thought about himself. It disgusted me, because you can see this view of powerful people throughout society today.

Besides the story of the life of Charles Kane himself though, the film had awesome cinematography. Sure it's only in black and white, but if you take a look at it hard you can see how many shadows and lighting characteristics it has that it would only degrade the film if it were in color. When watching the film I did notice the same scowl on his aging face from the beginning to the end of the plot as if he has been trying to get at everyone that has helped him succeed. It was as if Charlie had always strived to get back to the life he had before; with Rosebud, his sled. Other than how well Orson Welles directed the movie with it's symbolism, message and cinematography I would say it's a movie that portrays how our society is today and it's horrible. I will never watch this movie again.

Thomas Campbell’s Citizen Kane Reflections

Having never watched Citizen Kane before I did not know what to expect from a Film directed in the 1940’s. Personally I would not put it at the top of my all time favorite list because I found it to slow to understand and do not like many old films. I also do not like black and white films as the lack of color makes it harder for me to follow. However that being said I do understand the greatness of this film due to the lighting and camera work for a film directed in the 1940s. If this film was directed with today’s modern techniques to move faster and become easier to understand I do believe it would be a very successful film and possibly on me all time favorite movies

Citizen Kane used the mysterious word “Rosebud? to examine the American Dream. Kane used his money and power to buy love and make others as miserable as possible. However what Rosebud really reveals to us is his lost happiness from his childhood. In his early childhood Kane was brought up poor but was still happy, when his mother sent him away he lost all his happiness, becoming rich and greedy turning Kane’s palace into his own prison, a tragedy that greed and wealth can bring to many people who do not know what to do with it all.

I agree with the following statement “Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its
cinematography, symbolism, and message, all things that do not interest most film goers
today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody
would care.? Most people today watch films for the excitement, a good story line, and great acting not for the likes of cinematography, symbolism and the message.

I do believe that the portrayal of Charles Foster Kane was fair. The director does cover Kane’s life from all aspects expressing this through several different characters that viewed his life differently to find out his true personality.

Overall I believe if I watched the film again I would understand the concepts of the film easier now that I know the meaning of “Rosebud? and can follow the importance of it throughout the film.

Matt Hobbs - Top 5 Movies/Music

Top Movies
1. The Usual Suspects - Bryan Singer
I have never been left so blown away by a film as when I watched the Usual Suspects for the first time. My friends kept me completely in the dark on the story line, not even letting me read the back of the box. I can't even count the number of times I've seen it and i still find something new every time, Spacey's performance is just amazing.

2. Spaceballs -Mel Brooks
Mel Brooks was our generation's Chaplin (sans political commentary). the script of Spaceballs is Brooks at his absolute best and also has the great John Candy and Rick Moranis, how could you possibly go wrong.

3. Last of the Mohicans - Michael Mann
One of the best film scores of all time, and Daniel Day Lewis is just a crazy good actor. The culmination at the end when the father avenges his son is brutal and heart wrenching. A masterpiece, what every epic war film (Gladiator, 300, Troy, The Patriot etc) aspires to.

4. Tokyo Drifter - Seijin Suzuki
The Film tha tTarentino literally stole scenes from for Kill Bill. In a genre known for being difficult to follow and over the top this is a Japanese yakuza film where the director was actually fired from the studio for being too incomprehensible and the action too crazy. Not true at all. far from it, this film displays a film maker breaking all the rules and notions of how continuity editing and a film should look like to the audience. The use of color and music make this film a true under seen classic.

5. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Ang Lee
Ang Lee's masterpiece, not only made the chinese martial arts films accessible to the American audience but brought together three generations of Chinese stars to produce a film that stands as both a martial arts masterpiece and an emotion filled drama. The cinematography is top of the line and absolutely gorgeous.

Top 5 Music Artists
1. AFI
The band that started my crazed journey into music (i proceded to then work for a music company and now have literally over 1400 cd's all due to AFI!!). Insightful lyrics, and music that continues to evolve and challenge itself, each cd shows a different aspect of the band

2. Buena Vista Social Club
The absolute most tasteful and well written cd, musically I have ever heard. each of the members, on their own, helped define and change the shape of cuban jazz and are each considered masters, and national treasures. Brought together by the great Ry Cooder, it is just impossible to get beyond the monumental experience that listening to this cd is. In an era of over-hyped, over-payed music blow-holes, this shows what music is should alwasy aspire to.

3. Rammstein
A massive sound, one review said, Music to invade Poland to, and a huge flare for cinematics Rammstein puts together a sound that is both unique and over the top. With music videos that challenge any film on artistic merit and cinematography (just search youtube and watch the video for Sonne), and concerts that no other band can stand up to (Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters once said in an interview that he would never want Rammstein to open for the Foo Fighters because Rammstein would blow any band of the stage) it is no wonder that they are the best selling German artist of all time.

4. Judas Priest
Rob Halford. No more words are really necessary, the greatest metal screams of all time, imitated by every power metal band on the planet. and backed by KK and Glenn, producing guitar riffs and setting the stage for the possibility of two lead guitarists and twin solos in music. It is just ridiculous to think of all this group has accomplished and done, not only for metal but music in general, and their still going strong. As old as Halford is, his voice just gets better and better.

5. Mithotyn
Alright now i'm really going to start testing people's knowledge and conception of what is considered 'good' music. Norwegian Viking Black Metal at it's finest. Melodic guitar riffs that metallica wishes they could come up with!

Citizen Kane: Reflections by Alexander Culverwell

I thought the film Citizen Kane was enjoyable and a very good story. It is not a kind of film that I would normally watch and to be honest I had never heard of it before this class.
One thing that I really enjoyed about the making of this film was the way that we got to see Charles Foster Kane's full life. From this we got to know what he went through then ultimately know what he meant by his dying word "rosebud"
The cinematography of the film was very good for a 1941 film. Compared to other films that I have seen from that era it was miles ahead of its time. This is why this film is considered one of the greatest films of all time!! I personally wouldn't class it as my greatest film of all time but from an American point of view it coincides with the American dream extremely well. When this film came out the American Dream was a huge part of people lives. This film contradicted the American Dream in a way as shows that money does not bring you happiness. The theme of "Rosebud" was very good for the movie. It almost acts as a new American dream because Rosebud represents Kane's childhood, or lack of it. It suggests that a new American Dream would be to have a good fun childhood then go on to have a good life which Kane did not have.

Nicole Carroll's favorites

Top five movies:
1. Moulin Rouge- How can you not get the chills and the hair standing on your back when you watch and hear the voices or Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman.
2. The Great Debaters- It's a very new movie but highly inspiring and worth watching
3. The Holiday- It's such a true story and hard to watch because it always reminds me of my family.
4. 300-The awesome graphics and detail put into shooting the fight scenes are unreal.
5. Two way tie between Hairspray and sadly High School Musical- The talent these young people have are amazing.

Top five musical artist:
1. The Beatles-No competition.
2. Rascal Flatts-Best country band ever created.
3. Boys like Girls-A complete band to just rock out to.
4. Jacks Mannequin-Such soothing vocals.
5. Carrie Underwood-An ungodly beautiful voice and nothing like ever like it.

Chris Lewis: Citzen Kane

Everyone knows rosebud. I even knew what rosebud was without even knowing where that came from. It’s a part of our culture, each person will at one point in their life hear rosebud and may not know exactly what it means. I’ll be honest; I’m still confused about the importance of rosebud. This movie wouldn’t make the top of my list of favorite movies, but would be one I would like to own. Citizen Kane uses black and white to its advantage to show the light and dark of human nature, and also its mystery. The story begins in heaven. The room is full of light and the journalists are all in shadow. The angels take the history of each person. By taking the history of Kane it is almost as if they are weighing good and evil to see if he should be sent to heaven or hell. This large metaphor could represent the knowledge and workings of the press. The press delves and finds the true story through different sources to create a picture of a person or an event that took place. It would then be up to the public to qualify this information. This just as Kane does in his newspaper. He sells stories that may or may not be true, and leaves it to the public to decide what they shall believe.

Citizen Kane is one of the many rags to riches stories. He is given money, neatly and almost from nowhere. He is given a chance to build himself up from where his parents were in life. But in that he lost his childhood and his innocence and became almost godly; as represented by the kingdom of heaven including reporters as angels and a god being the one to run it all. Because of this glorious rise to riches and fame he is an idol or a pedestal for which the real life public would want to reach. Half of the popularity of this film could be due to the fact that he rises from nothing into a wealthy upperclassman. The other half would be his moral downfall. Something the public loves more than a person succeeding beyond their means is a person that becomes corrupt and fails in the end. The rise of a character gives the public a dream or a hope to become something better than what they are. The downfall makes the public feel better about themselves and their standpoint in life without having mass fortunes and many statues. This film represents the American dream, and the American tragedy.

Chris Lewis: Citzen Kane

Everyone knows rosebud. I even knew what rosebud was without even knowing where that came from. It’s a part of our culture, each person will at one point in their life hear rosebud and may not know exactly what it means. I’ll be honest; I’m still confused about the importance of rosebud. This movie wouldn’t make the top of my list of favorite movies, but would be one I would like to own. Citizen Kane uses black and white to its advantage to show the light and dark of human nature, and also its mystery. The story begins in heaven. The room is full of light and the journalists are all in shadow. The angels take the history of each person. By taking the history of Kane it is almost as if they are weighing good and evil to see if he should be sent to heaven or hell. This large metaphor could represent the knowledge and workings of the press. The press delves and finds the true story through different sources to create a picture of a person or an event that took place. It would then be up to the public to qualify this information. This just as Kane does in his newspaper. He sells stories that may or may not be true, and leaves it to the public to decide what they shall believe.

Citizen Kane is one of the many rags to riches stories. He is given money, neatly and almost from nowhere. He is given a chance to build himself up from where his parents were in life. But in that he lost his childhood and his innocence and became almost godly; as represented by the kingdom of heaven including reporters as angels and a god being the one to run it all. Because of this glorious rise to riches and fame he is an idol or a pedestal for which the real life public would want to reach. Half of the popularity of this film could be due to the fact that he rises from nothing into a wealthy upperclassman. The other half would be his moral downfall. Something the public loves more than a person succeeding beyond their means is a person that becomes corrupt and fails in the end. The rise of a character gives the public a dream or a hope to become something better than what they are. The downfall makes the public feel better about themselves and their standpoint in life without having mass fortunes and many statues. This film represents the American dream, and the American tragedy.

Citizen Kane's Story Progression

I have watched this movie several times before class and been impressed with the fantastic cinematography, the use of light and shadow to great affect, the acting, and the editing. However what struck me most this time was the way in which Welles ordered his plot. He begins the movie with the end, then uses that great newsreel footage to detail exactly what he is going to show the audience throughout the movie. As we move from viewpoint to viewpoint along with the reporter, the life of Kane is fleshed out more and more, and we get a character that is extremely complex but readily understood. It would be easy for an audience to dismiss or grow bored with the plot since it is already laid out. Instead the mystery of Kane's death only allows the viewer to become more engaged with the life he lead and the great drama and tragedy in it.

Citizen Kane

At first, I thought Citizen Kane was really boring and a waste of valuable class time. But as I watched it further, I realized that there was a deeper meaning to the movie.
First, I found it interesting that the main character, Charles Foster Kane, started as an innocent little boy with honest goals and remained a noble man for as long as he did. However, as soon as he realized the extent of his wealth and power, Kane became the person he never said he would. I predicted that Kane would become miserable with his own life, however, I was surprised that he became such a monster to the people around him. I think the theme of the movie is an important lesson opposing the American Dream.
In addition, I also liked the quote from the Blog Assignment page regarding Citizen Kane as a notable movie from it's time. I agree with the idea that today's movie-goers would not find the technical aspects of the film interesting. Most people today view movies as an easy-going activity where deep thinking is not favorable. Even as I watched the film, I was immediately bored with the plot and the acting. I had to remind myself that I was looking for symbolism and focusing on the themes. Once I got into an analytical mindset, I found the film much more interesting.
Another interesting thing I noticed was the lighting in the film. The lighting in the movie was generally dark and full of shadows; however, as the film went on, the lighting gradually got darker. I think Orson Welles did this as an interesting way to portray the character's personality transition. The more Charles Foster Kane grew miserable, and the more he dealt with inner struggles, the darker the lighting got. Lighting in today's films is much brighter regardless of the type of film; however, movies with darker meanings usually have darker lighting. I just don't think it's as obvious now.
So, overall, I would definitely not put this movie on my top five list, but it is an important movie in American history. The film has great symbolism and I think everybody should see it, but this type of film is not appealing for movie-goers today. I think Citizen Kane is more educational than anything.

Jake Dreyer's List o Favorites

My top five movies and musical artists, in no particular order, are as follows.

1. The Philadelphia Story: The dialogue between Grant, Hepburn, and Stewart is fantastic. One of the funniest films ever made.
2. All About Eve: Bette Davis at her finest. Everything about this movie, the writing, acting, camera work, etc is as good as it gets.
3. The Lion in Winter: The scenes with Hepburn and O'Toole are the best acted that I have seen.
4. The Apartment: I love Billy Wilder's work and of all his films this is the one that doesn't get old to me.
5. The Great Escape: Pure entertainment, a great war movie, with McQueen leading an all-star cast.

1. The Beatles: no explanation necessary.
2. Wilco: Jeff Tweedy has mad skills
3. Bob Dylan: In my opinion the greatest songwriter in American history
4. Radiohead: I can listen to their music at any time in any mood.
5. Dean Martin: Listening to Dean invokes a time and a place in my mind like no other music.

Courtney's Top 5

My five favorite movies are:
1. No Country For Old Men - The best new movie I've seen.
2. Who Killed The Electric Car? - An interesting view on a topic that is very important to me.
3. The Breakfast Club - Classic.
4. L'Auberge Espanole - Funny look at how different cultures interact.
5. Crash - Such a powerful and meaningful movie.

My five favorite songs are:
1. Lauryn Hill - Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You
2. Howie Day- Collide (Acoustic)
3. Sugarcult- Memory
4. Anything by the Beach Boys
5. Quietdrive - Halfey

Oakley Tapola CK Review

I thoroughly enjoyed Citizen Kane...though I have seen it before when I was much younger and way less capable of comprehending the granditude of its complexity. It makes an enormous amount of sense that CK would be on the best movies of all time list. The cinemetography is striking and presents the viewer with stark images that conveys the intensity of Kane's own character and his imminent doom...which is foreshadowed beautifully in the beginning Xanadu newsreel scene. That is actually one of my favorite segments of the film, when the newreel cuts out and you are suddenly caught off guard by the actual start of the film: a bunch of men sitting around in a screening room feverishly smoking cigarettes and theres a beatiful light from the projector room streaming down through the smoke. The interview scenes with the flashbacks are a brilliant way to pace the movie and as the story unravels the veiwer is allowed to grow to understand Kane's plight as a lonely, lost human being. Vs movies today Citizen Kane seems equally as thought-provoking and groundbreaking. Most films today seem to follow a prescribed outline in order to become box office hits with the occasional indie even those have their own set of rules. CK is in the vein of the films of today that are equally as shocking: films that question the American Dream and the ideologies that we, as a consumer culture live by...and I dont believe there are too many of these films being thats why this movie stands up to the test of time. It is equally as poignant as it was when it was first introduced...if not more considering our current state of being.

Josh Zaborowski

"Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message-all things that do not interest most film-goers today". I agree that at the time Citizen Kane was made the cinematography, symbolism, and message were great. As a movie-goer myself, I love the way movies are put together and I enjoy movies that portray a message and allow viewers to ponder a greater question. However, in todays society I feel the need to have a movie be action packed with adrenaline, mystery, and special effects. Citizen Kane simply did not satisfy that need for me. The symbolism with the sled and Kane's childhood was fantastic and unexpected. On his death bed Kane went back to a time when he was free of the burden of wealth, to a simpler time where he felt he was loved. Even amid the symbolism and the progressing story line, I sometimes felt like the progression through the movie was too slow, methodical, and even predictable. I feel like these aspects are things that disinterest movie-watchers. For these reasons I think Citizen Kane would not make the top ten of many people's lists and does not make my list either.

Citizen Kane

I believe Citizen Kane is the best film of all time. While it is not my personal favorite film of all time, I understand why it normally tops the list. Its cinematography was groundbreaking (literally) for the time. A viewer with a keen eye realizes every angle, shadow, point of view and scene transition was deliberate and thought through. Welles had a hole cut into the floor for some scenes to make the actors appear extremely tall and show their “large way of life.? Welles’ shadow in the film covers other actors to show his hold and power over them. While we may be used to seeing this today, at the time of Citizen Kane’s release this was not often employed. Even still, many recent movies are more concerned with special effects and action than symbolism through cinematography.

Ideas of the American Dream are heavy-laden throughout the film. Kane evinces what every citizen is told he or she can do; as a child he has hardly anything, but he grows up to be one of the most powerful people in the country. Kane supposedly is concerned about the working man yet is truly more concerned about himself. He wants everyone to like him and tries to accrue this through buying love. Dystopia of the American Dream was not presented to the public in the manner of a film during the ‘40s before Citizen Kane. Questions concerning post-war life and pre-Cold War times were not centered on the possibility of not realizing or achieving a good job, plenty of money and a nuclear family. I believe this is one of the reasons the film was not a commercial success at its release.

As for today’s movie audiences, the emphasis of this film may be completely lost simply because it was made in 1941. Though at the same time, watching the film today may again bring into question the truths of the American Dream, wealth and class, and the meaning of love. I believe it is important for society to see this film in hopes of possibly regaining concern for symbolism, cinematography and social messages.

Candice Dehnbostel's Top Fives

Top five movies
1. Harold & Maude- I love the concept (a young man falls for an elderly woman), the dark humor and the wonderful soundtrack by Cat Stevens.
2. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly- Clint Eastwood is superb in this Spaghetti Western.
3. Pulp Fiction- Quentin Tarantino’s writing and directing creates a juxtaposition of current popular culture and classic movie styles.
4. Full Metal Jacket- This film is brutal and hopeless at times, but the ideas and commentary about the Vietnam War seem to allow those not alive at the time or in Vietnam a view into war.
5. The Darjeeling Limited- I love Wes Anderson and his choices of actors, color palettes and music. This film has exemplifies Anderson’s style.

Top five artists
1. The Beatles- I believe they were and still are the best band of all time.
2. Bob Dylan- His ability to tell stories of race, class, romance and social commentary through beautifully written folk and rock songs set a precedent for ‘60s artists and thereafter.
3. The Kinks- The Davies brothers crafted some of the catchiest pop songs: “This Time Tomorrow,? “Lola? and “Tired of Waiting.?
4. Jimi Hendrix- Songs like “Bold as Love? and his cover of Dylan’s “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window? showcase wonderful guitar licks that create more of an emotion than the actual lyrics do.
5. Sondre Lerche- He crosses folk, jazz, rock and pop in a perfect combination. The songs have quirky, infectious melodies that are complicated enough to sound simple.

Kane Review

Citizen Kane:
At first, I thought that the "flashback" aspect of the movie was going to be hard to follow. However, once the movie got going, it became apparent that this was the best way to go about filming. Since the main purpose of the movie was to figure out what the meaning is behind the word "rosebud," it makes sense to start at Kane's death and travel back in time.
Another repetitive theme of the movie i noticed was the way in which different individuals referred to Kane. First of all, his Kane's name in general is mentioned so much during the movie. Every time his name can be put into the script, it is. Also, it seems that his two main friends, Bernstein and Leland refer to him in two different ways. From what I remember, Leland almost always calls him Charlie, while Bernstein seems to usually call him Mr. Kane or Kane. I never really figured out why this is, but one idea that came to mind is that Leland might not be intimidated by Kane like everyone else is. This can be shown when he attempts to write a negative review of Kane's wife after her opera performance. Even though it is not a successful attempt, it shows that he is not afraid of the power Kane displays. While he may be jealous, he is certainly not intimidated. Overall, the movie was a good example of how power does not necessarily equal happiness. I agree that it is one of the better movies of all time (especially because it has stood the test of time) but I would probably not rank it in my number 1 slot, like I mentioned above, I am pretty partial to the Godfather.

an angry prophet denouncing the hypocrisy of our times

The film Citizen Kane is critical of American culture. The film critiques how American culture lost its democratic nature in three ways; through the media, capitalism, and individualism. Orson Welles ties these three things together in a story to act as a reflection of what's happened to America. First Orson Welles owns a newspapers company and he is ridiculing and mocking an actual event called "yellow journalism." And in particular the infamous event of newspapers in America reporting a lie that the Spanish armada had attacked the American navy in the gulf around Cuba in the late 19th century. Mr Thatcher says"'Enemy Armada Off Jersey Coast you know you haven't the slightest proof that this - this armada - is off the Jersey Coast." Mr. Kane says "Can you prove it isn't?" Mr. Berntein recieves a telegram reporting from Cuba by Mr. Wheeler "I could send you some prose poems about palm trees and sunrises...there's no war here." Mr. Kane responds "You provide the prose poems, I'll provide the war." Mr. Kane is openly engaging in ridiculous and blatant forms of yellow journalism to satirize it.
Capitalism is another avenue of deterioration of American culture reflected in the film. Kane explains to Thatcher "it is also my pleasure - to see to it that decent, hard-working people of this city are not robbed blind by a group of money-mad pirates because, God help them, they have no one to look after their interests!...If I don't defend the interests of the underprivileged, somebody else will - maybe somebody without any money or any property and that would be too bad." Here he is just mocking the idealism of rich helping the poor. It seems like a deliberate, sarcastic joke. Kane lived in the world largest estate next to Disneyworld? Film calls it Xanadu. He seemed to be a boy with too much money and not enough responsibillity. Throughout the film he wasted money on frivolous things. He commented "I can't help that i don't own every statue in Europe, they've been making statues for two thousand years," or something of the like. In the end as evidenced by the film, he was quite unhappy with all his wealth, and what he really wanted was just his happy childhood.
His happy childhood leads into the final element of Welles critique of American culture in Citizen Kane which is individualism. Kane showed an utter disregard for what his readers knew and didn't know. His wife tries to educate him about being unscrupulous. "People will think..." He finishes her sentence "What I tell them to think." He later had an affair and left the same wife and their child for another woman. He later alienated her from himself too. He showed an inability to live in a social family setting or even a long term relationship. Also in the opening montage after the screening of "news on the march" we see a reporter asking several people who knew Charles Foster Kane in his lifetime questions about him and their stories were like a pastiche, incoherent, disjuctive. And in the end, the reporter couldn't find out the answer to the question what does "rosebud" mean? It seems that everyone was just looking out for themselves and no one really gave a damn about the other from the singer who yelled at him to "get out" to the concierge who tried to sell the reporter some information. Additionally, what Kane really wanted was his happy and poor childhood back that he had been alienated from to have an oversaturated overstimulated life away from his family and parents. It seems to be the message of the film. The film seems to be a statement on the narcissicm of American culture and what it has become because of capitalism, media, and individualism.

Citizen Kane

I had never seen Citizen Kane before. I have to say that I did not like this movie very much. I often find older movies to slow and uninteresting for my personal taste. There were also several scenes throughout the movie that I thought would belong on an episode of MST3K; not in a cinema masterpiece. I do, although, understand why in its day it was considered one of the greatest movies of all time. It uses innovative camera techniques and an unusual story telling method that at the time set it apart from other films.

One thing I did enjoy about the movie was the way that the character of Kane is developed. In the beginning, we see him as a great man, fighting for the working mans rights and living the American dream. But, as each new person tells their story we see a slightly different person until we reach the end of the movie where we see him as a lonely old man. The things we learned about him earlier in the movie are put in a completely new light. His actions we not noble or kind, he was simply trying to selfishly win peoples hearts any way he could. Once he lost the election, he felt he had lost the peoples love so; he desperately clings to Susan and tries to make people love her by forcing to do something she does not want. When that doesn’t work all he does is try to keep Susan with him by spending money on her, not by actually loving and caring for her.

While the story was shown in a very interesting way, I still found it to slow for my tastes. I understand why this is an influential movie but, I personally do not believe this is one of the greatest movies of all time.

Citizen Kane

Although the American Film Institute (AFI) lists Citizen Kane as the best American movie of all time, it did not make my top five. However, the movie does deserve recognition for its fantastic depiction of the pursuit of the “American Dream?.
The opening scene of the movie is a scenic tour of Xanadu, the private estate/monument of Charles Foster Kane. The camera then pans to a dying man (Kane) examining a snow globe. The dying man (Kane) drops the globe, which smashes on the floor and the man utters one last word, “Rosebud?, before dying alone. The movie then follows a group of reporters who are trying to investigate the meaning behind “Rosebud?. Orson Welles uses sequences of flashbacks to Kane’s early, middle and late life in order to show the events and influences that lead to his rise and fall from power.

It is the “American Dream? to achieve wealth, power and happiness, but as the movie accurately depicts, the three are not necessarily related. Kane inherits an empire at a very young age, achieving wealth beyond any little boys’ imagination. However, as the events of Kane’s life unfold (two divorces, a fall from grace in the eyes of the American people, a child who dies in an automobile accident, etc.) he realizes that the wealth and power has never made him truly happy. He alienated the only true friend he has ever had (James Gettys), he kept a personal guard up with both his wives, preventing him from ever being truly close/vulnerable with either woman and throughout his life loved only himself. The significance of the word “Rosebud? was that it represented the only time in Kane’s life when he had been truly happy. This was when he lived with both parents and had not yet inherited the money/power. The movie asks viewers to challenge the norm of the “American Dream?, the norm being that the accumulation of money brings happiness. It challenges society to look past materialistic possessions and truly find what makes them happy.

Ian R. Bell

Citizen Kane Reflection: Cameron White

I thought the movie Citizen Kane was some what of a boring movie from a viewing perspective, but I can understand why the film is considered as one of the greatest films all time because of the strong message the film sends. I think the reason why I didn't enjoy the film that much is because I am use to watching more modern films, from my generation per say. I thought Wells did a brilliant job of depicting the quote on quote "American Dream? by showing how wealth and power doesn't always bring happiness to an individual. It all starts at the beginning of the film when the famous word "Rosebud" is said and he drops the snow globe on the floor and the glass breaks. We later find out that the word "Rosebud" is his sled from his childhood, but it symbolized more then just a sled. I felt it represented the lack of love and happiness in his life. Most people would say that Kane lived a great life because he had an abundant amount of wealth and power, but really he was a lonely man.
All in all I found the movie to be somewhat boring but I thought Wells did a great job of illustrating how money doesn’t bring you happiness and love.

Kendra Elm

"Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message-all things that do not interest most film goes today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care." I agree with this statement, because Citizen Kane is a more old fashioned film that is centered around the main character's loss of childhood. The backbone of the film is reporters trying to figure out what rosebud means. We find out at the end that rosebud refers to the sled he had when he was a child. The message of the film being that childhood is very important to the way we grow and who we become. The sled is also a symbol, of innocents and joy. When he leaves his parents his innocents and joy are left behind and he is never able to recover from this loss. Messages and symbols like this are no longer looked as much in films. Now people are much more interested in special effects and violence, so I agree with the quote that now a days people really wouldn't care.

Cloyd Top 5's

1. The Shawshank Redemption : Because sometimes random friendships are the most interesting to watch.
2. The Godfather: What is there not to like about this film? Part 1 is better, but part 2 is not bad for a sequel.
3. A Beautiful Mind: The symbolism in this movie is phenomenal, and Crowe is one of my favorites.
4. He Got Game: I love most sports movies, the story of this one makes it great.
5. Any Nature Documentaries- I love non-fiction films involving any spectrum of nature (i.e. Planet Earth)

1. DJ Danger Mouse -The Gray Album- A mix between Jay-Z lyrics and Beatles instrumentals...excellent
2. Celtic Music- ranging from violin to bagpipes, I like most Celtic bands, vocals.
3. The Chieftains- Similar to Celtic but more emphasis on vocals...
4. Bruce Springsteen- ANY ALBUM. even though his voice is not his strongest skill, his music and him in general put him on my list.
5. John Prine- because as one of my dad's favorites, I was forced to listen to him growing up and got used to his music being around.

Citizen Kane

While I don't agree that Citizen Kane is "the best movie of all time" (though it is certainly quite good), I can see why many people would make that assessment. In my understanding, Citizen Kane was a film of many firsts. It was the first film to deconstruct "The American Dream" and examine it with a critical eye. Going with a general theme that money is the root of all evil (or at least despair), "Citizen Kane" used the great mystery of Rosebud to demonstrate that the man who had everything, all that money could buy, still lacked one thing: the joys that the simple life and a normal childhood bring.

"Citizen Kane" also made use of some amazing cinematography. The opening sequence stands out particularly in my mind. We are introduced to a kingdom in utter decay. The long pan on the fence shows that what should have been Kane's palace was now his prison. The unusually long amount of time devoted to the shot demonstrates the length of his self-imposed prison sentence.

After "Citizen Kane," the camera techniques and theme used in the movie have been played with and expanded upon by other filmmakers. Though I would agree that most people would not much care for "Citizen Kane" today, I suggest that this would be the case because 1)it is in black and white and 2)Other movies have effectively explored similar themes but in a style that speaks to modern audiences.

Chris Dahmen's greatest hits

My top five list of movies is one of the hardest things I've ever done^^
1. Annie Hall (Woody Allen 1977)
2. Ladri di biciclette (1948)
aka "The Bicycle Thief" (Vittorio De Sica)
3. Network (Sidney Lumet 1976)
4. The Searchers (John Ford 1955)
5. Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman 1959)
My top five favorite albums proved too awkward to write so I am writing my favorite songs by my favorite artists
1. Beethoven's 9th symphony
2. Johann Pachelbel "Canon"
3. Paul McCartney "Yesterday"
4. Bernie Higgins "Key Largo"
5. John Denver "Annie's Song or Country Roads" It's a toss up.

Kendra Elm

Top Five Movies
1) Transformers- The story is great and the special effects are amazing
2) Superbad- It's so funny, and so true of high school boys
3) Saw 4-I love scary movies, and this one is really entertaining
4) The Notebook- It is such a good love story and it makes me cry every time
5) The Count of Monte Cristo- I love the plot of this movie, he plots his revenge so carefully

Top Five Artists
1) Justin Timberlake-I've loved his songs ever since he started in N'sync
2)Santana- He has a great voice and Into the Night is a really good song
3)Tool- One of my friends got me hooked
4)Sweet- I love to sing to Ballroom Blitz
5)Michael Jackson- He is a classic

Cameron Lee

As others have said, I wouldn't rank Citizen Kane as anywhere near the top of my list. Many people say it is the embodiment of the American Dream but from someone who is already in that position, I don't think it's the same. People who have little look up to people who have everything and envy them. People already in the position of wealth and power may not think anything special of it. That is why Kane was not living a life he enjoyed. Because he did not finish his childhood he didn't know what to do with his wealth. This may also be why he said "Rosebud" as his last words, it -was- something he lost, a life he could have lived. The word Rosebud also helped trigger a whole investigation, more than I had anticipated from what the reporter was suppose to find. However each of the individuals had such a bias to their stories that it was was hard to tell who was really telling the real story. Of all of them though, I would think that the Butler had the most truth behind his tale. There was no ill will coming from him and there was no reason he should keep secrets, especially because he was being payed. All in all, this movie did not hold my interest very well nor did it impress me like I had expected.

Halle’s five top movies and artists

The top five movies:
1. Crash- It does a wonderful job of depicting racial prejudice in America.
2. City of God- Great movie, it depicts how Brazilians police contribute to violence and drugs in the county.
3. Constant Gardener – it illustrate the unethical practices of pharmaceutical companies in Africa.
4. Ghost- Great love story and nice sound track.
5. Home alone- watched it many times as a kid.
The top five musical artists:
1. Bob Marley- his music is timeless and he fought for social justice.
2. Lauryn Hill- Great reggae influenced music
3. Celine Dion- Wonderful voice, great love songs
4. John Mayer- Great lyrics and also touches social problem
5. Usher- great dance and great entertainer

Citizen Kane - Yu Katayama

Even though Citizen Kane was made in the 1940s, the theme and the camera work of the movie was phenomenal. A lot of films that were made before 1940s weren't nearly as good as Citizen Kane - so in that sense, I think Citizen Kane influenced a lot of film writers and directors. I thought the movie was good, but i wouldn't list it as my all time favorite movie because it is hard to compare Citizen Kane to some of the films that came out within the last decade -the plot, technology and acting would differ a lot. However, if i was living during that time, i can surely say that Citizen Kane would be my favorite movie.
I can see some people saying that Citizen Kane is one of the best films, but at the same time i can see people saying that Citizen Kane is over rated. The statement that says, "Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message-all things that do not interest most film goers today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care" is an interesting statement, but from my point of view it totally makes sense. Citizen Kane has a good theme and cinematography, but most people today, i think, go and watch the film for a thrill, surprises and a good plot - not much for symbolism etc. Citizen Kane doesn't have many surprises or a scene where it makes you thrilled. So, i don't think people today would enjoy the film as much because they are so used to the films that has more impact.

Cameron Lee

The Beatles: Classic
Nobuo Uematsu: Composer for the Final Fantasy Soundtracks
Takeharu Ishimoto: Composer of OST FF soundtrack
Tool: Recommended by Alex Quast
Led Zeppelin: Sparked a new age.

Superbad: Hilarious
Swordfish: Explosions and girls. Has a very well written plot that I found quite enjoyable
Bond Films (Sean Connery): Has an element of fantasy that we wish we could have in our lives. I think that most people would like to live a life similar to Bond.
Terminator 2- Judgment Day: For what it's about, the movie is very well written and executed. I think the idea of machines becoming smarter than humans in the near future a real possibility and we can see that in Deep Blue.
The Fifth Element: Bruce Willis, Chris Tucker, and an amazing person with orange hair. Add them together and you get an exceptional movie.

Lauren Kolsum's Kane reflection

The first time I had seen Citizen Kane, one of the most hyped of movies for nearly six decades, was early in highschool and I can't say I was too impressed. My disinterest was due to the fact that I was not used to black and white, slow paced, out dated, and old fashioned films because they were out of the norm of my viewing pleasure. It took me a few more years to appreciate the film for what it is, perhaps the most magnificent, controversial American movies of all time.
Watching the film this time around I challenged myself to look at its deeper meaning beyond the surface. The movie is much more complex then I could have ever imagined. First of all, it gives away no easy answers. There is so much hidden symbolism where every single detail is significant in the film's meaning. I can not beleive Citizen Kane came out in the early 40's, it was unlike anything around that time. The camera work was just brilliant in itself including the many low angled shots, creating powerful personas, and the extreme close ups. I remember one almost humorous close up at Kane's party. The camera was zoomed in on Leland's face for no particular reason that I could tell for quite some time. The lighting of the shots were powerful and intensional as well. There is one shot where the lighting of the characters is almost black and white. Kane is in the room with Mr. Bernstein and Leland writing up his intensions for the paper and when he's finished he stands next to the others in a dark shadow, perhaps foreshadowing what's to come of the newspaper and Kane's life. The music is also done exceptionally well as it should have been since it was picked out by the same man who does the music for Alfred Hitchcock films. Citizen Kane is such a classic, well-liked-by-the-critics film because Orson Welles dared to make a film unlike anything anyone had ever seen before and he succeeded beyond belief. People at the time were used to viewing straight forward movies with easily identifiable good guy/bad guy characters. The movie contains hidden symbolism, impeccable camera work, brilliant sound, and engaging imagery all together creating one of the most influencial films in American history.

Citizen Kane Reflection

Citizen Kane Reflection:
I wouldn’t put Citizen Kane in my best of all time film lists but I can understand why some people would put it on their list. Even thought the movie is set in 1941, the theme of the movie is timeless. It depicts the American dream of success, wealth and power. The main character Kane is successful businessman and extremely wealth but not happy. Kane uses his money for his selfish benefits without any care for others. His parents gave him up; he was deprived of a normal childhood and love from his parents in the pursuit of success and wealth. Like many Americans today who struggle and sacrifices for the American dream of owning big house, expensive car and accumulating wealth only to realize money doesn’t buy happiness. At the end of his life Kane says the word “rosebud? which is a sled he had when he was poor and living with his parents. The sled represents a time in which Kane was truly happy. The movie challenges viewers to examine at our materialistic society and find out what truly brings us happiness.

Over all I did not care for the movie. The symbolisms and the messages in the movie are not as obvious to recognize compare to the movies we see today; therefore it makes it hard to follow the movie. I also didn’t care much for the acting it was too theatrical. The fact the movie was in back in white did not help.

Citizen Kane Today

I enjoyed Citizen Kane far more than I thought I would; however, I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped. I think I didn’t really love it because students, people my age, aren’t really brought up in the mindset of “achieving the American Dream.? Today, we’re brought up to respect actors and actresses that have a great deal of money and always appear happy. We aren’t raised to equate money with happiness, but we aren’t raised to think the opposite, either. I respect and appreciate the movie for breaking the mold in a time when there was nothing else except for that mold, but to today’s youth the movie has little relevance. Given the slew of controversial movies that have existed in the last few decades, this movie is just one more—and a fairly tame one at that. Again, I enjoyed this movie, but because of the experiences of myself and my peers, it doesn’t have the great meaning it has for older generations.

Citizen Kane

It was in 11th grade in my design class that Citizen Kane is the best movie ever made. We studied how it was directed compared to how we direct movies in the present. In my opinion, it is not the best movie ever made, but if I lived in the 1940s, I can clearly understand how it may have been a favorite for many people. The story behind was very rich, it does show the rise and downfall of man in a timetable where you feel like you are the investigator searching for answers. It does depict the so-called “American Dream? where the rise of an unknown man becomes the role model for many who are pursuing this dream. But when they fall, they fall hard, just like Kane. The way money corrupts a human is very well known as it is looked as the root of all evil. It cost Kane his happiness, his child, and his two wives all in which should be treasured more then money. In the beginning when he was young, he had the drive to make a great newspaper with money not an issue as he motivated his employees to work hard, but at the end, money was the only thing holding him together. I enjoyed how they made the transition to each year very visible with their makeup effects. Kane and his entourage were aging with time, very accurately I must say. This was surprising to me as I and I may speak for others as well, did not think a movie this old can pull off these kinds of effects.

Citizen Kane Reflection by Jeff Tow Arnett

Before this class I had never seen or heard of the movie Citizen Kane. Being one of the best all time movies ever made really has a lot to live up too since there are thousands of excellent movies out there. I normally do not like black and white movies but I thought that Citizen Kane was a great movie because it had substance to its story. The American dream is something majority of Americans strive for, being wealthy and powerful. The movie Citizen Kane does actually that, it shows how this poor little boy has nothing then in his twenty’s he runs a newspaper business and even though it does not make any money he does what he enjoys. Just like the American dream you can come from nothing like Kane did and overcome your obstacles going against your oppressive environment and become wealthy and powerful. In your class readings the article “Politics and Film? talked about a Liberalism society and from that individualism is one of its main focal points. Citizen Kane does an effective job portraying the individualism characteristic in Charles Kane both good and bad. Growing up I always wanted a job that would make me lots of money so one day I would be as wealthy as Charles Kane. However the older I get the easier it is to see that the American Dream is a wonderful thing but there is balance between money and power too much is never a good thing. There are plenty of examples of wealthy people with too much money and power like Michael Jackson he own his own amusement park and would anyone want to trade their life for Michael Jackson? I certainly would not. I really like this movie because it reinforces the American Dream back to the early 1900’s which was a better life, a happy healthy life. I would like to see a modern make of this movie because I think people would really like this movie. Like Charles Kane said “If I wouldn’t have been rich I would have been a really great man?. Americans need to see this film and remember “rosebud?.

Favorite Movies

My top five favorite movies in order are The Godfather, Rush Hour, 300, Goodfellas, and Cloverfield. The Godfather is and will always be my favorite movie all for two important reasons; it is about a family and the mafia. I have read the book, but I enjoyed the movie better. The movie is full of emotion, hate, drama, and action and with Al Pacino, Dianne Keaton, and Marlon Brando, you cannot go wrong. Rush Hour is probably one of the funniest movies I have ever watched. I believe opposites attract and with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan being partners, my belief is true. The action mixed in the comedy has been attempted by many other movies, but has failed miserably. Chris Tucker’s jokes and his Michael Jackson inspired dancing is to me, the best parts of the movie. 300 is a very inspiring movie to me. 300 men defend their country with their lives with no fear for honor. The story behind this movie is true, though it is shown with a little exaggeration. I love hearing the music in the background, it is energetic. Goodfellas is another mafia movie, but unlike the Godfather, it is based on a true story. The whole movie is a time line of how Henry, the main character, got to where he is today. It shows the ups and downs of being a “wise guy? and the dangers that one may face. Many people say it is better then the Godfather, I believe it comes close, but not to close. Cloverfield just came out and I have been waiting to see it since I saw the preview trailer from Transformers. The movie was just amazing to me. The way it was filmed and the plot, not the mention that the monster was very awesome. There is more to the movie then what they display. Clues on how the monster was created have been all over the internet. I want to see it again to see these clues that are portrayed in the movie. What I enjoyed most is how you feel like you are part of this epic event. Going to save the woman you love is very brave and I am sure people in the audience felt they would do the same. I must admit, my heart was pounding the whole time because it was so suspenseful!

Colin McGuire: Citizen Kane Reflection

When I foun out that the movie was from the 1940's, I will admit I was not in the least bit excited for it. I have watched a fair share of older movies and was bored out of my mind. I am so use to the new age technology and special effects that these movies usually seem to have nothing to offer. But, Citizen Kane, was a pleasurable experience. The cinematography was much different and more engaging than other movies in the time period. I am not a huge movie buff so I do not know much about what was different, but the use of the camera angles was interesting. They seemed to amplify characters and create emphasis without any special effects, which was a nice change. The story line and characters kept me interested throughout. I enjoyed the movie starting at the end with Kane on his deathbed and muttering "Rosebud" and the plot jumping around containing flashbacks.

I would have to agree with the statement "Citizen Kane is cited ... nobody would care." I do not believe that the thought behind the statement is a good ting, but I do believe it to be true. The annual movie awards hand out awards for things like special effects, not for symbolism and the message the movie portrays. It seems that the movie-going audience is constantly looking for the newest, biggest, and most spectacular, not content. Compared to movies of 2008 Citizen Kane was not as "choppy" I might say. It did not constantly jump from person to person, but had more of a consistent filming.

I believe the portrayal of Charles Foster Kane is a fair and proper one. The point of view the director has you see Kane from really helps the viewer understand the kind of man Kane was. It was easy to realize that he only loved himself and the power he had. Money and possessions were the center of his life and he used them to create and manipulate the power he had. The portrayal emphasized how horrible of a man he really was, but also might not have showed a softer side, if he even had one.

Jordan Heighway's Citizen Cane Reflections: Movie Rating: A

1. I believe that Citizen Kane should be up there with any top movie lists because of how well it was "put together". The cinematic aspects of the film were revolutionary. My favorite shot was when Kane was a young boy playing with "Rosebud" through the window while his mother was signing his papers away. He was the focus of the shot, yet he was clearly in the background. It's pretty impressive cinematography. I really enjoyed the story as well. A man who has, or is collecting everything, only truly loved one thing: Rosebud, his sled. Interesting concept, and one that scholars have broken down into prevailing themes on life, greed and American culture.

2. I believe that as long as we live in a capitalistic society, that greed will always influence the American Culture and landscape. That being said, this movie translate very well to every generation post-great depression.

3. I truly think that this statement hit the "new generation's" view of movies to a "T". Its pretty sad, that almost all people refuse to watch this movie because of slow moving scenes, little to no action, and no true romanticism. People today tend to go to movies to get away from the everyday life. Citizen Kane lacks the "hollywood" luster of today's movies, but generations need a reminder of the old school movies that shaped American culture.

4. Orsen Welles, in my opinion, is underrated by the general public for his cinematic efforts in Citizen Kane. Avid movie fans and critics agree that this movie was an epic movie for its time, but the general public ceases to accept this. I spoke earlier about how Kane was always the center of attention. I think of the scene where he is playing with his sled while his mother is bartering him away. My favorite shot of the movie has to be when they are celebrating and the camera cuts away from Kane for one of the few times during the movie, yet his reflection is still clearly visible in the window. Its awe-inspiring to think of how Welles directed this movie. The angles that Kane used are still used in some TV or artistic movies likely because of Kane, but they aren't used all that often because the general public doesn't understand the basis or underlying meanings for creating such angles, such as the triangle, where Kane was generally the center of.

5. Welles liked to transition the scenes with Kane still being the focus of the shot. Instead of conversations that we are used to such as one person talking directly to the camera, and then a cut to the other person talking to the camera, Welles preferred to keep everyone in the shot. It's interesting and rarely down these days.

6. I'm not sure the portrayal of Charles Foster Kane is fair or not. He is said to be formatted after the newspaper tycoon of the 20th century. I cannot honestly asses the fairness of his character, if he is truly based on this character, without further details about the guy. It must have been pretty accurate or damning because the his reaction/response to the film, by blackballing both welles and the film. It's a shame this movie did so poorly in it's debut, because it truly is a cinematic masterpiece for its respective time.

Citizen Kane Reflections

Although it did not turn out to be one of my all-time favorite movies, I recognize the historical value of Citizen Kane that has continually placed it at the top of “the best of all time? film list. Since the time the United States first became an independent nation, the ideal of the American dream has transcended every generation from the Pilgrims to present day. As the overriding ideal of Citizen Kane relates to the American Dream of fame and fortune, it is clear to see the reasons this movie has stood the test of time. The principles of a man lonely and miserable despite great wealth and fame are as true today as a century ago. This is apparent in the gossip columns of celebrities today
who find themselves in drug or alcohol rehabilitation or recovering from an attempted suicide after realizing that a life in front of the cameras and sparkling jewels was not necessarily what they expected. The difference is that today’s actors have perfect lives on screen with happiness and prosperity while their personal lives may not match with the characters they portray. In the case of Citizen Kane, Orson Welles was miserable in the movie but may have been satisfied and happy off of the camera. With this in mind, it may be difficult for today’s American movie-goers to relate as they still view the American dream as a goal to which they will aspire.

As Citizen Kane was made in the 1940’s, many question its validity in today’s society. One author summed it up when he or she said “Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism and message-all things that do not interest most film-goers today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care.? This statement holds many truths. First, the movie held amazing cinematography for its time as the camera caught different angles of each character and scene, allowing the viewer to see the distorted ideals of Charles Kane. Shadows were used to symbolize the shadows and darkness Kane felt over his life. Both of these filming strategies are still used in today’s movie industry, except that shadows tend to mean that something lurking or scary is approaching. In relation to the quote, “a random bunch of people today? would most likely find this movie dull and old. They may argue that is lacks the fast-paced, action-filled scenes that are currently driving the filmmaking world.

Overall, the film for me was enjoyable as it granted me greater insight into the corruption of the American dream. I hope it remains an American classic and learning tool for many years to come.

Favorite movies and musical artists

1. Singin’ in the Rain: Gene Kelley and Debbie Reynolds are fantastic in this classic. The music and dancing cannot be beat.
2. Footloose: This movie was a breakthrough for Kevin Bacon, and I am a sucker for cheesy 80’s music.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean # 1: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie as it was fun and fast-paced, complete with a great soundtrack and love story.
4. Hitch: My two favorite scenes are on the jet skis and when Will Smith has an allergic reaction at the cooking show. It totally made me laugh, but the love story was also great.
5. Hairspray: The music made me want to get up and dance. At the same time, it held historical value in portraying the beginning of the 60’s with segregation and acceptance of others different than yourself.

Musical Artists
1. Frank Sinatra: His songs are timeless, and his voice will never again be matched in tone or quality.
2. Michael Jackson: Although I may not agree with his personal life today, his songs are masterfully done and get everyone out of their seats onto the dance floor.
3. Norah Jones: I love playing her songs on rainy days with a cup of coffee and a blanket. They are very chill and relaxing.
4. Faith Hill: She is spunky with tunes you love to sing in the car or when I am getting ready to do homework.
5. Snow Patrol: They have a unique style and sound that is difficult to match. Their music is interesting yet not overly stimulating.

Colin McGuire's Top Five

I love listening to music and watching movies, but I am also not the guy to come to for artist or actor names.

My Top Five for music, in no particular order, would be:
1) Brad Paisley - some of my favorite country songs are on his "Time Well Wasted" album.
2) Garth Brooks / George Straight - two legendary country artists
3) Leona Lewis - she is a new favorite of mine. She won the British version of "Amercan Idol" and has an amazing voice that rivals Whitney Houston.
4) PANIC! At the Disco - a great band with a more techno sound accompanied by some interesting comedic lyrics.
5) Justin Timberlake - a lot of his new stuff has a great sound I can't get enough of.

Top Five Movies:
1) Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Jim Carey does an amazing job in this movie. My friends and I constantly quote from this movie.
2) Clue. Modeled after the board game clue has a darker sense of comedy in it that takes a certain sense of humor to really enjoy.
3)Snatch / Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. These two movies, one a sequel to the other, have such interesting twists and outcomes that are genius and highy amusing.
4) Drop Dead Gorgeous. This is an absolute favorite. I saw the movie right before moving to Minnesota and found it hilarious. Besides the witty remarks throughout the movie I am able to find something i did not notice before every time I watch it.
5) The Bourne Trilogy. These rank at the top of my favorite action movies because of how real everything seems in the movie. The trilogy has some of the best and most realistic car chases and hand to hand combat.

Week 1 Assignment

Citizen Kane is viewed as an extremely significant and poignant film for its time. It is understood that it depicts the typical “rags-to-riches American Dream,? however a number of disturbing events take place, as well. One main disturbance is that Charles Foster Kane’s parents were so poor that they essentially sold their child to Mr. Thatcher for an incredible price of $50,000 per year. It seemed that Charles’ mother made this decision to better her son’s future – both financially and to distance him from his abusive father. In the brief encounter that was seen between Charles and his parents, it was quite obvious that he was very loved and that his parents were making choices about Charles’ future that were what they thought to be in his best interest. Growing up poor, his parents had a first-hand experience of the difficulties that are accompanied by an inability to get ahead economically in a money-driven society. In their eyes, they were making the ultimate sacrifice, losing a son, in an effort to give him the opportunity to excel economically and to save him from the difficulties of living poor. Their gravest mistake, however, was not allowing their child to choose his fate for himself. Had they have known how Charles truly felt, they would have understood that love meant more to him than money ever would. The only real love Charles had ever experienced in his life was that of his parents’, who were more concerned with his future than with his heart. Although this movie depicts the rags-to-riches American dream, in which once a person becomes rich and powerful, they will live a happy, blissful life full of material things, this could not have been further from the truth for Charles. I believe that this film is very eye-opening and possibly even controversial for its time because it is questioning the “everyone wants fame and fortune? ideal of the American dream. In the case of Charles Kane, it seems as though being loved and loving in return is a much greater fortune than any amount of money. Citizen Kane shows us that it really does not matter how much money one has because true love and happiness is not a commodity that can be bought.

Week 1 Assignment

Top Five Movies:
1. Gattaca - GREAT movie! How cool would it be to actually be able to pull a stunt like that off?! I love movies about the future and the advancement of science.
2. American History X - Edward Norton is an amazing actor! It's an extremely eye-opening film that everyone must see!
3. Hotel Rwanda - Very sad, yet extremely powerful!
4. The Last King of Scotland - Really shows the atrocities of war and the manipulation that goes on behind closed doors.
5. Blood Diamond - DiCaprio is amazing in this film. Also a must-see!

Top Five Musical Artists:
1. Micheal Jackson - Musical legend...enough said.
2. Madonna - The female musical legend.
3. John Legend - Has a great voice and is very talented.
4. Googoosh - The most loved and respected Iranian singer of all time.
5. Haydeh - My personal favorite Iranian singer of all time - Frank Sinatra agreed that her voice was one-of-a-kind...enough said.

Merin Coats

It's easy to see why Citizen Kane triumphs so heavily in the critical realm of film. There are clearly powerful forces at work here. Orson Welles revolutionized the technical aspects of film-making with deep-focus, the use of the "wipe", as well as the way the story is told as flashbacks from a series of people, to name only a few. I confess that my rube-ish, uncultivated eye didn't pick up on all the nuances nor realize what I was seeing until after I did a little research. However, I did pick up on a few things right away, particularly how many shots were done at a low angle. This made the subjects loom in comparison with the viewer's eye. I found the low angle shot particularly prominent in the scene where Susan leaves Kane and he tears apart the room. He stumbles about savagely, more monster than man, so that the room seems fragile and delicate next to him. It's almost as if the room can barely contain him. The fact that Kane appears so un-human (not to be confused here with inhuman) is particularly juxtaposed against the fact that we are seeing him at a moment where his behavior is so vulnerable, personal and genuine.

Because Citizen Kane was the first of its kind in so many ways, I find myself wondering how much of the movie influenced popular opinion and how much the reverse was true, a concept discussed at length in our readings. Was the disillusionment of the American Dream a wake-up call for the public at the movie's dissemination or a merely a reflection of an already growing concern? Most likely, I suspect it was a combination of the two. Movies questioning the possible corruption in the government were already starting to appear. It would follow that some of the basic American ideals might come under the same scrutiny. Either way, Welles has more than twice over earned the honors regularly bestowed upon the film. But by the same token, one might say that the people who loved the film and love it still have earned those honors as well.

My thoughts on Citizen Kane

Like a few others before me have already stated, I wouldn't put Citizen Kane on my list of the top movies of all time, simply because there are many other more modern movies (1990-present) that I would prefer watching over it. However, given the technical achievements, solid acting, and a tragic storyline illustrating the dangers of money and power which I think will "stand the test of time" (I think it can be applied to any time period), I can see why many people consider Citizen Kane as one of the best movies of all time. It became obvious that the film was ahead of its time after watching just the first five minutes of the movie. The rain pattering down, the camera's jerky movements as it approached Zanadu, and the ominous music instantly set the mood for the rest of the movie, and showed some of the "special effects" that Welle's was capable of during that time. It was amazing to me how real Zanadu looked, and how big it was for not being an actual house. As for the storyline, it is interesting that the character of Kane is modeled after William Randolph Hearst, a real newspaper tycoon who basically monopolized the entire business in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (I visited "Hearst Castle" [the real-life version of Zanadu] this summer with my dad, and it is just as big as the movie depicts it.) I wonder what he thought of the movie, given he was still alive when it was released. The message of the movie was clear and important: money cannot buy love, or true happiness. Kane thought he had everything, until he realized that all the money in the world couldn't get his wives to love him. I think many people could listen to his advice as they pursue their own "American Dream". All in All I think Citizen Kane was a great technical achievement, and has a message which will ring true for the rest of time, which is probably why Citizen Kane can still be found at the top of many people's list of the best movies ever made.

Reflection: Citizen Kane -- Chris Hansen

While I had not seen Citizen Kane before, I had a lot of presumptions already made about the movie. Last year I did a research project on William Randolph Hearst, and part of the project included Citizen Kane and its connection to Hearst. I did not find the movie particularly interesting, and had trouble even staying awake. I have admittedly become jaded by modern special effects and cinematography, so I had trouble picking out what would be considered "revolutionary" for a movie made in the 1940's. Luckily, I had done the research project and knew to look for things such as camera placement, angles, and how the camera pans across the screen. Apparently Citizen Kane was one of the first, if not the first, movie to use sets with actual roofs. This allows for more dynamic shots, as the camera can now be aimed in any direction without having to worry about a roofless room. This technique was used several times on Charles Kane, and had the effect of making him appear much larger than he actually was. I think this type of camera work has been lost over the years, and now if a director wants to make something larger, you use special effects instead of nifty camera placements.

The story itself was entirely original in the 1940's. While today it is borderline impossible to create anything that could be considered completely original, Orson Welles was able to create a unique masterpiece that has stood the test of time for 60 years. The setup of the story itself is somewhat interesting, as the main character, Kane, is not a conventional protagonist. I did not find myself rooting for him, and I don't think that was the intention of the movie. The ending reinforces this, as Kane never got what he wanted, which would leave most viewers angry, confused, and dejected if he were a normal, lovable main character. The director for the movie Dodgeball (not exactly an epic classic such as Citizen Kane) shot the original ending for the movie with the "good guys" losing the final match. The early screening for the movie caused such a bad reaction among viewers, that the director was forced to bring in the actors again and re-shoot, with a victorious outcome. This is a great example of what makes Citizen Kane special, as Welles was able to pull off this sad ending while keeping the viewer from becoming outraged.

Citizen Kane - Monica Weir

While this wasn't the first time I'd ever seen Citizen Kane, it was probably the first time I really appreciated it for its genius. Seeing it in high school was more of a chore than something I was able to respect for all the clever camera usage and contrasting points of view. My favorite aspect of this movie was what everyone believed "rosebud" might have represented. Characters who were interviewed believed that "rosebud" might be something impressive that Charles Foster Kane had won or a woman with whom he may have been involved. In Thompson's attempts, the interviewed character sometimes manages to allude to "rosebud" without any knowledge of it. From Thatcher's library, he reads about Kane's childhood. This scene shows him sledding by his house and he strikes Thatcher in the stomach with his sled. For his first Christmas with Thatcher, Kane receives a fancy new sled. Then, during the interview with Susan Alexander, we see a conversation between the two of them in which Kane talks about going to a warehouse to search for his youth where his mothers things are in storage. At the end of the movie, the disgusting amount of property is panned over and we see the extent of his wealth. Men are burning things and one yells "throw that junk." This is when we see "rosebud" for the last time and it wraps up the movie very well because the meaning will forever be a mystery. Another feature of this movie I really liked was the usage of jigsaw puzzles. While everyone is trying to piece together the life of Charles Foster Kane, his lonely wife Susan does jigsaw puzzles to pass the time in the gigantic mansion they live in. The camera angles and uses of shadows always depict the alienation Susan feels. When she is shown in conversations with her husband, his shadow covers her and makes her look very small and overpowered as the movie becomes darker and more unhappy. I definitely agree that this movie is among the best of all time, mostly because it is impossible to take everything in upon watching it only once.

Citizen Kane Write-up

This was my first time viewing Citizen Kane. The closest thing I have experienced to it was the Simpson's episode parodying it. As I read other people's writeups, I can agree with them when I say I'm sort of biased against black-and-white movies. I've only seen them in educational contexts, so I have this innate reaction to label them boring. Although, compared to other B & W movies, I'd say Citizen Kane was one of the better ones. I can understand why it was so big at the time of its release, with the notion that the American dream isn't all it's cracked up to be. The one thing that I noticed that was constantly utilized was the long fades between scenes.

The effect of the long fades is to blend each scene with the next. It gives a feeling of flow, which is appropriate since much of the movie consists of people telling the story of Charles Kane. Since everything only happens as fast as people tell them through anecdotes, the fade effect is useful to show that each story is interrelated. There are no fast cuts like you'd see in many movies today. The fast cuts seem to invoke feelings of unexpectedness and confusion, while a fade establishes a new scene while allowing reflection on the previous. It lets the movie clearly designate what are 'flashbacks' and what is occuring in 'normal time'.

All said and done, Citizen Kane isn't half bad of a flick. I can see how it was so big back in the day, and I can see where it has some merit even today. The American dream, while often glorified, was depicted as shallow and unfulfilling. It's a nice change from how movies usually go (granted, 'nice' might not be the best word to use there), but it's an interesting look at how power corrupts, and blinds people to their weaknesses. Those messages are just as true today as they were in 1941.

Jeff Batts

Chris Lewis Top Five

1. Finding Forrester- I've always wanted to be a writer and have been so inthralled with the process in which a person's philosophy flows through a pen and onto paper. This story reminds me of why I love this art and how through writing you can reach anyone.
2. Stranger Than Fiction- Another movie that jumpstarts my passion for writing. It reminds me how in a good book each character has a life of it's own, and the reader should feel like any character could be a friend, neighbor, or coworker.
3. Rocky Horror Picture Show- Some movies are just fun.
4. Sweeney Todd- Reaches down into a person's darkest roots of deception, violence, and the need for passion. Plus the music is great.
5. Pan's Labarynth- I'm not one for fantasy, but this story shows multiple points of view and stresses how a story can be great if it has great characters.

1. Beatles- Classic artists that can paint any picture.
2. Aqua- Happy music that makes me feel perky with a picked up beat.
3. Danny Elphman- He composes amazing symphonies that can paint a picture with a simple beat and a vibrating strings. It's nice to be able to close your eyes and feel a surrounding based on music.
4. Rent- I have a connection with an older sibling through this musical and it always reminds me of her.

Even though we are of a different generation we still feel connected by the same trials and tribulations of our times.
5. Hairspray- It puts a positive spin on what teens faced in a certain time, but also displays the emotions that challenge society from a day to day perspective.

Chris Hansen's Top Five's

Top 5 Movies:
The Departed -- Some people I talked to were confused by this movie, but I found it exciting from start until finish. I loved how round the characters were, especially Leonardo DiCaprio's character. You could really empathize with him and understand the kind of pressure he was under.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy -- Maybe I am not the best person to comment on the story line, as I have not read the books, but the cinematography and overall production of all three movies was fantastic! If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Return of the King, but I have never gotten bored of watching any of them.

Dumb and Dumber -- The writing was original and right on, and it seems like every time I watch the movie I notice another joke or bit of humor that I had overlooked before.

Pulp Fiction -- I liked the twisting plot lines and how they were presented in a way that made absolutely no sense at first. In order to really enjoy this movie, you basically have to see it twice to get all the information from the various plot lines and then piece them together to create a chronological timeline.

Fight Club -- This is another great movie, similar to Pulp Fiction in how you have to view the movie multiple times to really get a feeling for what is going on. Still, a fun movie with one of the best plot twists ever. It took me completely by surprise.

Top 5 Albums:
Dark Side of the Moon [Pink Floyd] -- A great album, from start to finish. I love how each song seems to blend perfectly into the next, as if it is one continuous song.

Houses of the Holy [Led Zeppelin] -- I am a huge Led Zeppelin fan, so I could just include their entire catalogue, but I chose Houses of the Holy because; a) It has some of my favorite Zeppelin songs, and b) I didn’t want to pick Led Zeppelin IV like everyone else.

Stadium Arcadium [Red Hot Chili Peppers] -- I love Anthony Kiedis’ voice (since he changed his singing style in the early-mid 90’s), and the songs on this album are all very catchy.

Paranoid [Black Sabbath] -- I love this album, especially some of the less popular songs, although hits such as Iron Man and Paranoid still rock as well.

Back in Black [AC/DC] -- Every song sounds basically the exact same, but after listening to this album, the songs are stuck in my head for days.

Movies & Artists Jeff Tow Arnett


1. Big Jake- John Wayne is my favorite actor and this movie Big Jake is one of his greatest classic films he made in the early 1970’s. During John Wayne’s prime he represented the ideal image of being an American man, he was a role model for the American public.

2. Wedding Crashers- Vince Vaughn into today’s era is the funniest actor out there. Wedding Crasher is the best comedy of all time with all the funny memorable quotes. This quote is one of many memorable in the movie:

 Jeremy Grey: Okay, what's our back story?
John Beckwith: We're brothers from New Hampshire. We're venture capitalists.
Jeremy Grey: I'm sick of that. Let's be from Vermont. And let's have an emerging maple syrup conglomerate.
John Beckwith: Wait, that's stupid. We don't know anything about maple syrup.
Jeremy Grey: I happen to know everything there is to know about maple syrup! I love maple syrup. I love maple syrup on pancakes. I love it on pizza. And I take maple syrup and put a little bit in my hair when I've had a rough week. What do you think holds it up, slick?

3. Crocodile Dundee- This movie is just one classic movie that never gets old to watch. Crocodile Dundee has a great story line and is very funny to watch.

4. Mighty Ducks Series.- growing up I love hockey and always wanted to be in that movie. Being from Minneapolis is was cool to see how these reject kids start from nothing and go on the being the best. It’s a great story about sports.

5. My Cousin Vinny- Joe Pesci and Marsisa Tomei had great chemistry and really made this movie one of American classic movies to watch. Joe Pesci is another one of my favorite actors and really makes this movie great. My Cousin Vinny has a lot of memorable quotes which is why this is in my top five all time.


1. Taylor Swift- it’s cool that she writes all of her own songs. She pretty good looking too and is by far my favorite artist.

2. Fergie- I went to one of her concerts and I had a blast and my favorite song of her's is Big Girls Don’t Cry. I am not sure why being a guy but I like the song.

3. Alan Jackson- I grew up listen to him as a kid and I love all of his songs and the lyrics to his songs.

4. Toby Keith- I like his songs and what he sings about. Being from the country I like the image that he has.

5. Faith Hill/Tim Mcgraw- I don’t think there is a better duo that these two artist. Very inspiring people to listen to.

Top Five Movies & Music by Jenna J.

1. Love Acutally- A beautifully woven story depicting different facets of love. Makes my heart sigh every time...
2. Forrest Gump- Tom Hanks was great in this movie, and the idea of creating a historical montage and unveiling it through a fictional character made for a good storyline and strong presentation.
3. Good Will Hunting- A not-so-usual kind of 'rags to riches' story. The setting and circumstances of the characters fit this movie well I think.
4. Life is Beautiful- Poignantly told experience of the Nazi era through the eyes of an Italian family. The end lesson holds true to the title.
5. Casablanca- There's just some underlying quality about this movie I love. It's classic, witty, and charming all at the same time.

Music artists:
1. The Red Hot Chili Peppers- Something about their music-- the bass line? the vocals? the lyrics? --just hooks me in completely whenever I hear one of their songs.
2. Bob Dylan- The younger Bob Dylan, that is (although he's still good today). It's amazing how a few mysterious verses could have influenced a whole generation, and we don't really have anything like that to compare it to presently to even realize it's past effect.
3. Wilco- I enjoy their folksy-rockness and mellow beats.
4. Andrew Bird- Total chillout music-- this guy's a very talented musician with a smooth, relaxing voice.
5. Rilo Kiley- Their lyrics can be edgy/controversial and sweetly emotional at the same time, as can Jenny Lewis's voice. But that's what I like about this group.

Monica Weir's "Top Five" Lists

Top 5 Music:
Journey - Whenever I hear Journey songs it reminds me of growing up and listening to the music with my dad. I love that "Don't Stop Believin" is such a popular song now.
Santana - The compilation of artists on Shaman that came out in 2002 is amazing.
Kanye West - There is so much rap out there that I can't stand but I will always love Kanye West's music.
Aerosmith - "Dream On" and "Sweet Emotion" have been two of my favorite songs since the first time I heard them.
Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas - This CD will always be one that I listen to repeatedly during the holidays.

Top 5 Movies:
"Blades of Glory" - Being a figure skater I can appreciate all of the shenanigans that go on during this hilarious movie.
"Love Actually" - It's such a hopeful movie and all of the stories link together well.
"Moulin Rouge" - The music is what makes this movie amazing and Baz Luhrmann's directing is incredible.
"It's a Wonderful Life" - one of the very few movies that has ever made me cry.
"Pirates of the Caribbean" - Part of the reason this is on my Top 5 list is because I did a skating routine so the music, so every time I watch the movie and hear the music I'm reminded of an amazing skating routine, I also really like the story line and complicated characters of the trilogy.

Citizen Kane: Reflections - Alec Charais

I think Charles Foster Kane acted like a lost little boy from the time he was separated from his parents until the day he died. Everything he did in his life was to excess including the way he reported news in the Inquirer to the construction of Xanadu. Kane spent his life tring to feel excepted and loved, and yet was unable to keep his inner core of friends and relatives close. He died alone, longing for the innocence of his childhood years with the echo of his last word, "Rosebud."

This story is not unlike what we have been told our whole lives, that money "can't buy you happiness." Kane had many opportunities for happiness in his life including a successful business, many friends, and a happy marriage. Unfortunately for Kane, his instincts for indulgence and control ruined all that around him. This ironically left him alone and abandoned, which was what he feared the most.

I think this movie would play well in today's era if produced with modern filmmaking techniques. The storyline as told in 1941 moves much too slowly to make the big screen today. However, there is enough of a plot to this movie that many of the untold parts of the original film could be included in a remake, such as what happens in Kane's earlier years that shape his personality.

I came to class with no expectations for this film. I wasn't aware that Citizen Kane was considered one of the "best movies of all time", but after seeing it I can understand why. This movie depicts the desire of the "American Dream", yet shows us that not all are capable of holding onto that success. The struggle for that dream is timeless.

Alec's Top Five Movies & Artists

I enjoy a good movie much more than I tend to pay attention to what is playing on the radio. While I appreciate music very much, I have never paid much attention to which artist performs what. Therefore, my movie list is paired down and my artist list is stretched.

Top Five Movies (in no particular order):

1. Apollo 13 - Everytime I watch this movie I think about how amazing it was to send someone to the moon back in a time where technology was very limited as compared to today. It makes me think that due to modern conveniences, our society has become less apt to take risks like the astronauts did back in the 60's. The Apollo space program was a rallying point for a downtrodden nation and gave our country the confidence to evolve technologically.

2. Miracle - I am a huge hockey fan and I remember back when I was a kid my dad had a poster of the 1980 Gold Medal Olympic Hockey Team. When I was old enough to appreciate what Herb Brooks stood for, as well as the team's accomplishment, I can't help but be inspired by this story.

3. Remember the Titans - How can you not be inspired by this movie!

4. The Incredibles - I just think the storyline of this movie is very clever. The animation, like all Pixar movies, is amazing and the story is an interesting twist to the classic idea of a superhero. Plus, when watched in HD...good grief!

5. Star Wars (all) - I appreciate the early trilogy for the idea and what was accomplished from a technical standpoint as much as I appreciate the later movies for their technological advancements. When you watch the more recent films, the earlier movies look very slow (which adds to their charm because back in the 80's they were cutting edge!)

Top Five Artists

Michael Jackson - I think he's getting weirder by the day, but he's still an icon. I enjoy his earlier stuff more than what he did later in his career. In fact, I think Janet Jackson has had a more successful career, longevity-wise.

Prince - Like Jackson, his earlier material is better than when he decided to name himself after a symbol, but in any event the guy has more talent than anyone else in the business.

Aretha Franklin - the girl's got pipes, that's all I can say.

The Beatles - I can play Abbey Road straight through, which is tough for me as I am really picky about music.

Rolling Stones - To me they are kind of like the Beatles, I don't seek out their music but when it's on I rarely turn it off.

Ultimately I mostly prefer instrumental music such as songs from the big band era like "In the Mood" or "Sing, Sing, Sing".

Top 5 Movies & Music

Top 5 Movies and Music
Rules of Attraction- It is a great movie that really just sticks with you. It is messed up and wonderful, and the scene between Richard and his mother was just amazing. Packed with great scenes!
Rocky Horror Picture Show- Such an original movie, with great acting and awesome music. Just a wild, out there movie that makes me want to sing and dance!
The Nightmare Before Christmas- Just a well made piece, with a dark and macabre sense of humor. The music was great and the characters were innocent and fun.
Evita- One of my all time favorite musicals with one of my favorite entertainers. The life story of Eva Peron is romantic and tragic and it brings me to tears every time I watch it.
Romey and Michele’s High School Reunion- A hilarious look back at high school life. Each character can be compared with someone you went to high school. It is just fun!
Madonna-I love to dance and her songs are always great for that.
Mickey Avalon- I love his take on rap. He has great lyrics and phat beats.
Black Eyed Peas- Great lyrics and enjoyable songs. Their sound and style just blend well to make amazing songs.
Cher- She is classic! All of her songs are empowering and fantastic.
Wicked- I love musicals and this is one of my favorite. I can just sing a long and I am able to really feel the music and the story.

Citizen Kane Reflection

This is not the first time that I have seen Citizen Kane. I do not really care much for the movie. I would not put this movie in my top favorite movies; however I understand why so many people would. The story behind Citizen Kane is one that anyone can understand. Fifty years ago they got it and one-hundred years from now they will still get it. The story is timeless; it is something that we have all seen and heard of. We get it. He was a poor kid who was made into a wealthy and powerful man, which turned him into a heartless, empty and cold being. Along with such a classic story, this film had some groundbreaking cinematograph. Welles’s use of camera angles, lighting and shadowing techniques and camera positioning, really added to the overall strength of his movie. When watching the movie his camera positions and angles made you feel as though you were in the story watching it, and you were a player in what was happening. The symbolism behind the cinematography also made the movie a masterpiece. For instance looking at the breakfast scene with Kane’s first wife, when the scene starts they are sitting next each other and by the end they are sitting across from one another at a large table. It showed the distance that grew between them. It was an amazing scene. A second scene that I enjoyed was with his second wife in their large living room. She is sitting by the fire putting a puzzle together while he sits across this giant, lifeless room from her and they have to shout to one another. The room represents Kane, bitter and empty.
Regardless of these strengths, viewers today would not care about the movie. I think the reason behind this is that many viewers now go to the movies for just entertainment value. It is a way for them to escape the really world and not be forced to think or analyze their own lives. But it is not only the viewer to blame for not caring, the industry has also changed. It has gone from producing movies like Citizen Kane, those with meaning and thought, to movies like The Fast and The Furious, where it is pure crap. Today so many movies are made just to make money; we have lost the ability to really look at a movie.
The portrayal of Welles’s character, Charles Foster Kane was a fair one. The character was seen from many different vantage points. We saw what Kane was like from the point of view of 2 of his wives, his best friend, his business manager, his youth care taker and briefly his butler. From all these viewpoints, they helped show Kane’s true character. He was selfish and although he cared about those around him; that did not stop him from getting what he wanted in life. Although fair, his story was never understood from his point of view. Only very few glimpses into how Kane felt were shown. He never let anyone understand who he was.

Cizten Kane reflection - Meghan Frank

This was the first time watching Citizen Kane and I liked it. It was not my favorite movie but I think it was beautifully made and had a good message. The thing that struck me the most was how different the accounts of Charles Kane from each person were. I think that shows a truth that is still relevant today. Everyone has different sides to themselves that they reveal to different people and sometimes no one knows the real person. We could see who Charles Foster Kane was only through others' eyes. I do not believe we ever saw the real or whole Charles Kane because he never let anyone see.

The movie is still relevant today. No, most people would not care about the shadows or camera angles but the message is still true in our celebrity obsessed culture. People watch these celebrities and want to know everything about them and are glued to the tv when their idols fail. The truth is the public does not know these people at all and know nothing of their personal struggles. Charles Kane had personal demons and issues that he never conquered. I do not think anyone really knew his true dreams or pain. Orson Wells showed a man who, I believe, had good intentions and ideas but was blinded by wealth and power.

Tom Lulic - Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane - A good movie but not one of the best. However, I can certainly relate to anyone who believes that this movie is atop an all time list. The main reason why is because this movie contains camera usage that is ahead of its time. It is not necessarily the difficulty in various "shots" that I immediately notice but it is the cleverness in the usage of the camera. The first that I saw was in the first scene of the movie when Kane drops the snow globe and the nurse/maid runs into the room. This view of her suddenly entering the room is shown by a floor level refelction off of the shattered glass. You must appreciate the talent one has in order to subtly incorporate this into a film. More examples of impressive film making are shown throughout the movie with the usage of unique vantage points for the viewer, such as the scene of Kane and his first wife at the breakfast table. Kane initially tells his wife how much he loves her and seems so enthralled with her presence but as time and scene moves on the two become bored and have only bickering comments for one another morning after morning. In the last morning or cut of that scene Kane is reading from his very own newspaper while his wife reads from the rival newspaper, The Chronicle, no comments are made to each other, only subtle glances and I thought this scene was entertaining and depicted a long time frame in only a few minutes. Another thing about this movie I was impressed with was the usage of the set to portray an underlying notion. One example of this is at Xanadu when Kane is sitting in a giant chair talking to his wife who is sitting at the fireplace with a giant jigsaw puzzle. The huge, dark room they are in portrays how lonely Kane has made both of their lives and even though everything around them is perfect, expensive and breath taking, together in this mansion they are miserable.

I would certainly watch this movie again and I enjoyed watching it the first time.

Meghan's Top Movies and Music

Top 5 Movies
1. Dirty Dancing: A good story with good music and serious undertones
2. ET: The first movie I remeber falling in love with and watching over and over.
3. Saved: A funny and poignant way to show how dangerous religion can be when taken too far.
4: Dogma: Very funny and I love Kevin Smith
5. Grease: Pretty much a feel good movie that always puts me in a good mood.

Top Music:
1. Bon Jovi - Slipper When Wet: Great classic hair band rock
2. Aerosmith: Amazing band that has stood the test of time and continues to put out great music.
3. John Mayer: Great artist who has something to say and isn't afraid to say it and doesn't take himself to seriously.
4. Jack Johnson: He writes amazing songs and has managed to stay out of all the drama and just make music in Hawaii
5. Green Day: They don't take anyones crap and they speak their minds.

Citizen Kane: Reflections by Justin Kaplan

I had never seen Citizen Kane before we watched it in class. I had heard some people talk about the movie but had never been able to see it. I have a couple different beliefs about the movie. I think that the reason why it is in many peoples top 5 movies list is because they can understand and appreciate the quality of the movie for its time period. The lighting and camera work was astonishing for its time period. I really believe that this was an amazing movie in its era and the characters did a good job playing their role. Kane was perceived as a man of great wealth and power, when really all he wanted was love. Kane never received this from his parents because of being taken away from them at such a young age. I feel sympathy for Kane because I know that deep down inside he really was a good man and just never knew what "love" or real love actually felt like because he didn't receive it from his parents. This story shows you a different side of a rich and wealthy American. Most people believe that they live these amazingly happy lives and have no problems, when in reality this was the exact opposite of how Kane felt. Kane was a very lonely and dark man. Kane's second wife did not know who Kane was and had no clue what he was worth. I think that Kane was intrigued by the fact that she did not know who he was and he felt like he could start from scratch with her. He ends up making her sing when he knows along with everyone else that she is not meant to do it. Kane was a man that was infatuated by his power and wanted to prove the news papers wrong for calling his wife a "singer" and not believing that she could actually sing. He knew that the opera was not right for her but wanted to be the one that was responsible for everything with her. He wanted all of the power because this is what made him happiest. I think that this was a sad story because it just shows that because of the lack of love in his childhood, Kane grew up to be a very lonely and unhappy man. At the end of the movie, Kane's last words were "Rosebud." I believe he said this to show that all he ever wanted was a good family and a normal child hood. Overall I actually kind of enjoyed this movie and thought it was very interesting to see the ups and down's that Kane went through throughout his life.

Jordan's thought on Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane is at the top of best movie lists in my opinion because of the attention to detail that is shown by the direction to show each character as vulnerable and real. The characters could easily be seen as over the top but each one seems believable. The story allows them the ability to be seen as reasonable in their extremes; the attachment to a childhood toy makes even Kane decadent lifestyle in Xanadu seem reasonable. The camera work of the piece uses the light given and the extreme and decadent settings to make the characters look small and identifiable. I have enjoyed this film for years and the would say that it is very well done, however the content of the film left me feeling a bit let down so I would say that this is not in my top best films ever.

Nyssa's Reflections on the "Best of All Time" Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane is frequently on “Top? movie lists. It was a revolutionary film when it came out with its open questioning of the American dream, advanced cinematography, and over the top scenery. There was intense dialogue and social criticism that was very relevant then and now. The controversy surrounding its potentially libelous portrayal of William Randolph Hearst further adds to its prestige.

That being said, it certainly would not even make my top one hundred list. I must admit a certain anti-black and white movie bias. The lack of color really detracts from my viewing experience. It makes it that much harder to tell the characters apart and fully absorb the scenery.

The acting was overdone. The only believable characters in the movie were his two wives, who had very few scenes when you consider the extent the termination of the relationships influenced Kane. All the main characters seemed like incomplete sketches, raising no emotional connection with their life struggles.

The messages in the film were not obvious like you see in movies today. I am not sure how I feel about that. When I first watched Citizen Kane it was for a film studies class and we were really only meant to pay attention to the filming techniques. Jotting down notes on camera angles and panning, I managed to miss the meaning of the movie. I barely even figured out the plot. I thought it was a horrible movie and was dreading watching it again for this course.

Actually watching it as a movie I found myself following the story and absorbing the messages against selfish pursuits and meaningless acquisitions. It still struck me as more criticism against individual motives than a round condemnation of materialism. Kane was not bad for wanting to be wealthy or politically influential. It was bad because he had no altruistic motives; he merely wanted the love that he never received from his parents. It begs the question of responsibility when using todays standards. He needed therapy, not scorn.

Jordan Swan's top Movies and Music

Top movies in no order
1. Hedwig and the Angry Inch- a gender bending rock and rollercoaster, beautiful ballads.
2. Breakfast at Tiffany's- The original story was in so much better, but Hepburn shines in it.
3. Drop Dead Gorgeous- A perfect chronicle of my hometown minus the murder.
4. Funny Girl- Barbra in her peak, don’t rain on my parade!
5. The Labyrinth- Bowie in tights and puppets galore, what else could I ask for.

Top Music in no order
1. Back to Black, Amy Winehouse, Addicted to crack but I still lover her.
2. Robyn, Robyn, Swedish pop is never wasted on me.
3. Pieces of You, Jewel, Sad 90’s chick music, I love it
4. Lovers Rock, Sade, I could listen to her voice for hours
5. Missundaztood, Pink, Angry but fun.

Reflection of Citizen Kane, Chris Remy

The Illustrated Oxford Dictionary defines a citizen as a civilian who is part of a city or a commonwealth. This description does no justice to a mister Kane in the 1944 Orson Welles movie Citizen Kane. Not only is mister Kane one of the wealthiest man in the world in this movie, the only city that he takes apart of is a city one to his own. Some go to say that this city and its mansion of great monstrosity was a waste; his late wife was to call them an empty space. She goes on to tell us the story of mister Kane as the man who could only love himself.
Citizen Kane ranks on many all time movie list throughout the world. Something considered great at its release it is still viewed today. It was only a few days ago it was placed on the television station Turner Classic Movies. It seems that it might rest as a great movie because it portrayed what many people desire. They desire to be rich, to have anything you want and to someone to share it with. What it does an even better job doing is show us how these things can prove to hurt us more than they can help us. So in a reverse psychology way this movie became popular.
Orson Welles as a filmmaker received a lot of criticism for some of his movies, including this one. Not only was he criticized he eventually was sued for this movie in its portrayal of a man of great distinction at the time. In the end, he grew to be one of the best filmmakers of all times. As far as his cinematic go, his use of the camera would not appeal too much to movie makers today. The use of shadows and lighting angels are not as popular as the extended use of special effects that goes to be told in today’s film industry.
All in all, this movie did dwell on the not so glamorous life of luxury. Even today that still is a desire for most people. Given money, it rests on an individual to choose what to do with it. In Mister Kane’s choose, of buying love, life would have been all the much better without money. He started his life of wealth as a child holding onto to a sled known as RoseBud and he ended his life with the words RoseBud. This goes to show the viewer that money cannot pay love; love is earned, just like the sled his poor parents gifted to him as a citizen of their love.

Nyssa's Top Five Movies & Musicians

Five Favorite Movies

Beauty and the Beast – Watched this all day everyday the summer it came out. I could recite the whole movie, every line. It has been awhile since I last watched it, but I think it will stand the test of time.

Dazed and Confused – A movie that really captivated me sophomore year of high school. I love the characters and there are great one liners.

Disturbing Behavior – back when Katie Holmes was America’s girl next door. The soundtrack was great. The action scenes weren’t too disturbing, but still pumped you up.

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle – not necessarily revolutionary or inspiring in any way, but I have seen it well over a hundred times and am happy to watch it again any time.

Practical Magic – My inspiration for romantic relationships. It was such a good story of sisterly love, avoiding dangerous men, finding Mr. Right, with witchcraft thrown in.

Five Favorite Artists

Afroman – Their music is just so much fun. It makes me feel like a kid again. They bring back memories of Junior year.

Alanis Morrisette – her first CD was so different from anything I had heard before. I played it all day for the whole summer.

Cledus T. Judd – The Al Yankovich of country. Hilarious lyrics that blend in so well, great brain candy.

Dixie Chicks – Outspoken and opinionated artists. They were a good counterpoint to the Spice Girls’ brand of “Girl Power.?

Toby Keith – Know the lyrics to every song on every CD. And got to hang out with him on his tour bus.

Derek Peltier

After watching "Citizen Kane" I come to realize why it was put to the top of movie lists. It was one of the first movies in the black-and-white era to present fame and wealth in a negative way. It protrayed Mr. Kane as a powerful man who had everything going for him such as wealth, fame and love. However, all of his fortune quickly faded when his second wife left him for making her do against her will. He always wanted her to be an Opera singer, though she was not very good. When she was up on stage it seemed as if Mr. Kane was extremeley happy while his wife was not happy at all. It also seemed as if the audience was not very fond of her singing. She put up with a lot from Mr. Kane which was extremely surprising to me. However at the very end of the movie she did finally leave him and after that Mr. Kane dies where he utters his last word, "rosebud."

I personally found this movie interesting, I had never heard of it before even though it is a very popular movie to date. I like movies that have a unique twist or irony to them and "Citizen Kane" did that at the end. I was unaware of what "rosebud" meant until they explained it at the end of the movie. It added a nice twist to the movie because I think they were protraying that Kane wished he had led a simple, quite life. I think, like most people, Kane thought if he had money and fame he would be happy, but that was not the truth in this case. However, as a viewer we did not know he secretly felt this way until the very end.

Mr. Kane was seemed as if he was always trying to take control of any situation possible. He really enjoyed power and it showed throughout the movie. One part of the movie that I found very interesting was when his bid for governor came to a burning crash because of his rival Jim Getty. Getty exposed his affair with Susan which led to Mr. Kane divorcing his first wife and marrying Susan.

After Kane's death a reporter from the Inquirer newspaper searches and digs into his past by interviewing five eyewitnesses. This was probably my most favorite part of the movie, because you got to see a lot more about Mr. Kane and some sides of him you did not get to see throughout the whole movie.

Top Five Movies/Artists

My top five movies are tough for me to choose, mostly because I don't see a lot of movies, and the ones I do see I usually find a reason to dislike (What a positive first post...). I typically like the 'bad' horror movies - the ones that have gore for gore's sake, predictable plots, and cliche characters. The Zombie movie genre is probably my favorite...They're so hellbent for brains that it's hilarious. Thusly, my current top five list (in no particular order) would be this...
1. The Simpsons Movie - I'm an avid fan of the show, and the movie didn't disappoint. It's impressive how the show can be going on for nearly 20 years and they still haven't run out ideas.
2. Dead Silence - BY FAR the worst movie on my list, but I like it nonetheless. The plot twist at the end was actually pretty clever, plus ventriloquist dummies creep the shit out of me.
3. Any one of the Saw movies - I enjoy seeing all the elaborately rigged ways that they come up with to kill people. Whoever gets to come up with those may have the best job in Hollywood.
4. Night of the Living Dead 3D - First off, I have no idea why they added 3D to the title, which may be why I like it so much. The acting is absolutely awful, the characters are complete idiots, and there's nothing remotely 'scary' about this movie. However, it does have a scene where a guy on a dirtbike holds out his fist and drives into a zombie, effectively punching his head off, so it gets some points for being bad-ass.
5. Shaun of the Dead - This combines both the zombie and comedy genres, and does it well. It incorporates all the important elements of a zombie movie and takes a very lighthearted approach to them.

Top 5 Artists
1. They Might Be Giants - They've been around for nearly 25 years, and have done it all - children's music, TV themes, Dunkin Donuts commercials, as well as releasing 13 albums. They've done electronic, rock, country, jazz, latin...You name a style of music and they've probably done it.
2. Muse - My favorite aspect of Muse is the falsetto voice that Tom Bellamy sings in sometimes - he's a crazy son of a bitch.
3. Great Big Sea - A folk-rock band from Canada, I enjoy their catchy melodies and upbeat style.
4. Oppenheimer - They're an obscure two-piece from Northern Ireland that opened at a They Might Be Giants concert. They layer their sounds very well, and their lead vocalist sings and plays drums at the same time...As a drummer, I find that to be totally bitchin'.
5. Kelly Clarkson - Okay, I'll admit it - she's my guilty pleasure. I like a lot of the 'chick rock' musicians, like Pink, Michelle Branch, Alanis Morissette...Don't judge me.

Jeff Batts

Citizen Kane Greatest?? by Chris Hovel

I do not agree with the notion that Citizen Kane is the greatest movie of all time. I can understand why people and critics put this movie on such a high pedestal. The film tells a great story of Charles Foster Kane who is born extremely poor, strikes it rich through an old gold mine and ends up becoming one of the most powerful men in the country. However all of the money and fame never gave Kane the happiness we all assume you would have with that kind of wealth. The technical aspects of the film were also beautifully mastered by a very young Orson Welles. Orson Welles was only 24 when he made this film and I believe this is another reason for why Citizen Kane gets the praise that it does. I also feel that Citizen Kane receives the greatest movie of all time stigma is because this movie represents the old Hollywood. I have noticed that a lot of the movies on the greatest of all time lists are usually from around the era of Citizen Kane. I think that this nostalgia for classic cinema is another reason for why so many people love this movie. If you were to show Citizen Kane to people in my generation or any in the future would enjoy this movie. There is no way the majority would say that Citizen Kane is a good movie, let alone the greatest of all time.

Citizen Kane: Reflections by David Belair

I had seen Citizen Kane previously and thought it a very good film. Not one of my all time favorites, but I can see why it is considered that by critics. The cinematography was groundbreaking at the time. From the shadowing and lighting, to the camera angles and camera positioning. The cinematography definitely added to my enjoyment of the film. I enjoyed how he would use a set camera and let a scene play out. This was especially noticable when he would use a low camera angle that panned the whole room. In one scene of note, filmed at the newspaper offices, you could only see Kane's legs in the foreground and his best friend Leland in the background, while they went through the whole scene wothout the camera moving. The scene was given added depth by the camera angle. Another way he used a still camera and let the scene play out was when he shot a scene in a large room. An example was at Xanadu, in the scenes with the gigantic fireplace and his wife doing her puzzles. He shot the scene from a corner of the room and just kept it there. The sound echoing of the walls. This just helped show how grandiose Kane's life was.

The story shows the misery and loneliness of a rich american, which contradicts the beliefs of most. Money buys happiness, not loneliness, or so it is believed. I enjoyed how it started out as a biography of Kane's life and gave you a quick synopsis of his life before it delved into the main story. Kane appeared to be the life of the party, and a man everyone wanted to be, it was clear however, that he was unhappy. His best friend always resented him, and his homelife was secluded and lonely, his life ending with a flashback to his youth when he saw his wife's snow globe. The globe reminding him of his lost happiness and his favorite memory of riding his sled, Rosebud. Its a story of how even money doesn't buy happiness, that your youth is lost as grow older, and that its easy to lose track of the things that bring enjoyment to your life. I think the main story would interest todays film-goers (youth lost, money doesn't necesarily buy happiness, the greater-than-life main character), however I think the pacing of the film would be lost on today's film-goers. Today, people want action, action, action. I think critics would still love it, but the average film-goer would find it boring.

Overall I think the movie is very good. I didn't see that Kane's life was in anyway portrayed in an unfair way. It showed his youth, how he was taken from his parents at an early age, and how that loneliness transferred to his adult life. Kane always made a point of saying he was trying to make a difference for those less fortunate. He was trying to help those that he related to from his poor upbringing. The loneliness that must have ensued when he was taken from his family was bound to stay with him throughout his life. I think Wells did a good job of keeping the story on track and Kane's life seemed to be reasonably depicted.

David Belair's Top Five List

My top 5 movies:

1. The Godfather I and II. I love mafia/gangster movies and these are the best of the bunch. They are well directed, well acted and the stories are great. I have them lumped together because to me they are 1 great extended movie. As far as I am concerned, Godfather III never happened.

2. Pulp Fiction. This movie was great. The dialogue in this movie was top notch, especially between Sam Jackson and John Travolta. I haven't seen a movie since this that was so mezmerizing to watch and the way Tarantino brought all the different stories together without losing the audience, its just a great movie.

3. Monty Python's Holy Grail. This movie just cracks me up. Its so stupid, and yet so funny. Nee.

4. The Usual Suspects. I was totally surprised at the ending the first time I saw this movie, and had to see it again right away just to try and connect all the dots. It has everything you want in a who-done-it, action, drama, violence, humor. Just a great movie.

5. Fight Club. The first rule of fight club is you don't talk about fight club.

My Top Five Bands:
1. U2. They are probably the first group I ever really got into. Their latest albums aren't great, but up through Achtung Baby they didn't put out a bad album.

2. Radiohead. I hate to admit it, but I first got into Radiohead when the video for Creep was played on Beavis and Butthead. That song got me started, but the albums The Bends and OK Computer got me hooked. Plus, how can you not like a band who put one of their albums for sale on their website and sold it to you for the amount you thought the record was worth.

3. Johnny Cash. I love his voice. I had never really thought Johnny Cash was anything more than an old time, boring, country singer, until he sang a song on U2's Zooropa album. I thought his voice was great, and I liked the fact that he teamed up with a rock band for a song. I started pulling up some of his songs and was hooked. Live at Folsom Prison is one of my all time favorite albums.

4. Pearl Jam. They rock. Eddie Vedders voice would sound good underwater. They are great in concert. I also like the fact that they took a stand against Ticketmaster over concert ticket prices. Black and Yellow Ledbetter are two of my all time favorite songs.

5. Cowboy Junkies. This is my wife's favorite band and they have grown on me over the years. They are pretty slow and mellow, but in a good way.

January 26, 2008

Reflections on Citizen Kane. By Thanh Diep Truong

The movie Citizen Kane at first didn't seem any appealing to me at all through its poster. I thought this would be an old boring movie featuring some rich powerful man in it. But then throught out the movie, I was proved wrong. It was able to keep me interesting and curious to know more about this Mr. Kane. He was the man who had everything: money, power, fame, love; everything a man at that time could possibly wished for. As the film proceeded, I found myself hating the man. I thought he over used his power. I felt strongly upset when it came to the point where he got married with his second wife, whom the press called a "singer" on a newspaper. I did't get upset because he got divorced with his first wife, or because he didn't care about his son. I hated him for forcing his second wife go on stage and perform, when he obviously knew it wasn't the right thing for her. She was miserable from all of that. I asked myself why would a man do that to his wife? I saw the situation as the man was trying to prove how wrong the press was calling his wife a "singer". He wanted to prove he was the one with power; he can turn things as he wished. He totally ignored how exhauted his wife felt, and keep on forcing her. Then he told her how sorry he was when she was about to leave him. I don't think it was because he still loved her. He was just trying to keep his power. He would look like a powerless man losing his woman. Power can not control love. I believe the movie spoke out this statement in the scene when she was leaving and said something like " oh yes, i can do this to you..I am leaving you.." (i can't really remember what she actually said), and walked out throught the doors without looking back once. He had all the power and money, but he couldn't keep his wife with him. Then he went crazy and destructed the room right after she had left. I looked at him as a furious king going wild because he just lost his crown. Then he saw the snow globe with the little house in it. He said the mysterious word for the first time: "Rosebud". He was brought back to his memory from childhood, when he lived with his parents in a little house and playing with all the snow outside. "Rosebud" turned out to be a word on his sled back when he was a little boy. It symbolizes his childhood, before he had been taken away from his parents, when he was playful and happy. It was the last word he said before his death. That was what a man who had all the money, fame, power wanted before he died. He only wanted his "Rosebud". It is not something expensive or fancy as people were expecting. It was just a simple thing, which was happiness, his childhood, who he was. Always remember where you came from, your root, so you won't lose yourself and your way in life. I think this was a great message "Rosebud" gave out to wrap up the film.

Sukhpal Dhillon-Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane

Though I will readily admit that I am not a fan of black and white films whatsoever (excluding American History X), I was surely not looking forward to watching such an “old? film. Though just watching it for the first five minutes I knew this film was going to be special no doubt. In the beginning one sees the glass dome with snowflakes it’s was so clear! I know the audience was thinking what I was thinking how did they do it? In 1941 how were they able to produce such amazing special effects? Though I must say the acting was all right, it was indeed more of a film that is valued for its special affects and how the movie was shot. I love how Citizen Kane goes against the grain and tries to show the affects of materialism and how it rots even the strongest of individual. The story line is also quite rich. Charles Foster Kane as a character is also not a one-dimension character. He’s a man who at one point has morals (in the beginning) however the audience can see his slow demise into materialism. A decade earlier the Great Depression had occurred and I believe this film can be seen as a great reference point to the harder times in America’s history. Overall this film was absolutely BRILLIANT, a definite classic.

Marc Dunham - Citizen Kane

After watching Citizen Kane, I can understand why it is so commonly placed in poll-takers' top movie lists. One of the first movies to present the pursuit of wealth and prosperity in a negative light, Citizen Kane was most likely a shocking and somewhat puzzling movie for the people of the 1940s when it was released. I enjoyed the message behind the film and I think that everyone can learn from the portrayal of Kane.

I prefer to watch films with a twist or irony, and I thoroughly enjoyed the way Welles chose to end the film, with a sense of dramatic irony by revealing the meaning behind Rosebud to the audience as the hope of discovering the truth for the other characters in the movie is destroyed.

Although I very much enjoyed the film, I can see how it wouldn't appeal to many of today's movie-goers. In an age where high ratings often correspond to gratuitous sex, violence, and language, and viewers' interest has to be kept by millions of dollars in special effects (or so producers seem to think), it is difficult to imagine that a black-and-white, dialog-dominated, message-oriented film would receive much appreciation. I think it's sad that movie producers are forced to cater to the shortened attention spans of the MTV generation, when a simple movie like Citizen Kane can be very enjoyable and thought-provoking if the viewer were to decide to put the effort into understanding it.

Claypool- Citizen Kane

I think that Citizen Kane is always on “the best of all time? film list because it was a movie that was shot a lot different than other films at that time. Also, unlike other films at that time, it presented an atypical character. The character Charles Foster Kane was a man who conquered the American Dream (became very rich), but unlike what most people would have thought Kane to be like, he was a very miserable man. Personally I wouldn’t put this movie on my “all time? list, because I thought that it was very hard to follow. I found myself lost throughout most of the movie, until probably the last half hour or so. Another reason why I didn’t like it is because it is a very old movie and it didn’t really grab my attention. The acting and story lines today are so much more exciting and action packed, which is what this film lacked.
I think that the idea of the American Dream being less than desirable would resonate with today’s film-goers more than it would have with the people that saw it when it first came out. Today the rich and the famous are publicized more than they use to be and a long with the good publicity comes the bad. Their unhappiness and problems are shown in magazines and on the television for everyone to see, so in general the only reason that we would resonate with this idea more is because of our exposure to it.

Citizen Kane

Although this film is revered highly as one of the best ever, I did not necessarily agree. I hear many classmates mention the groundbreaking cinematography. However, personally, I have very limited knowledge of the technical aspects of filmmaking and thus cannot truly appreciate this aspect of film. When I go to the movie, I pay attention to the actors, characters, plot, scenery, etc not the angles and cuts.

Speaking of those things, I felt that the movie had a lot of good things going for it. For one, the actors portrayed the characters very well. The plot moved a little slower than I like, but it was still captivating and pulled me in. At the end of the movie when class was almost over and people were leaving, I could not make myself leave without finding out the significance of "Rosebud". I found the last scene in Xanadu when they were carrying the puzzle out and the reporter was speaking to be one of the best scenes in the movie. It kinda brought it all together for me. Essentially, he was saying that it didn't really matter if he found out or not, there were many pieces of the puzzle that were missing to Mr. Kane's life. Even with all his wealth, he was still not happy, as the huge, lonely rooms only emphasized. Another thing I found inrtiguing was the way that the story was told from different perspectives, unlike many films today, the storyline isn't just handed to you in a basket, you have to go through and think about the deeper themes and the viewer must piece the story together. As mentioned above, that is part of what drew me into the movie, throughout, I had to think about different scenes and their significance. That mental stimulation caused me to have a personal investment in the film, since the story started from the end and worked its way backwards, small revelations and "oh, i get it!" moments are part of what kept me glued to the screen at the end.

Overall, I believe the underlying theme is quite important however the presentation of this movie did not excatly do it for me. After being conditioned to color movies with all dorts of special effects and humorous lines, had I watched it outside of class and not been forced to analyze it any further, it really would not have resonated with me as it would have with the viewers of its day.

Citizen Kane- Liz Eisler

Although Orsen Welles’ film, “Citizen Kane,? overwhelmingly appears on the top of “the best of all time? film lists, it didn’t make it to mine. This is the second time in which I’ve watched this film for a class at the U, and although the film is an innovative piece of work, mainly through Orsen’s technical use of deep focus and low-angle shots, the piece seems to have lost its affect on present-day audiences. Perhaps this film was as popular as it was during the 1940’s for it may have been the first film to shed a negative light on the American dream and it seemed to have been a film way ahead of its time. However, with today’s generation constantly being bombarded with negative messages and images concerning people who are supposedly living the American dream, it tends to just become a broken record, repeating the same message over and over again that “money doesn’t buy happiness.? Just from reading a few of my fellow classmates’ posts on the blog, and from a past discussion in another class regarding this film, I don’t believe that this film would have much resonance with film-goers today. It seems as if this generation craves action and drama in movies, and although Citizen Kane does contain a good amount of drama, I don’t believe the pace of the movie is fast enough to keep people interested.

Katherine Rivard

Citizen Kane brings to light for the first time the fact that the “American Dream? is never as picture-perfect as it seems, and that material wealth and affluence actually made him less happy. He tried to gain love and power through his money, which only made him more hollow as the years went by. Today’s American dream does not stray far from that of Kane’s, emotions aside. The more money and material goods we have, the better and easier we think life will be. However, the film portrays just the opposite, and I think more people today feel this empty, dark connection with Kane. The fast-pace American lifestyle is a product of the need to materially improve our quality of life; which, in turn, leaves many people feeling neglected by themselves and others, trying to regain that empty love with money only perpetuating the problem.

Citizen Kane - Tammy Woehler

From the perspective of a young adult in 2008, I did not see the big deal about this movie. I do not have an answer as to why it is included in so many top lists of movies. To me, it's nothing special. In fact, I did not like this movie. I thought it was boring. I didn't appeal to me and keep me interested. I had a hard time trying to stay focused to follow this movie. There was nothing in the movie that related to me to keep me interested.

I guess if I was living in the 1940's I might have liked the movie. Back then there was no special effects and everything else that Hollywood can produce in today's world. I might have been impressed with it if I was in the 1940's, but I'm not.

Public Citizen Kane

I think the most interesting thing about Citizen Kane is the split personalities of the title character. First implied when Kane buys the Inquirer, he seems to take on completely separate public and private personalities. He says,
"As Charles Foster Kane who owns eighty-two thousand, six hundred and thirty-four shares of public transit - you see, I do have a general idea of my holdings - I sympathize with you. Charles Foster Kane is a scoundrel. His paper should be run out of town. A committee should be formed to boycott him. You may, if you can form such a committee, put me down for a contribution of one thousand dollars."
At that point in the film, he is just beginning his media empire. However, later in the film, especially concerning his reactions to Jim Gettys' blackmail, it appears as though these two personalities have merged. He cannot sacrifice either one or the other, he must risk both of them.
While Kane himself never narrates or gives too much about himself away, it is clear that he never allows anything to distract him from what is on his mind; he focuses like a lazer beam. When his friend Jed fails to finish the review of Kane's singer wife's performance, Kane himself works to finish it. This obsessive behavior leads him to care more about his business than his wife, more about his popularity than his family. This perspective of himself as a public figure detracts from his relationships to those closest to him.

top five movies, top five albums

1. The Godfather: no movie so perfectly creates a period drama with such excellent acting, directing, music, and dialogue. I feel like the Godfather is a very complete picture of what films are at their best. (Godfather pt. 2 also acceptable #1)
2. Saving Private Ryan: this movie realized WWII in a way I never could have imagined. Of course, seeing it when you are eleven adds to the shock value.
3. The Empire Strikes Back: the perfect sequel movie. It is bigger, has more original action sequences and is darker than the first movie.
4. King Kong (2005): a smart remake that glamorously caricatures the depression-era original.
5. Back to the Future: One of the funniest, cheekiest visits to the fifties on film.

Albums: (this list i've been thinking of for some time)
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles - The best album by the greatest band in the world. This particular album of theirs stands out for its spectacular songwriting, groundbreaking production and so many other things.
2. Blood on the Tracks - Bob Dylan - Not as shocking as, say, Highway 61 Revisited, but Blood on the Tracks is still one of Dylan's most heartfelt sounding albums.
3. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - Wilco - No other album of this decade feels as timeless as this one. And after the lighthearted (relatively) Summerteeth, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot sounds like a full synth orchestra and two other songwriters joined the band just to make this much great material.
4. Rubber Soul - The Beatles - This marks the point at which the Beatles first branched into different styles of music. The album almost seems like it is made entirely of singles, they're all so catchy.
5. Revolver - The Beatles - The sequel to Rubber Soul is much heavier on electric guitars-- just the way it should be.

Citizen Kane in 2008- Liz V.

Citizen Kane, though deservedly noted for its cinematography and symbolism, contains a relevant message to modern Americans but is presented in a difficult manner for them to understand the message. The criticism of overconsumption and consumerism is certainly applicable to a popular culture that defines itself by commodities. Ironically, however, the proliferation of cheap technological products has led to the stylistic disinterest of modern audiences about films like Citizen Kane has waned. Entertainment is literally available at the fingertips of modern americans who can watch films on their ipods or cell phones has led to a devaluation of the slow cut style that Citizen Kane employs. A culture which can now use DVR's to speed through commercials does not have the patience to sift through the phased narrative of Citizen Kane. The message is therefore relevant, but underappreciated and therefore appears to be less relevant than it should be.

Amanda Kennedy

I would like to comment on the statement, “Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message–all things that do not interest most film-goers today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care.?

Speaking as someone who doesn't like older movies and has never seen this movie before, at first I thought that the movie was very confusing and the purpose was very scattered. As the movie progresses, the point becomes more clear. I supposed this corolates to how the reporter trying to figure out his life story feels as well; at first everything is a jumbled mess, but things get a bit more clear as people add to the story. I didn’t really care for the movie. Everyone seemed to yell their lines and I wasn’t pulled into the life of Charles Kane. I actually felt more for the side characters, especially his second wife, than I did for him. I thought the ending message in the last ten minutes of the movie was the redeeming factor for the piece. It really brought everything together in symbolizing that the simple pleasures in life, such as riding a sled, are the ones that really matter.

It is this ending symbolism that i think modern audiences would care about and can be seen in today's movies and tv shows. I remember a specific episode of the Simpsons that shows the life of Mr. Burns, the richest man in springfield, and his quest for his long lost teddy bear, bobo. This was the same concept that money doesn't make you happy, the little things in life do. The message of Citizen Kane is what makes it a classic and not the way that is was filmed. Shows like the Simpsons take that message and make it more relatable to the modern audience.


This image is of young Mr. Burns with bobo the bear. Taken from

Top Five Movies & Artists

My “Top Five? movies of all time would include; Men of Honor, because of how uplifting the movie is; Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, because of the really cool special effects; Da vinci code, because of the mystery that went along with it and how everything came together and made sense at the end of the movie; P.S. I Love You, because it was a very touching movie; and National Treasure, because I love movies with a mystery behind it.
My “Top Five? artists/bands of all time would include; Norah Jones, because her music is so relaxing; Rascal Flatts, because of the tone of their voices; Whitney Houston, because her voice is amazing; Justin Timberlake, because all of his songs have a good beat; and Tim McGraw, because of the stories that go along with his songs.

Sukhpal Dhillon-Top Five Music and Movies

Top 5 Musical Acts

1.)The Beatles- The best selling musical act of all time in the United States, making over forty singles that reached number one, selling over 1 BILLION, yes 1 BILLION tapes, the Beatles have stood up against the greatest critic in the music industry; time.
2.)Red Hot Chili Peppers-From their older albums of (Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Californication) to their newer ones (By the Way, Stadium Arcadium), time and time again the Red Hot Chili Peppers have not just produced amazing hits but mind-blowing albums.
3.) Black Sabbath-Ozzy Osbourne’s chilling vocals, Tony Iommi’s crunchy riffs, Geezer Butlers booming bass, and the powerful drumming of Bill Ward, Black Sabbath became the godfathers of heavy metal rock and number three on my list.
4.) Jimi Hendrix-One of the most influential guitarists of all time, Jimi Hendrix had overnight changed the way the guitar was played. With his fingers dancing from chord to chord it was pure magic. His albums “Are you experienced? and “Axis: Bold as Love? make me wonder how much bigger Hendrix would have become if not for his untimely death.
5.) Wolfmother-An up and coming band out of Australia Wolfmother is the new face of Metal and Rock. Though they are relatively new they sound as if they are something you’d find in your attic with your parents dusty Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix records.

Top 5 Films

1.) Crash- One of the greatest underrated films of all time. Winner of three Oscars most notably best picture 2005, Crash brilliantly displays the racial tensions that unfortunately surround Americans’ everyday lives. An absolute masterpiece!
2.) Forrest Gump- Tom Hanks acting in Forrest Gump is one of the greatest performances I have ever seen. Tom Hanks plays the character to part plus, with the interesting bits of history makes it even slightly educational.
3.) Ocean’s Eleven-Danny Ocean enough said. Funny, witty, suave, and refreshing, must have at least seen this fifteen times…
4.) Goodwill Hunting- Amazing cast, Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Minnie Driver and Ben Affleck. Tell an amazing story of overcoming the fear of the future.
5.) Gangs of New York- Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York as Bill “the Butcher? Cutting is by far one of the greatest villains the movie screen has ever seen. With superb acting miraculously from Leonardo DiCaprio and a decent script it makes my number five barely edging Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Citizen Kane - Colleen May

“Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message–all things that do not interest most film-goers today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care.?
I would agree that CK is a great film because it was so innovative with regards to its cinematography, cinematography that today would not be necessarily noteworthy, but I think today’s audience is still receptive to the symbolism and message of the film. That’s why the film continues to be on the “best of all time? lists; not only was it ground-breaking in the industry (for which it should be remember and acknowledged), but its message and symbolism are still aspects of a good movie. The antithesis to the American dream still resonates deeply, perhaps even more deeply, in this day and age when materialism is all around us. People long for an escape from it to remember the “important things in life.?
While people might not be as impressed as they once were with the cinematography, with the knowledge of the film’s history, I think “a random bunch of people? would care and would understand why it’s one of the greats.

Colleen May's Top Five

In no particular order…

Movies (fan of musicals)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – I’ve watched this on a snowy night with my family every year since I can remember – sentimental favorite, and the music and story is great
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas – hilarious, and I love Burt Reynolds and Dolly Pardon.
Drop Dead Gorgeous – really funny MN satire
Moulin Rouge – hard to compare to other movies; it’s in a league of its own, artistically
It’s a Wonderful Life – another sentimental family favorite

Artists/Albums (don’t think I’m savvy enough to create a comprehensive list, but I’ve enjoyed…)
John Denver – thank god he’s a country boy
The Smiths/Morrissey – beautiful lyrics and voice; for lost souls with a sense of humor
George Strait – so handsome
Fergie Ferg – so hot
Rent Soundtrack – “Take Me or Leave Me? is one of my favorite songs

Melissa Colbert's Top Five Movies and Artists

Top 5 Movies-
1)Star Wars (all six episodes)- They never get old and have been my favorite movies ever since I was little. Also, it is interesting to see the change in special effects in episodes 4-6 which were filmed in the late 70’s early 80’s and episodes 1-3 which were filmed more recently (late 90’s and early-mid 2000).
2) The Breakfast Club- It is a classic movie from my favorite decade. I think anyone who has been in high school can relate to one of the characters.
3) The Pursuit of Happyness- This movie is one of my favorites because of its message and also the fact that it is based on a true story. I love the interaction between Will Smith’s character and his son (who is also his son in real life).
4) The Notebook- Being a sucker for love stories, I enjoy Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling’s chemistry in this film.
5) Seven- I am a Psychology major so almost any movie dealing with an individual who is suffering from some kind of psychopathology is definitely of interest to me. Of course, Brad Pitt is always a wonderful addition to any movie.

Top 5 Music Artists-
1) Metallica- They generate the kind of music you can just blare in your car and rock out to.
2) Tool- To start off Maynard James Keenan is phenomenal and his band produces amazing music that has definitely set them apart from other groups. They always keep their fans wanting more.
3) Nat King Cole- His voice is classic and gives me goose bumps. He also represented progress for African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement when he was given his own variety show on TV.
4) Lifehouse- I like their sound and their lyrics are always relatable to something going on in my life.
5) Staind-. Their music has ups and downs so I can listen to them no matter what mood I am in.
Some days I just put them on repeat in my iTunes.

Matt Morosky's Top 5's

1) Shampoo: Hal Ashby's film has it all; comedy, drama, sadness, happiness, laughter, tears. Warren Beatty stars as the womanizing beautician who just can't seem to kick his habbit of sleeping around, even when hes got someone great to go home to. Though considered a light comedy, there is a tragic sense of realism as the two main characters don't end up together even though they're in love. Julie Christie's character chooses money and security over her heart and with the political backdrop of Nixon's presidential campaign looming throughout the film, we the audience can't help but reflect on what it is that is really driving us. Heart or a sense of security?

2) One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest: Jack Nicholson in his prime and at his absolute best as Randal P. McMurphy in this tragicomedy set inside the walls of a mental institution in Oregon. The amount life and humanity that Nicholson brings to this film is what really lures me in every time I choose to watch it. I first saw it in the 7th grade and ever since it has been one of my favorites. His ability to create such vibrance yet not get in the way of the story and allow for everything to unfold is brilliant and completely unselfish as an actor.

3) The 400 Blows (les Quatre Cents Coups): Truffaut's autobiographical tale of young Antoine Dionel is the true mark of the French New Wave and it really gave me a better appreciation of the role of the director of a film. The new wave is my favorite film movement and it really gave me a new sense of what it means to apprecaite film as an art form. Young Antoine is simply a metaphor for the very movement the film belongs to. He is a lost, troubled, abused, and curious youth who ultimately accomplishes his dream of reaching the ocean. He gets there by himself, but the final shot is one that left me numb as it is so uplifting while at the same time so sad for this young soul.

4) The Royal Tenenbaums: J.D. Salinger is one of my favorite authors and he never gives up the rights of his books to allow them to be made into films. This is a wonderful thing, but at the same time I always think of how certain books of his would be as films. To me, Wes Anderson's Tenenbaums is as close as we'll ever see to this. While I watch this, I feel like I could be reading a Salinger book. Not to take away from Anderson's creativity, but it's something I love about it. The old Manhattan wealthy academics, stricken by sadness and oddball humor. The wit in his quirky films is wonderful and the drama is devistating. Not to mention, Gene Hackman as Royal gives one of the great comedic performances I've ever seen.

5) Atonement: A love poem to fiction and to the power that fiction holds. I first read Ian McEwan's novel last year and was in awe. After seeing the film adaptation I was speechless. Joe Wright uses such style and beauty and to me, creates the best romantic film I've ever seen in a theatre. The love story and the narrative is heartbreaking, but what's so powerful is the underlying theme that fiction has the ability to atone for the misfortunes that reality throws upon us. It is wonderful and everyone should see it.


1) Broken Social Scene: Canada's multi-member group who can simply rock it out when they choose and also play a soft ballad when needed. My favorite group.

2) Led Zeppelin: To me, this is Rock'N'Roll at its very best.

3) Coldplay: I don't care what people say about Chris Martin selling out, their music is still beautifiul. Parachutes is one of the best albums I own and I cannot wait to hear more of what they have.

4) Van Morrison: My mom always played it as I was growing up so I feel it's kind of the music that brings me back to my youngest days. Gotta love the classic stuff.

5) Oasis: Wonderwall. Enough said.

January 25, 2008

Citizen Kane

Like many of the previous posters, I hadn't seen this movie until we viewed it in class. I was well aware that it is often considered to be one of the best films of all time, and for that reason I had always been curious to watch it and see what all the fuss was about. It really was a great movie that seems to be way ahead of its' time. The camera angles and shots in Citizen Kane are not seen in other movies of the time (at least in what I have seen). What's more is that the story of the movie shows the perils of money and fame.

The themes of celebrity and the "American Dream" resonate powerfully with today's audiences. One can't help but think of all the celebrities who have everything they could ever want materially, but still are lonely, addicted to drugs, etc. Just look at Brittney Spears. She was America's "pop princess" for many years, and earned a TON of money and fame. She still has the money, but is apparently going through some very difficult times. The cliche' "Money can't buy you happiness/love" is so true in her case.

Additionally, our society preys on negativity. Every time I am checking out at the grocery store, I am confronted by magazines that let me know: 1) who is getting fatter, 2) who is addicted to drugs, 3) who is pregnant (hopefully illegitimately!!!), and/or 4) who is in or going to jail. Just look at the recent and very sad death of Heath Ledger. It's all over the news, but instead of mourning his death and paying respect to him, all we see is what pills were found on his dresser, and how long it took for one of the Olson sisters and the masseuse to call 911. It is hardly anyone's business but Ledger's family and also to the authorities, but it all over the news for the public to see. This parallels Kane's death. The public didn't care about what good he had done in his life. All that was sought out was what he meant by his last word: "Rosebud". Rosebud was his sled as a child, and the scene of him holding it is the last we see of him as an innocent and uncorrupted human being, before being brought into the public eye. I felt sorry for Kane. He was dragged into the life he lived, and ended up dying alone and miserable, but with plenty of cash and treasures that gave him no comfort. It was a great movie and I can see why it is so highly regarded.

On a side note...did anyone who has seen "Superbad" think the scene when Michael Cera's character told Jonah Hill's character that he was like Orson Wells, because he peaked in his "ass-getting" career at an early age, was hilarious? Good stuff.

Top Five - Tammy Woehler

Top 5 Movies:

1. Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy - These movies are spectacular. All of the hard work that went into the creation of them is amazing. Every character was played out very well, especially by Johnny Depp. All the special effects are impeccable.

2. Saw movies - These movies are very interesting to watch. I like how they make you think and once you think you have it all figured out, bam, there's a new twist to it and you're completely wrong.

3. Crash - Generally, I don't like movies that make you really pay attention to the story or you will get lost in it, but this is one, of two, that is different. It really shows the meaning to, "It's a small world." Not only are there a few different stories within the entire movie, all mixed up, but they are all tied together and it all comes out in the end.

4. Memento - This is another one of those movies that make you pay attention or you'll get lost in it. Like I said, I don't normally like them, but this is the 2nd of the two that I do like. This movie starts at the end and works its way back to the beginning. You know how it ends, but you have no idea how it got there, until you watch the end of the movie to get the beginning. Confused yet?

5. Pearl Harbor - A good history movie, with a touch of Hollywood ,of course, and a love story. I think more people, generally younger generations, would be more interested in history if more movies were made this way. A real event portrayed as just another movie, throw in a love story and some kids can learn about an actual event in history.

Top 5 Artists:

1. Nickelback: I love the sound of the band. I know other people say they sound 'just like every other boy band.' But, to me, they don't. Also, the lyrics actually can relate to anyone's life, not just life of a rockstar.

2. Imogen Heap: The creativity of one woman is amazing. Not only does she write all of her music, she is pretty much a one woman band. I saw her in concert and at one point, she was the only one on stage making the music. Granted she had loads of technology backing her up, but she created it all and the technology was just basically running loops of it rather than making the sound.

3. Fergie: So she's not one of my all-time favorites, but she has a song that hit pretty close to home this past summer. "Big Girls Don't Cry" Yeah, I'm sure you're all saying, "Oh man, not that song!" But at that time, I did need to move on from a few things. It was time for me to start "growing up."

4. Chantal Kreviazuk: The songs "Time" and "Feels Like Home" are very heartfelt and touching. Besides the meaningful lyrics, the music itself is very emotional.

5. Tim McGraw: A little country never hurt anyone. Here's another artist that puts real emotion that anyone can relate to into his music. And again, the music is very powerful, without the lyrics. But the lyrics are also powerful.

Citizen Kane: Mariam Elrashidi

I must say I really enjoyed watching the film Citizen Kane. I have never seen the film before so I was very glad to have gotten the opportunity to watch it. Watching the film I can see why this makes most people’s top five list. It has a lot of creativity, unique setups, angle shots, and lighting that intrigues people to the movie. Even though this film may not have been one of my top five choices, I still thought it was a good movie that portrayed a good example of how films have changed since the 1940s till now. One example of this is how Orson Welles portrayed Charles Kane as a famous moneymaker man who had everything, but truthfully was disliked and was not the people’s definition of living the American Dream.
Another thing I really liked about the film was how Orson Welles setup a creative, innovated and well scripted plot. Not only did it make watching the film that more entertaining but interesting to compare his film technique to present film makers. For example, the film didn’t start off like your typical movies. It first started off somewhat like a documentary, where the narrator briefly introduced Charles Kane’s life, to setup the story line. However, it eventually ended up being the reporters who were watching and analyzing Charles Kane life’s story to find out what his last dying word “Rosebud? meant. In my opinion I thought this was a creative way to setup the start of the film because you don’t know what to expect or how it will turn out, since it doesn’t really start off like your typical movies. Speaking of that same scene I also noticed how Orson Welles didn’t direct any light or much angle shots on the reporters. Rather it was more focused on the main characters and hints throughout the film. Like at the beginning of the film when the scene was first focused on Kane’s mansion. Immediately you saw the change in the lights, angles and music and how it prepared you for something sad or tragic that was soon to come. The originality and creativity of this film is what made Charles Kane a popular classic movie today and is why it is on most people’s top five list.

Movies and Music by Craig Smith

My top 5 favorite movies of all time...this is really hard because I love movies and this list changes all the time! So, at the moment...
1) Serpico: Al Pacino's performance as the real-life "rebel" NYC cop, Frank Serpico, is unbelievable. Definitely a must see for a great story and to see one of the best performances of all time!
2) Goodfellas: I love mob movies. To me, they are all good and I could have easily put down Godfather I or II, or Mean Streets. I am going to go with this one because of the great cast and great story, not to mention some great directing by Martin Scorsese.
3) Dazed & Confused: This movie is classic. I've probably seen this movie more than any other. I probably shouldn't have been watching it in 6th grade, but it was funny then, and became more relevant and hilarious as I got older. I'm sure you know someone personally who reminds you of a character in the movie.
4) No Country for Old Men: All I have to say about this movie is Javier Bardem. Without a doubt, he plays the creepiest, most bad-ass bad guy in movie history. A bold statement, but in my opinion, it is true. The Coen brothers made another great movie, which ties The Big Lebowski as my favorite movie of theirs'.
5) This Is Spinal Tap: Christopher Guest's movies are right up my alley. I love all of them, but this one is the best. A must see if you love smart and irreverent humor.

1) Bruce Springsteen: My favorite artist of all time, hands down. His lyrics tell a story like Dylan, and he can rock with the best of them My favorite albums are "Greetings...", "Born to Run", and "Nebraska". I can't get enough of the Boss.
2) Townes Van Zandt: Unbelievable songs. Most of them are downers, but you can't deny his ability to write down the way he is feeling. A poet.
3) Led Zeppelin: LedZep is the reason I play guitar and the reason I started listening to rock music from before my time. An unbelievably talented band that will never be equaled, in my opinion.
4) Elton John: I know...I was born in the wrong decade. I don't care, the music that moves me most is from a "long" time ago. Elton's (and Bernie's) songs each put me in a different place each time I hear them.
5) The Who: Quadrophenia is one of my favorite albums of all time.

My top favorite movies and music. By Thanh Diep Truong

These are not in any particular order.
1/ Forrest Gump: I think this is a classic movie in the time of the Vietnam war. But the movie is more about lives of people in the the war than the war itself. I thought it was meaningful and I fell in love with the beautiful love story in the movie. The ending was quite sad for me, but I had to say the movie was unforgettable.
2/ Titanic: I loved the pictures and action and the story of this movie. It's cheesy to say, but I can't stop myself from crying when it comes to the scene at the end, where Jack and Rose are floating in the water, and he told her no matter what, she will be strong and will hold on.
3/ Rush Hour 1: Just because it makes me laugh so hard and Jackie Chan is in it.
4/ Big Fish: I thought it was a silly movie watching the first five minutes of it. But then as the movie proceeded, I was able to find the meaning in the movie, the meaing of life, of love, especially the love between a father and his son. I think the movie is very moving and well directed.
5/ Juno: This is a new movie just came out in theater. It's made me laugh the whole time. Ellen Page was very good in her role. It's not just another teen pregnancy movie. It's wonderful, go see it if you haven't.

1/ Celine Dion: Who can deny her beautiful voice and love songs.
2/ 3 Doors Down: great alternative rock band
3/ Il Divo: Love their vocals
4/ Ricky Martin: I think he brings life to the stage.
5/ Daniel Powter: an Canadian singer. Love him just because of his song Bad Day

Jessica Doll's Citizen Kane Reflection

Citizen Kane is a classic "rags to riches" story of the 1940's, a time in which our country was emerging as a powerhouse both in the military and economically. The powerful and rich Charles Foster Kane symbolizes the economic success of the United States at that time. Much like the United States Kane always wanted more, from his extravagant estates and Inquirer business to running for Governor.

Daniel P. Franklin, author of Politics and Film, also recognizes the movie Citizen Kane as a "metaphor for our country's history." He points out that Citizen Kane falls under the category of "American Tales" lying beside classic westerns and individual achievement stories. He goes on to say how these tales support our biases and beliefs in this country.

Citizen Kane is always on the "greatest ever" film lists because it not only epitomizes our country's history but also some of our current elected officials. For example, after Charles becomes board with his wife, his estate, and his business he decides to run for governor, despite his lack of experience. Many Americans can identify with celebrities going into politics (i.e. Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jerry Springer). In many cases, it seems as though pop culture is lowering the expectations of our elected officials when we put celebrities lacking experience in office.

Despite all of Kane's success, in the end of the film he dies unhappy and alone, thus reinforcing the belief that money cannot but happiness.

Merin Coats

top 5 movies – (in no particular order)

1. Harold & Maude – I made my friend 'Scooter' watch this movie once. He asked me, "Is that kid really gonna make it with that old lady?" Yes. Yes, he is. It is one of the most romantic movies ever made, though I tend to avoid the genre vehemently. My mother made me watch this with her when I was a kid. I was dead set against it, but changed my tune promptly. I've loved it ever since.

2. Say Anything - Two words. Lloyd Dobler. Do I really need to say more? One of the best post-modern characters created in film. Okay that might be a stretch, but nonetheless this movie defines my late teens. I know it by heart. And as the future Mrs. Cusack, I feel the need to be supportive.

3. Rushmore - I really enjoy Wes Anderson. I love his use of color in his films. This movie just makes me feel good. Plus... Bill Murray. Everything he does is genius. The man could make sock darning funny.

4. Children of Men - Okay, this movie is relatively new so it's still hard to tell if it will stand up to the test of time with me. However, this is one of the first movies in a very long time that completely knocked the wind out of me. It’s such a powerful film.

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - I love that every time I watch this movie (and I watch it a lot) I catch something new that I haven't seen before. How many movies can you say that about?

My tastes in music are hard to articulate primarily due to the fact that my musical choices are not intellectual ones. They are physical, emotional and visceral. By that token, my tastes can change over a matter of hours. That said, here are a few musical artists to which my favor will always return. (again, in no particular order):

1. Leonard Cohen – I grew up listening to him. It was my parents' music and now it’s mine as well. Cohen is an Edgar Allen Poe for the modern world, a poet with a voice that is dark, beautiful and only just slightly sinister.

2. The Clash – seminal UK punk band in the late ‘70’s. They make me move. They make me yell. How can that be bad?

3. The Pixies – “Gigantic? was the first song I learned to play on the bass. I will never tire of them. Frank Black/Black Frances may have one of the best screams in modern music.

4. Radiohead – I’ve been a fan since the very beginning. They are fearless.

5. Spoon – When I was a kid I had a whole slew of stuffed animals and of course I had my favorites. In an effort to hide my preferences from them, I had a strict bedtime schedule, so that a different animal slept with me each night. Sometimes I have to force myself to stop listening to Spoon so that my musical library won’t feel neglected.

Citizen Kane- Mikhail Karpich

After watching the movie "Citizen Kane" i could easily see why it can be on "the best of all time" film lists. This movie has a lot of important messages, symbolism, and lessons that could be learned directly through Kane's actions or mistakes, if you will. The lessons offered are for both the elderly and the young people and we can all learn from them. Even though the movie lacks explosive action, breath taking scenes, even color, and etc. the story line itself makes up for it. The movie keeps one in suspense as one searches for the meaning of Kane's last words "Rosebud." The beginning of the movie shows a lonely man dying in a castle in the middle of the night, paints a scary and a depressing image of the last moments of one's life and one thing no one looks forward too. Anyhow, this movie would make it on my "all time" list because of the important lessons it offers for living one's life including loving and the fact that love is a one way road and that in order for someone to love you you must love them back. Also having everything in the world does not guarantee one happiness. Kane had everything, but no one and at the end the everything did not matter. His sled "Rosebud" was his remembrance of his childhood and the moment that got him where he was now. As his sled and his belongings burned up in the furnace only black smoke could be seen escaping the chimney and his life with it, symbolically.

"Citizen Kane"

Before I saw this movie on Wednesday evening in class I had only hear one or two things about the movie from friends. So I honestly did not know what to think about. I was pleasantly surprised. I ended up really liking the film and for many different reasons. A couple of those reasons have to do with how the film was shot. And the other couple of reasons for my appreciation for the film are for the way that the story was told.
The first thing that I noticed in regards to how this film was shot was the use of reflections in either mirrors or windows. The two instances that I remember most was the scene when Kane just started out in the newspaper business and was having a party at the office. And the other scene was that of when his second wife had just left him and he was walking down a hall in his huge house and he walked in front of mirrors that reflected each other. I don't know if these shots were meant for a certain reason or hidden meaning I just thought they were interesting. I thought that the film was shot from very interesting angles. I have not seen that in awhile.
The other thing that struck me while I watched the film was the use of music, especially in the beginning of the film. In the beginning of the film I sensed that the music was more dark and gloomy and that is how some of the scene that was shot seemed. But when the film started to talk about Kane’s life the music got more upbeat and seemingly happier. I thought that it was a nice way to set the mood.
I really enjoyed how this story was told. I like the way that they used different people from Kane's life to tell different parts of his life. It brought an interesting dynamic to the film. I also really liked how the question about what or who "Rosebud" was was the theme throughout the film. When it was finally revealed that it was the sled from his childhood I thought that was really interesting. It almost seemed as though they were trying to say that he missed his childhood and missed out on it because of his fame and fortune. The other thing that struck me about this film that was odd, in my mind, was how straightforward, blunt, and controlling Kane's mother was in the film. For that time period it seems like her actions were not suited but for the story being told it did. It added a nice dynamic and made me think if that was the source of many of his actions, thoughts, or feelings throughout his life.
In all I really liked this film

Jenny Metzer

Movies and Music

These are my top five picks for movies and music.

1. "Casablanca"- I love the movie mostly for the humor in it.
2. "Pirates of the Carribbean At World's End"- There are two reasons that this movie makes it onto my top 5. The first being the performance by johnny Depp. I think he did an amazing job in this movie. The second reason is for the ending. I like that it was not a regular "fairy tale" ending.
3 'Love Actually"- In my opinion the best romantic movie ever
4 "Four Brother"- I love the relationship that teh brothers in the movie had with each other.
5 "Ocean's 11"/"Ocean's 13"- I can not decide between the two. but i like them both.

I do not know as much about music as i do movies.

1. Mozart- I really like classical music
2 Angels & Airwaves- I recently found out about this group. I really like they sound they have to what they write.
3 Nickelback- I think that these guys are pretty good and i like that they can do really hard songs or softer ones.
4 Evanescence- I like this groups unique sound/
5 Josh Groban- I just think he has an amazing voice.

Jenny Metzer

Jesse Stapp's "Top Five" artists and films

First of all, this is hard. To narrow down my favorite artists/films of all time to five slots is intimidating to say the least. After several moments of contemplation, however, here it is. My favorite artists and films to date. In no particular order:

1. Ben Folds- Have you ever heard this man play the piano? His fingers move in an amazingly-entrancing way and his melodies are sheer genius. If you play the piano, you'll appreciate the complexities of this man's sheet music, as it is some of the most encompassing music of all time. On top of this, he has a smooth, relaxing voice that fits so well over the top of his instrumentals. Check out "The Luckiest" if you're looking to add another song to your Valentine's Day CD- probably one of the coolest, most artistic love songs ever.
2. Aerosmith- I truly believe that everyone has an emotional attachment with the first band they saw in concert, even if your style changes. Well, that's my story anyway. I saw Aerosmith rock out at the Target center when I was 13 and they will forever be in my top five. Everything from the drums to the heavy guitar riffs rocks. Plus, Steven Tyler's a badass, so that helps the band score major points.
3. Bob Marley- This one needs little to no explanation. Marley was a revolutionary and his music legendary. Leaders and prominent figures could learn a lot from Bob Marley's ideologies- I know I have. Marley for Prez!
4. Jason Mraz- For those of you who may not know Mr. A-Z, he's approximately a 5'6" singer/songwriter from the Carolina region. What Mraz lacks in stature, he makes up for in vocal strength and creativity. This man's a poet and the things he can do with his voice amaze me every time i listen to one of his songs. For example, on his latest record- Mr. A-Z-he sings opera towards the conclusion of a song entitled, Mr. Curiosity. For the true experience, download the trifecta: You and I, The Boy's Gone Home and Bella Luna. You'll get vocal range, some anti-war messages and pure poetry from this package.
5. Oasis- Great songs, great harmonies, great buildups, great... Oasis is one of the best, and the album '(What's the story) Morning Glory?' should more than explain this stance.

1. Fight Club- This film is a trip from start to finish. WIthout giving too much away (for those of you who haven't seen it), the film depicts the journey of a man who yearns to find something more to life than simply a 9-5 job and material possessions. In his search, he finds an underground fighting ring that is meant to completely break an individual and mold him into a definitive man. There's so many layers to this movie and possibly the greatest twist in cinematic history.
2. Snatch- A lesson in script-writing full of mindless banter and humor. How can you miss when the plot involves the russian mafia, illegal gypsy-boxing and the schemes of many to steal the most valuable diamond in the world?
3. Momento- Filmed from the viewpoint of a character suffering severe short-term memory loss, Momento is an editing masterpiece that places the viewer directly in the mindset of having such a disease. The encounters of the aforementioned character with friends, enemies and lovers only start to build depth when the movie is in full force. This is not a flaw, but a wonderful tool to keep the viewer guessing at the outcome of the film.
4. Across the Universe- This film is perhaps the most visually-stimulating of all time. With beautiful camera shots and a phenomenal soundtrack, this is a great movie that gets better with each viewing.
5. Home Alone 1 & 2- I could probably write a novel on these selections, but i'll keep it short and concise. The idea for this movie is genius, but wouldn't work half as well without the boyish innocence of Caulkin or the neurotic behaviors of O' Hara. The supporting cast is equally as impressive, with the hilarious stylings of Stern and Pesci. This is a great family movie, a great holiday movie and a great movie to quote. Plus, who hasn't played out the scenario of being home alone or in an entirely new city without your parents at the age of 9 before? I include both 1 & 2 because this is the first time in cinematic history in which the sequel has matched, if not surpassed, the quality of the original. A+...greatest movies of all time!

Sarah Osborne's thoughts on Citizen Kane

I had never seen Citizen Kane before class on Wednesday, nor did I know much about it. The only black and white movies that I am remotely familiar with are musicals, thanks to my wonderful Grandma. Why this movie is considered one of the best of all time wasn’t hard for me to see. It has everything America loves – a celebrity living the glamorous, dream life, and all the dirty, gossip details that go with it. Think about all of the books, shows, and magazines revolving around the lives of celebrities. And what receives the most press is the negative things such as drug abuse, jail time, or even death. It’s almost like we enjoy watching these people fail, probably out of jealously. Citizen Kane was the first movie to really expose this lavish American dream. But even better, it exposed the negative consequences of having everything one could dream of.

The story of Charles Foster Kane is also given all second-hand. It’s structured in the way that most gossip magazines are written by taking information from people close to the actual celebrity. The movie is first narrated by an actual news show which has a man with an exaggerating voice giving an obituary-like talk, but almost making a joke of Kane. It is also narrated by William Thatcher, Mr. Bernstein, Leland, and Susan Alexander. None of these people really understood Kane, nor did they really like him. The good things about Kane were never emphasized, and every story ended in a negative way as he betrayed someone or got betrayed. If I ever have a movie written about me I hope that they wouldn’t ask my enemies and ex-spouses to tell stories about me!

I think another reason why this movie is so poplar is the way it is written as a mystery. The audience slowly learns more and more about Charles Kane as the reporters search for the meaning behind his dying word, “rosebud?. One clue leads to the next until finally the end of the movie, when Kane is in misery, it is discovered that the last thing on his mind is his simple childhood where it all began, before the fame and fortune. Just another reassurance to the celebrity-crazed society we live in that we are just so lucky that we never have to live in a Xanadu mansion with all the money we could ever want! ;-)

Rob Skogen

“…a riddle wrapped inside a mystery inside an enigma.?-Winston Churchill

Although he was not commenting on the film Citizen Kane at the time he made the statement, his words are a perfect fit for the puzzle that Orson Welles dropped into the popular consciousness of pre-war America – a masterpiece that we are still trying to figure out some 60 years after its release.

A riddle…

Much has been written about the character of Charles Foster Kane. We find out through recollections of his “closest? friends and associates that he had everything, but yet nothing in the end. He did leave one thing behind though – Rosebud…

Wrapped inside a mystery…

Was there a message behind a dying man’s last word, or was it just gibberish? What was the legacy he left behind? The entire storyline is devoted to searching for the answers to these questions, but we are left asking more. Perhaps the newspaper reporter’s quest for meaning is a metaphor for something larger? What did Charles Foster Kane represent? Wasn’t the working title of this film American?

Inside an enigma…

Citizen Kane has been the consensus number one in critical circles for decades. What caused it to resonate with the mass public the way it has? Can a film impact the course of history? Daniel Franklin’s discussion of American political culture, the feedback loop and traditional movie themes (from this week’s assigned reading) is particularly useful for analyzing these particular questions.

If we think about 1941, France had already fallen to Germany and Britain was the next to go. Authoritarian rule had a stranglehold on the world. America had unlimited wealth and material resources, yet retained an isolationist position. Sound kind of like somebody we saw in the film? The natural rights so deeply woven into the fabric of our national culture were at risk. Did our grandfathers want to end up like Kane, or did they want to rise to the occasion and make a difference? The stage was set.

Maybe Welles did not consciously set out to make such grand political statements with his project. Neither did Jimi Hendrix, when playing his radical version of the national anthem at Woodstock, as Anthony described to us our first day in class. However, a chord was struck that the audience could feel. The rest was left to history. That is why this film is revered to this day and will top lists for years to come. Just when we think we have it all figured out though, we find that it is but a piece to an even larger puzzle – one that we will be working on together for the duration of this course.

Tom Lulic - "Top Five" Movies and Music


1) Led Zeppelin - Jimmy Page is God's gift to the guitar and Robert Plant is His gift to the microphone.
2) Eagles - Joe Walsh is a very entertaining guitar player and vocalist. The band has about 1000 great songs.
3) Foreigner - Best rock band to play the air guitar to.
4) Bruce Springsteen - "The Boss", puts on amazing concerts and has some really down-to-earth, heartfelt rock music.
5) Mos Def - A very impressive lyrical artist from Brooklyn. Has great rhythm and lyrical content to all of his songs.


1) Caddyshack - I don't normally watch movies for their camera angles or symbolism, I watch them to laugh and repeat lines and this one is #1 for sure.
2) Blazing Saddles - Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder are two movie geniuses.
3) Deuce Bigalow, European Gigolo - Kind of tacky at first glance but if you look into it man-whores couldn't be funnier.
4) Top Gun - One of the scenes is the #1 way to pick up a girl at a bar and when you watch the movie you say, "Thats sweet!" a lot.
5) Slap Shot - A really great portrayal of "Old Time Hockey".

Matt Morosky's Citizen Kane Review

It is my opinion that Citizen Kane is at the top of may lists of great films not because of its structured narrative on the American dream, but rather because of Orson Welles use of lighting, sets, camera shots, makeup, etc... The film was made in the early 1940's and Welles used the camera in ways that were groundbreaking at the time. There are two camera shots that really stick out to me: The first is his use of a window as a reflective shot. While Jed is commenting on his distrust for the newly hired men from the chronicle, we see Kane in the reflection on the window as he dances. It is a shot that would still be tough to get today. The most powerful use of camera angles was done during Kane's campaign for governer as Welles positions the camera at a low angle and shows Kane to be very powerful and almost giant. This gives us the illusion that he is this dominating tycoon. Also, his use of hollowed sets creats echos while Kane speaks in Xanadu. This tells the viewer that there is more emptiness in his life with all of the money.
Not to take away from the narrative, because it does play a role in making it a true American tragedy, I just feel these other attributes make it the great film that it is. As far as having resonance with film-goers today, I'd say it holds up. All one needs to do is go to the theatres today and see There Will Be Blood which is infact quite similar to Kane in narrative structure and character tragedy surrounding the idea of financial succes bringing more agony and hollowness than anything.
I disagree that nobody would care, because like Romeo & Juliet is for hopeless romantics, Citizen Kane is for anyone with the so-called American dream. Not to say it will be timeless like R & J, but it definitely stands the test of time as of right now.
I feel that the portrayal of Kane is fair, becuase it shows him as human and not pure business tycoon. He suffers loss just like everyone and his way of treating his lack of love is what ultimately brings him down. Even Leland says in the interview that

He did brutal things, but wasn't a brutal man.
This is imperative for all cbelieveable modern characters. All are human and all are flawed. Just look at Rosebud, as the man dies, he yearns for the youth that he couldn't seem to buy.

Jackie Robak

Citizen Kane...

I don’t think that this could ever make it on my top five movie list since I almost fell asleep. On a more positive note I can see how people named this the best movie of all times; the only thing is, you can only say that in the 40’s. It’s 2008 and it was really hard to watch a movie that old. I think that the plot and story line was interesting. But I grew up with special effects, so to go back that far was hard. Plus it was hard to listen to, the actors practically yelled during every conversation.
But I don’t think they could make an updated re-make that would be better than the original. I think that the fact that movies weren’t developed during that time, made the movie a big hit. So to make a new version of the movie would take away part of the reason for why it was such a great success. So if you take back the loud voices and it was a little up-dated then yes I would say that it’s a good movie. I think it carries an important message. Kane had anything and everything he could have wished for, yet his last dieing words were the name of his childhood sled.

Andrew Probelski's Top Five

Wow...this is going to be difficult.


1. That Obscure Object of Desire (1977, Luis Bunuel)


This film floored me the first time I saw it, and I had to sleep on it before I even had an opinion. But I tell you, the next day I woke up awestruck over the sheer genius of this film. I have never seen anything since that has had such an emotional impact on me, and I hold this film close to my heart for many reasons (although my initial draw to this film was due to the similarity of the character Conchita and a girl I dated a couple years back). From start to finish, it is full of symbolism, metaphor, beauty, duality, chastity, and possession. See this film for an excellent portrayal of the dark side of love, and pay attention to every single detail. Film is the most expressive form of art, and this one will show you why.

2. Blue Velvet (1986, David Lynch)


This film is extremely emotional and quirky, and it has that wicked theatric dialogue that Lynch is so famous for. Set in a small, cute, suburban American town, this film portrays the deception of suburbia better than American Beauty or any other film of the like in my opinion. Great script, great score, great acting, great filmmaking.

3. Slacker (1990, Richard Linklater)


This is one of the most unique pieces of (art or film?) that I have ever seen. If you have seen and enjoyed the film Waking Life, you will love Slacker. Linklater recycled some of his great ideas from Slacker and made Waking Life eleven years later, but this is the better of the two, hands down. Slacker is a literally a day in the life of the alternative youth culture from 1990. This film was shot on 16mm with a low budget, and has only recently become available and rightfully given the Criterion Collection treatment. Slacker follows the lives of tons of different characters as they simply just do their thang on a hot Austin afternoon. There are philosophical debates, people committing crimes, people selling strange items, people just hanging out, weirdos, losers, lovers, and of course slackers. See this for that great early 90's vibe and also to enjoy another truly great cinematic experience.

4. 8 1/2 (1963, Federico Fellini)


Fellini was in the process of writing a script, and he was stuck creatively. This film was born out of that frustration, as Fellini decided to make a film about a director struggling to make a film. Sound boring? Well this is one of the most visually stunning films I have ever seen. 8 1/2 opens with a hallucinatory dream sequence in which a man is stuck in his car in a tunnel backed up with traffic and suddenly smoke starts to pour into the cabin through the vents. He struggles to break free, and he eventually floats up and out of the car, over the traffic ahead of him, out of the tunnel, into the clouds, and he looks down to realize that there is a line attached to his foot, as if he is a kite. He then falls down to the ground below only to wake up in bed. The whole film is full of these half-real half-imagined sequences that illustrate his frustrations with and desires for his childhood, his family, his film, his lovers, his arrogance, and more. Beautifully shot in black and white with a wealth of symbolism.

5. Amadeus (1984, Milos Forman)


Amadeus is my favorite period film of all time. Like the other films from this list, it is amazing for a million reasons, but the portrayal of Mozart and his musical genius is by far the best part of the film. Being a lover and player of music myself, it's just mind-boggling to watch Mozart compose amazing multi-intrumental symphonies in his head and dictate them flawlessly every time. The film is spectacularly made with amazing costumes, a wonderful script perfectly acted, and of course the beautiful backdrop and scenery of Prague. It was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, and it won 8 including Best Picture.


1. Kid A (Radiohead, 2000)

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Kid A is indescribable. There isn't an album out there that works better than this. Kid A is so f------ amazing that it brings tears to my eyes each time I decide to take the 57 minute journey. Radiohead fans became divided when this album was released, because it was unlike anything Radiohead had ever done before. There are two types of Radiohead fans - those who swear by 1997's Ok Computer, and those who swear by Kid A and Radiohead's later work. Kid A should be approached with caution, as it is a dangerously powerful substance.

2. Lateralus (Tool, 2001)


Does anybody need to re-evaluate there place here on Earth and how they are choosing to live their lives? If so, allow me to suggest Lateralus for insight into your soul. This album is brilliant. It is a lot to digest (78 minutes in length) and it's subject matter can hit close to home, but it relays a powerful message with even more powerful music. Danny Carey plays the drums with so much feeling and technicality that the instrument literally speaks to me (being a drummer, it doesn't get much better than this). Don't write this album off without really getting to know it, because it really had a positive impact on my life, and I know if you keep an open mind it will change yours.

3. In Rainbows (Radiohead, 2007)

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Radiohead never ceases to amaze, and when they offered this album in October as a download-only album (for which you could pay whatever you wanted, whether that be nothing, one cent or a million dollars) they made history yet again. This album is more accessible than Kid A, and almost as amazing in my opinion. This was definitely the best of 2007, and one of the best of the millennium.

4. Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness (The Smashing Pumpkins, 1995)

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The Smashing Pumpkins were a favorite band of mine growing up, and this album is the main reason why. I remember begging my father for this album, solely for "Bullet With Butterfly Wings," and being surprised that it was a 28 song double-disc and that I only knew one song. Luckily, he surprised me with this album and I fell in love with all the songs. Needless to say, it was on constant play in my discman for over a year. There is so much wonderful material here that it takes a long time to fully appreciate this one. It is the White Album of our generation and a must for any alternative rock fan.

5. Roman Candle (Elliott Smith, 1995)

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Elliott Smith is my favorite singer/songwriter, and his first EP showcases his amazing ability to make short, epic poems of love and lament simply using his raspy, whispery voice and acoustic guitar. I might add that this short album was recorded entirely on a four-track by himself. His unique finger-style way of playing is gorgeous, and his words of loneliness create a stark contrast that makes his style it's own. For those that have never listened to him, he is no whiny young emo "artist" singing ridiculous songs, but a very tasteful lamenter with a man's voice, and the best singer/songwriter since John Lennon. Elliott Smith ended his life at a young age, but he left behind a great body of work that will live on forever.

Sydney Liles

I have always thought of this movie on the same lines as Dr. Stranglove. They both top seem to be one top of lists, Stangelove for comdedy, and I have yet to find out why. Both of them seem to deal with concepts that have not been said quite as explicitly in film before. I think for these to appeal to a younger crowd, it would be important to know what was going on in the world/America at the time. I feel like trying to disect this film the best approach would be the Socio-cultural theory.
As for the overall theme of the film, I just got the message that money does not always equally happiness. Charles Kane just wanted to be loved be everyone and looking at his relationship with his second wife, he wanted to be loved not for his name and what he has done, but for himself. Once she said that she did not know his name, but thought he was funny is when he decided to stay with her. Her wanting to spend the night with him for just him, it is no wonder that he kept going back to spend time with her, he wanted to be with someone who just liked his company.

Citizen Kane - Kim Hanlon

I would not put this movie on my all-time favorites list as of right now. I can see why it would be at the top. The idea behind the film is brillant and the shots and film trips used in the movie were very creative. The angles and lighting choices made the movie that more intriguing. I think I would need to watch the movie a few more times so that I could look for more of the secretive hints in the film. I liked how the writer showed the 'american dream' as not so dreamy. I believe that more films these days are trying to be more realistic in showing that money does not always buy happiness.
I really appreciated Welles' use of long scenes and cuts. These days it seems that everything is done in short little takes and I believe that it really hurts the movies' flow if the whole thing is shot in little takes rather than long ones like Citizen Kane.

Kyle Cross' Reflections

I believe this movie is considered great for a lot of reasons, but after viewing I've tried to narrow it down to a couple. The story line was created to be pretty complex and was carried out by great actors and great camera work. I thought there were a few scenes that helped move along and create such a vivid story line. First, the shot of Kane on his death bed when he utters his last word and the snow globe falls and shatters, which I might add was shot in a very detailed, dramatic way. These all symbolized things that we don't understand until the end of the movie, but nonetheless make us curious right off the bat. Second, the shot of a young Kane playing outside in the snow introduced us to the the real Kane, a young, carefree and charismatic boy.Third, the montage of Kane and his first wife at the breakfast table showed us an unpleasant change in Kane in a quick time elapsed way.
I feel most young movie viewers, like myself, expect to see dramatic camera angles or complicated camera movements and might think nothing of the camera work in this film, but this film was the first to do a lot of these things and that is why it is considered great. So if a group of kids sat around and watched this they probably wouldn't think anything of what was put into the cinematography because they expect above and beyond how films were shot in the past. The first scene of the film I thought was very interesting. It was made up of still shots of ominous things around this dark, gloomy castle, but still brought you on this journey from the grounds of Kane's estate, up the walls of the castle and into his bedroom where you find Kane on his deathbed. I felt this castle represented Kane's life. It was big, showy and intimidating, but the castle lacked happiness and substance.
One other things I liked about the way the film was shot was the lack of closeups for some characters, like the reporter. It was shot in a way that put us face to face with those who knew Kane the best, almost as if the viewer was in that seat asking the questions instead of the reporter.

January 24, 2008

Allison Veire's Citizen Kane Reflections

I feel that Citizen Kane is always named one of the best movies of all time because it’s very original and innovative in its time, the style in which its characters are portrayed, and the seemingly un-dramatic nature of the narrative. The representation of the American dream, I think, is perfectly portrayed by the estate that Kane builds for himself. It appears to be this great structure of grandeur and excitement on the outside but once you take a closer look you realize it is filled with nothing but emptiness and anguish. What I really noticed as lacking in this movie is that fact that we never see what really makes Kane tick. Kane’s controlling nature is never explained, is it because he inherited this money at a young age, or because he could do with it whatever he pleased, and coincidently he chose to go against the norm? This controlling nature was also Kane’s downfall; he wanted to control everyone by gaining their love but what he ended up with was loneliness. I feel all the characters except Kane portray emotion making them seem real, but the only emotion we see from Kane is anger.

In perspective of the today’s movie-goers, this movie is lacking. There seems to be no “grab your attention drama? that appears in every “good? movie made today. It’s not until the very end when the mystery is nearly solved that the plot of the story evolves into something that captivates the viewer’s attention. Also today’s movie-goers are used to crazy special effects that add to the awe of the movie and without that the movie lacks excitement.

To answer the question about the fairness of Kane’s portrayal, I think that his character is not portrayed fairly because we never see who Kane really is. Why does he push away his wife but attempt to bring her closer to him by buy giving her gifts she doesn’t want? We never see any emotion out of Kane and that’s what should embody a good representation of his character.

Top Five Movies and Artists

Kyle Cross' Top Five Movies and Artists
1. Gladiator: The movie takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions.There are extreme highs to extreme lows throughout the entire film. You feel the character's struggles and feel what he is going through during his fall, rise and eventually death.
2. Enemy at the Gates: The movie has a very interesting story line and pulls you in as a viewer in this game of cat and mouse between the snipers.
3. Zoolander: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and a small role by Will Ferrell bring unforgettable humor to a very simple and easy to follow story line.
4. Schindler's List: No one can imagine what it was like to be involved in the Holocaust, but this movie did a good job of portraying struggles and emotions felt by those who were in the ghettos or watched their family members marched off to death camps. It was a very raw movie.
5. Ferris Bueller's Day Off: A light, feel good movie that is easy to watch.

Top 5 Artists

1. O.A.R.- One of the best live albums I've heard is 34th and 8th live from the Hammerstein Ballroom. They are the total package, good in the studio and even better live. This band puts out songs that everyone can relate to.
2. Dispatch- This band combines reggae and rock to create an unforgettable sound. Another great live band that is great at story telling through songs, for example, "The General."
3. 3rd Eye Blind: This band has had so many hit songs. "Semi-Charmed Kind a Life" and "Motorcycle Drive-by" show their versatility from upbeat pop songs to slow beautifully composed songs.
4. Death Cab for Cutie: "Plans" is one of the best albums I've heard. Their lyrics are put together in the most unique ways. A song could be haunting like "Summer Skin" or uplifting like "Marching Bands of Manhattan," but good nonetheless.
5.Pepper: A reggae band from Hawaii, that keeps it simple with skanking in almost every song, provides music that sounds like Bob Marley, Sublime, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers rolled into one.

Top five Allison Veire

1. Good Will Hunting- This is one of my absolute favorite movies. I really feel the anguish of the characters when I watch it; it seems very real life in a sense than any other movie i've watched.

2. Dances with Wolves- This movie is an american classic. Although it moves somewhat slow, the narrative of the main character is fantastic.

3. Rudy- I and i'm sure many others find this movie very inspirational. It also it not the most typical ending, yes he does get to play but not as a regular member of the team, but because he inspires his teammates to work as hard as he does.

4. The Breakfast Club- I like this movie because we've all been in a situation like this in high school, but maybe have never quite cracked the surface of our peers like the characters do in this movie.

5. Saving Silverman- I chose this one because who doesn't love a good laugh and this movie definatly provides one! I like the quirky sense of humor this movie portrays.

1. Journey- Because i'm an 80's lover at heart, and what better song to belt than "Don't Stop Believing"?

2. Sara Bareilles- I love her album because of her soulful sound and her "from the heart" songs.

3. The first Lord of the Rings Soundtrack- This is AMAZING music that when you close your eyes you can feel the emotion.

4. Goo Goo Dolls- I never get sick of their songs no matter how much I listen to them, and I think that says something about how deeply the songs relate to life in general.

5. Billy Joel- Whenever I listen to his songs I feel at home no matter where I am at that moment.

Cole Storer Citizen Kane Reflection.

Citizen Kane is at the top of "the best of all time" film list because it captivates people. The whole idea of living the American Dream is crushed. The average person, who might dream of having enough money to fill a swimming pool with, double-takes their dream. The film causes people to seriously rethink their life goals.

I'm the type of person who does not need a whole lot of money to be happy. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to have to struggle to pay my bills or anything,, but I'm just not very materialistic. However, if this films causes me to rethink whether or not I want to have money, then I'm sure it is having the same effect on my classmates and the general public.

Orson Welles's use of light to represent good and bad in this movie was incredible. I loved it. He would figure out how to completely black out Kane's face at some times when he is being particularly unjust or evil. It was also really interesting to see how he would fade in and out of scenes. For instance, he would use an angle from the top and slowly lower it through a window into his mistresses house. The film would fade as the camera was passing through it. As a movie viewer today I think his use special effects are relatively simple, so they aren't interesting to me.

The general movie goer wants to see explosions and laugh, maybe cry. Citizen Kane is a movie for someone who doesn't mind having to think deep into themselves as well as the movie to get anything out of it. The statement suggests that a random bunch of people wouldn't care about this movie, and I think it is a pretty accurate statement.

Like I said before, the average movie goer today probably doesn't have the attention span to watch a long take in a scene without becoming bored. Today, most directors use several different angles to cut up a scene and make it more interesting.

Charles Foster Kane is represented as a man with little to no moral values, running a newspaper full of white lies, who puts his family second to his work. He is portrayed to be doing all of these things for himself, as being selfish. However, the writers left out one huge detail. We never see anything from his point of view. We never hear from him what he is thinking, just the narrator and other characters in the movie bashing him, making us view him as this awful man.

Top 5 Cole Storer

1) The Shawshank Redemption: I love the story behind this movie. I'm surprised every time I watch it when Tim Robbins doops everyone and ends up living his dream in Mexico.

2) A Clockwork Orange: I'm fascinated with how the government puts the main character through torturous therapy to turn him in an effort to make him into a good citizen. I also love the way this movie was shot.

3) Kill Bill: Vol. 1: The music in this film just gets to me. I'm not really sure what it is.

4) Donnie Darko: The fact that this movie really makes no sense in the end intrigues me. I've watched it countless times and can never figure it out.

5) Ace Ventura Pet Detective: I know this seems a little ridiculous, but Jim Carrey never gets old.

Top 5 Artistsm (In no particular order)--

1) Alanis Morissette: Something about her voice calms me down. Her lyrics really get to me.

2) The Format: Their song First Single (cause a scene) is my favorite song of all time. It describes a certain part of my life really well, almost to the point of being creepy.

3) Johnny Cash: Bad Ass.

4) Pat Green: In my opinion, the greatest Texas singer/ songwriter of all time. He will be bigger than George Strait someday.

5) Stevie Nicks/ Fleetwood Mac: She's another artist with a powerful voice that I just cant get enough of.

Top five Mikhail Karpich

1) The Lord of the Rings trilogy: I love the story line of this trilogy as well as the building up of the suspense towards the climax and the final battle.

2) 300: This movie is on my 5 top because of the magnificent spectacle scenes and battles and the heroic actions up taken by the few against the many.

3) Gladiator: I love this movie because of the action, passion, loyalty, devotion, and drama presented in it making it very entertaining to watch.

4) Notebook: This movie is a very romantic love story.

5) Good Will Hunting: This is one of my favorites because the performance of the actors was phenomenal. The fact that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon wrote the screen play and acted in it is another reason why i love it.

1) Tupac: I love his lyrics and a lot of the messages he presented in his songs.

2) Colour and shape album from the Foo Fighters: This album contains my two favorite rock songs. They are my inspirational songs.

3) Foo Fighters: in my opinion they have the greatest rock hits of all times. My favorite being "My Hero" and "Everlong."

4) 50 Cent: He's just got talent!

5) Goo Goo Dolls: I love their music! They have great lyrics and tunes to go with them.

Sarah Osborne

It took me a few days to really think about what my top 5's would be... my favorites change everyday, but here's what I could finally decide:
5) Tom Petty - His greatest hits album is always in my car, I kind of grew up on his music
4) Rilo Kiley - Their music is so chill and the lyrics are always clever
3) Billy Joel - He's a great pianist, and all of the songs have personal memories attached
2) Journey - I know, I know... but Steve Perry's voice just gives me chills
1) The Eagles - I could listen to their music everyday and it would never get old.

5) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the OLD one) - I watched this movie almost every time I went up to my Grandparents house for about 10 years of my life. I don't know if it's really that great, but I love it.
4) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - My favorite since I was little, but now I have more respect for how big of a breakthrough this movie was for our country.
3) Joe Dirt - For no reason other than I think it's hilarious
2) Catch Me If You Can - Someday I want to be as quick-thinking and witty as the character Frank Abagnale Jr.
1) Moulin Rouge - without a doubt my favorite movie. Everytime I watch it or listen to the soundtrack I get chills from Ewan McGregor's voice. The whole movie is a unique, eccentric twist on the same old musical love story.

Top 5 Movies - Kim Hanlon

1. The Wizard of Oz - This movie brings back many memories of my grandpa and I sitting together, eating homemade popcorn and reciting every line to this movie. It has a very creative story line and was extremely well done. Judy Garland was fantastic in this movie and had a tremendous career.
2. E.T - One of the all time greats, Steven Spielberg, directed this masterpiece. I was a bit scared of the movie when I first saw it at the age of 5, but I have watched it over and over again and have loved everytime after that.
3. Crash - I was pleasantly pleased when I first saw this movie in the theatre. I did not really appreciate it's full potential until a took a film class my freshman year. We had to write a paper about one scene and what the hidden meanings were in the way that the director filmed it with camera angles, lighting and such things. It was only then that I really understood the film in its entire capacity.
4. Pretty Woman - Julia Roberts is one of my favorite actresses of all time and she was wonderful in this film by Gary Marshall. This film was very controversial in the early 90s because of the prostitution role that Roberts plays. This movie still makes me laugh.
5. Gladiator - Russell Crowe was amazing in this story. I liked how different it was from all of the other films that were coming out at that time in early 2000. The images and graphics in this film were incredible.

Top 5 Artists
1. Celine Dion - I love her vioce and her music. She is very unique and can hit a wide range of notes.
2. Rascal Flatts - They are an amzing group with so many awesome songs. They are all so very talented.
3. Pink - She is a chick that can truly rock. Her concerts are awesome and her voice is incredible.
4. Michael Jackson - One of the best, if not the best, dancer that I have ever seen. His songs are great and is voice rocks.
5.Jonny Lang - Our own Minnesota boy. He can rock out like no one else and his songs are great.

Top 5 Movies: Mariam Elrashidi

1. Pursuit to Happiness- I thought this movie was beyond great! Will Smith did an exceptional job playing the role of a man who struggled and encountered numerous challenges in his life just to support his family (his son) and to find his Pursuit to Happiness. What was so inspirational and moving about this movie was that he never gave up on his goal/dream to achieve his Pursuit to Happiness.
2. The Notebook- I honestly thought this was one of the best love stories ever written!
Anyone would fall in love with this movie!
3. Divinci Code- I like movies that make you think and keep you on your toes and this one sure does! I thought this movie was very well written/scripted because you’re always trying to figure out the next clue and what is to come.
4. Wedding Crashers- If you ever want a good laugh I would watch this movie!
5. The Prestige- Even though I am not a big fan of magic tricks I can honestly say this movie will change your opinion. I thought this movie was very well scripted and again was a great psychological thriller movie because you wanted to find out more!

Top 5 Artists:

1. Whitney Houston- I just love her great powerful voice!
2. Beyonce- I really like her variety and style of music! She always does something new.
3. Bob Marley- What more can I say!
4. Mariah Carey- There’s just something about her voice and lyrics that I just love.
5. Rascal Flatts- I don’t listen to much country music but Rascal Flatts makes you want to.

I am Charles Foster Kane! and these are my reactions

This was the third or fourth time I have watched Citizen Kane and my initial reactions were generally the same. My favorite moments of the film are as follows, in order of appearance:

-- Seeing Kane with Hitler is always a fun poke at the war before the notion of the Holocaust was brought up, and the News on the March sequence as a whole is fairly clever and a neat homage.

-- I love when the young Kane is playing outside in the background while his parents argue over his future and he is yelling random things like "The Union Forever!" and just crazy stuff like that. The child actor who plays him is also surprisingly good both for his age and the times.

--The political rally, obviously a famous scene, is just so epic. When we finally see the shot which shows the sheer scale of the poster, the stage, and the whole deal, the grandness of it all is undeniable. This directly leads into my next favorite scene, involving the love triangle and Gettys.

--The scene where Kane worriedly asks his wife about his son and the taxi, is probably my second favorite of the movie. The way it's lit, acted, and just generally carried out, is perfect, and that perfection carries on into the ill happenings at Susan’s apartment. The showdown between Kane and Gettys is wonderfully epic, as well as the one between Emily and Susan. It feels as if it's left completely to the actors, and they all hold their own. And when Kane utters the line, "I am Charles Foster Kane!" you just know it's the turning point of the movie and also probably the most famous line of all time.

--On a quick note, Susan is played best by Dorothy Comingore after her dual introductions, or in other words, when Thompson comes back to visit her and her visually explained times with Kane after the marriage. In my opinion she's just really good where as in the beginning she's not exactly believable.

--But my most favorite scene of them all comes with the character of Raymond, the butler, played famously by Paul Stewart. He is first introduced late in the movie, which is cool in itself, and then his famous little sequence where he lights the cigarette and barters with Thompson as to the meaning of "Rosebud." He's just so ridiculously cool and what's better is that he knows it, as well as Welles. Not only does he have that cool scene, but he also gets the last lines of the movie, telling the workers to "Throw that junk in," pertaining obviously to Rosebud. It's probably one of the greatest 'character' parts ever created.

I personally do not think Citizen Kane is the greatest movie of all time but it surely makes sense that it's considered as such. The film was originally going to be called "The American" and it pretty much turns the American, rags-to-riches dream on its head. It's tougher than other classics like Casablanca and has an independent feel to it from the assemblage of theater actors led fearlessly by Mr. Welles. It's innovative, artful, entertaining, a critical success, and, among other things, an epic film. The more I watch it, it's really hard to disagree with the claim of it being the best, but I will always have my personal favorites and as great as Citizen Kane is, it simply won't (probably) break into that bubble.

January 23, 2008

Lauren Kolsum

Top five movies
1.) Little Miss Sunshine: What a messed up family aye? I love how each one of the characters are protrayed, they're depressing yet absolutely hilarious. There are a lot of good messages in it too.
2.) Just Friends: I don't think I have ever laughed so hard so many times watching a movie. There are so many awkward dating sitsuatons that are fun to cringe and laugh at. It may help that the leading man (Ryan Reynolds) is my favorite actor.
3.) Bridget Jone's diary: renee zellweger is so funny. With her "mad hair," crazy mum, and new "Sex God" boyfriend... I just love it. Their British accents draw me in as well.
4.) Grandma's Boy: It's a little much at times but it makes me laugh hysterically so there you go. It has the whole cast who are in every Adam sandler movie just without Adam. The character who thinks he is Neo from The Matrix is very funny.
5.) Liar Liar: I'm not quite sure why as I usually would not be drawn to lawyer movies but I think it's one of Jim Carey's best movies. No one else can play his roles and he plays this one so well.

1.) Audioslave: The coming together of chris cornell and rage against the machine created the best music I have ever heard. I followed their whole career and although it was only about 7 years I am so impressed, especially with the 1st and last album. Chris Cornell's new solo album was, however, very dissapointing he has so much more potential his voice is amazing.
2.) Incubus: Each one of their albums are so different. Their first one is just all over the place with odd sounds and voice recording. The other ones get a little more mainstream but I have listened to each one countless times and still love them dearly.
3.) Damien Rice: I love every song on every one of his albums. He is such an interesting and spontaneous person. Listening to the way his mind works in interviews and in his lyrics is facinating.
4.) Stereophonics: Kelly jones can sing. I like the raspyness and harshness to his voice.
5.) Ringside: It's just a two member band and I'm pretty sure they only have one album out but I think it's a work of art. Each song manages to be very different from the other and each one is a perfect combination of beats, guitar, and vocals.

Derek Peltier

1- Gladiator, I really enjoy the action and the story of the gladiators in the Roman empire
2- RAD, an all time classic about BMX bike racing, made in the 80's
3- Shooter, also an action packed thriller about a sniper
4- Braveheart, the fight for freedom
5- Christmas Vacation, a comedy about a family christmas

1- The Eagles
2- Journey
3- Pill Collins
4- The Beach Boys
5- Bruce Springstein
I chose these artists because I really enjoy the classic rock and oldies music that is more layed back.

Citizen Kane Reflection for Katie Kunik

I enjoyed the movie, Citizen Kane. I had never had the desire to watch it before, but now that I have I’m glad I was forced to watch it. It made me think, not only about politics and complicated issues, but of Charles Kane’s character and how it evolves throughout the movie. I was also very impressed with Orson Wells as a filmmaker. I noticed that he never shined any light on reporter, Thompson’s face until the end of the movie. I thought this might be because he was following in the same footsteps as Kane as far as yellow journalism goes and trying to get all the juicy gossip on Kane. Then in the end, Thompson overcomes this when he realizes how complex the personality of Charles Foster Kane really was, and this is when his face is finally illuminated.

To think that people in today’s society would not care about Citizen Kane may be true. My friend told me once that she didn’t want to watch the movie because she thought it was boring. I think too many young people in today’s youth culture wouldn’t care about Citizen Kane, but that is not to say that it is not relevant in today’s society. The theme of the movie of wanting happiness over money and power is a very common theme in many other movies and television shows today, so to say that it is not relevant is not true. I think that a good portion of today’s youth are just ignorant, and would rather watch a movie with a much more simplistic plot. However, my mom loves Citizen Kane. So I think it is a generational thing to whether or not people would care to watch this movie. I think it may be because people from the younger generation just aren’t brought up to appreciate “older? movies like Citizen Kane.

Jordan Heighway's Top 5 Movies/Music- No True Order


1. The Godfather- I am part Italian and this is one of the best written movies of all-time, there are few comparisons.
2. Fight Club- I love the premise of the movie and the anti-consumerism (among others) undertones to the movie.
3. American History X- I'll never forget the first time I watched this movie. There are few movies as powerful as this one because of the racial
4. The Matrix- (First One)- The action scenes were both phenomenal and revolutionary but the undertones of the "who was our creator" are powerfully thought provoking.
5. Super Troopers- I love movies that make me laugh and this one is definately one that I can watch whenever I want. I tend to believe who you watch movies with influences your experiences with them, and I'll never forget laughing hysterically for hours with friends after seeing this movie.

I love music, but I tend to listen to it solely based on location, time in my life, and most importantly my current mood. However, I find myself playing these bands the most:
1. Lynyrd Skynyrd- Simple Man is my favorite song of all-time. Tuesday's Gone and Sweet Home Alabama always seem to be playing on my ipod.
2. Pink Floyd- There are few bands as creative and influential with their style of music. People who haven't heard them are truly missing out. Comfortably Numb guitar solo still gives me goose bumps.
3. Tom Petty- Love his music in general, as it is free and true. Besides, he named Life is a "Heighway" after me (Joking of course).
4. The Goo Goo Dolls- The Dizzy Up the Girl album is one of my top 3 of all time. Whenever I need to think or relax, I pop in the Goo Goo Dolls.
5. There is no real fifth band so I'll name some other favorites: 2pac, The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Kenny Chesney.

I guess my music genre selection is all over the place, but thats why Ipods are so great!

Cameron White

Top Five Movies

Caddyshack- becasue golf is a huge part of my life and I enjoy comedy films.
Braveheart- because my ancestors are from scottland.
Saving Private Ryan- because I enjoy war movies
Fast and The Furious- I am really into cars and racing
Scarface- I have always enjoyed watching mob movies and I would have to say this movie is a

Top Five Artists

Journey- its good becasue they have alot of hit songs
Dave Mathews Band- I enjoy this bands music because its very relaxing and chill music
Linkin Park- unique becasue its a mixture between rock and rap
akon- becasue he produces alot of great music and its different then all other rappers
Micheal Jackson- because his music is classic

Tara Williams' Favorites

I hate picking favorites because I'm constantly changing my mind. So, these are my favorites at the time I was typing this. In no particular order.

Top Artists

Children 18:3 - One of the few bands from my hometown. Really helped me start listening to music you can't find on the radio.
Guitar Wolf - Japanese punk rock. There's nothing like rock and roll from a band that cannot actually pronunce rock and roll
Manchester Orchestra- They play really pretty music. I'm currently listening to them nonstop.
mewithoutYou - Lovely spoken wordish indie rock made by friendly hoboish guys.
Minor Threat - I like old school Hardcore, most people would never guess that about me.

Top Movies

Army of Darkness- Good B- movie humour with my hero Bruce Campbell.
Kairo/Pulse- This is one of the J-horror movies that hollywood has remade that I actually liked both versions.
Pan's Labyrinth- It took me forever to finally get a chance to watch this and I loved it!
Brain Dead- Gore. Gore and more Gore. A wonderful Horror Comedy.
Hot Rod- My boyfriend made me watch this over winter break. By far, the funniest movie I have ever seen.

Ian Bell

Top 5 Movies (no particular order):
1) The Departed - Being of Irish Catholic decent, this movie hits close to home. Scorsese does a fantastic job with both casting (Wahlberg, DiCaprio, Nicholson) and depicting the fine line between the police force and the criminal.

2) Great Escape / The Dirty Dozen - I grew up watching both of these fantastic World War II films. The Great Escape depicts the escape of 200 plus prisoners from a German prison camp. In The Dirty Dozen, Lee Marvin takes military prisoners (most of whom have a life sentence or are to be hung) from the US Army and offers them freedom if they participate (and survive) in a highly dangerous mission at a German mansion.

3)American Psycho - Having read the book, I felt that Bale portrayed the complex character that is Patrick Bateman as best as anyone could. The movie itself takes a sarcastic approach to the materialistic/cocaine induced decade that was the 1980s. Its a complete mindbender.

4) Four Brothers - I am a huge fan of Mark Wahlberg. I am a Detroit native and since the movie was set in Detroit, it was nice to see some of the sites from my childhood.

5) American History X - Edward Norton does a fantastic job depicting the evolution of Derek Vinyard from Neo Nazi skinhead to a role model for his brother who is willing to admit his mistakes. Edward Norton, as always, plays the role of a lifetime.

Top 5 Artists:
1) Aerosmith - Aerosmith is one of the first bands to bridge the gap between rock and roll and hip-hop / rap. Walk This Way featuring Run DMC was revolutionary. Since then many hip-hop artists have sampled Aerosmith songs, including Eminem.
Favorite song: Dream On

2) Eminem - The evolution of albums that Eminem has released is fantastic. He went from the completely angry and bitter album of Slim Shady LP to the tongue and cheek Encore. He is also a fantastic producer.
Favorite Song: Forgot About Dre

3) The Band - Starting as the back up band for Bob Dylan, I am really glad they branched out on there own. The Weight and Up On Cripple Creek River are two the greatest songs of all time.
Favorite Song: The Weight

4) Hootie and the Blowfish - They are in my top five only because Cracked Rear View was the first CD that I ever purchased. Although being a one album wonder, Hootie and the Blowfish will always be in my top five.
Favorite Song: Hold My Hand

5) Red Hot Chili Peppers - These guys keep producing hit after hit. From Freaky Styley ( guitarist Hillel Slovak), to Blood Sugar Sex Magik (guitaritst John Frusciante), to One Hot Minute (guitarist Dave Navarro) to Californication (Frusciante) they have murged soul, punk and hip-hop into a funky unique sound.
Favorite Song: Easily

Oakley Tapola top fives

TOP 5 MOVIES in random order
1) Amelie - adorable, interesting characters. Filmed in beautiful colors and the storyline is surprising
and heartwarming. it tears me up every time
2)Repo Man-most classic b film of all time. emilio estevez. aliens. speed. cars. This movie is endlessly entertaing. not to mention cleverly built and timeless.
3) Welcome To The Dollhouse- dark humor. Great, weird, sad main character. Great costumes. Great
acting. Good theme song.
4) The 5th Element - just friggin amazing in every way. Chris Tucker is actually funny and everyone is dressed amazing. I dont think this movie is good because of the acting but its possibly the most entertaining movie i've ever seen and for that it deserves to be on someones top 5.
5) The Grifters - freakin sweet 80's clothes. plot and characters' bizarre interactions keep you guessing. Really good if you like mysteries/ mobster movies.

TOP 5 ALBUMS even though it always changes
1) Vol 4 - Black Sabbath : greatest band ever, every song on this album is genius. Thank you Tony Iommi for having your fingers cut off so you could rock so hard.
2) Is This Real?/Cut - Wipers/The Slits (a tie): PUNX! Two quintessential punk bands...Greg Sage lead singer of the wipers is also sort of the inventor of alternative rock (like the minutemen)...and the slits are like the first ever riot grrl band but have a reggae feel, really amazing. They also use weird percussion instruments and etc. very cool.
3) C.Y.S.L.A.B.F - Mika Miko : PUNXXX! again. The freshest stuff coming of the bay area thats hyphy in a whole new way. Extra energetic cute punk girls that sing into telephones that they've converted into microphones. They are amazing live.
4) Inspiration Information - Shuggie Otis : funky weird instrumentals and great melodic vocals
5) Dirty Mind - Prince : gotta rep TC

Justin Kaplan

Top 5 Movies
1. Dumb and Dumber
2. SuperBad
3. Top Gun
4. Godfather
5. Saw
I chose these movies because I love to watch movies and my favorite type of movies are either action or comedies. I think that everyone will agree with me when I say that Godfather is just a classic and has to be in your top 5. I love SuperBad and Dumb and Dumber as halarious comedies. Saw was just an awesome gory, scary movie. Top Gun is one of my all time favorit movies with Tom Hank.

Top 5 Artists
1. Rascal Flatts
2. Akon
3. Kenny Chesney
4. Matt Wertz
5. Dave Barnes
I am an avid lover of music and enjoy all different types. Being from Texas, I love country and my favorite country singers are, Rascal Flatts and Kenny Chesney. I also love rap and really like Akon. Matt Wertz and Dave Barnes are more Southern style soft rock bands and I love their guitar playing.

Liz Eisler's Top Five Movies and Music

Top Five Movies
1) Crash (2004)- Intelligent movie that brings light to present day racial stereotypes.
2) 3:10 to Yuma (2007)- Best Western I've seen in a long time! It has a great cast and masterful directing.
3) American Beauty (1999)- A movie filled with interesting ideas on how to find beauty in everything and anything.
4) Radio (2003)- After seeing this movie in the theater, I left feeling somewhat better about the world we live in. Knowing that there are people out in the world who care and are willing to fight for not only themselves, but other people who are less capable put a smile on my face.
5) Million Dollar Baby (2004)- Emphasizes failure as being an honorable an fulfilling trait for it means a person tried to succeed at something

Top Five Artisits
1) Breaking Benjamin- They have been my favorite artist for a long time now. They have a great sound and many lyrics in which I can relate.
2) Joanna Newsom- She has a very unique sound, incorporating elements of modernism and African kora rhythms.
3) James Morrison- This jazz musician has a very colorful voice.
4) Heather Headley- Wonderful soul singer.
5) Stone Sour- American rock band with passionate lyrics.

Katie Kunik's top 5's

I'm Katie Kunik and these are my top 5's:
1. Almost Famous - I thought the soundtrack was amazing, and I was very impressed when I found out the story was based on the director's life.
2. Forrest Gump - This one also has a very good soundtrack, and Forrest's journey throughout the movie is very inspirational.
3. The Jerk - It is stupid humor that anyone can understand, but it makes me laugh every time I watch it.
4. Across the Universe - I've only seen it once so far, but I thought the story played out well while using only Beatles' covers.
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - I love how it keeps you confused and wondering the whole time because the viewer always has to be paying attention.

1. Led Zeppelin - IV/Zoso/Untitled - This is my favorite band, so I had to pick one of their albums, and although this was hard, Zoso was probably the most influential and diverse of all their albums.
2. The Beatles - Let it Be - Everyone loves the Beatles, and I think this is my favorite of their albums because I just like a lot of these songs the most.
3. The Beatles - Sgt. Peppers - It was definitely one of a kind when it was released, and I like how each song flows into the next. "A Day in the Life" was a great example of how well the band's studio experimenting turned out.
4. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours - I have this on CD in my car, and I can listen to it many, many times before I get sick of it. It's just so upbeat and leaves you feeling happy.
5. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds - Listening to Pet Sounds just makes me want to get up and sing along. Also, this was when the band started to leave the surfer music a little and experiment more with new sounds, which I thought was unique.

Melissa's Top Five Films and Musicians



I love movies and stories with a twist. "Signs" is my favorite of M. Night Shyamalan's films, and it's the one of the few films that has truly disturbed me :

Finding Nemo:

The Greatest Animated film of all time, in my opinion. It's a really simple story about parenthood and friendship, but it is told so beautifully and cleverly. It's amazing because it is enjoyable for people of all ages, mostly because of Ellen DeGeneres' performance as Dory.

The Princess Bride:

I generally dislike romantic comedies, but I love this one, mostly because I remember it from my childhood. I love it because it takes a classic fairy-tale formula but makes it fresh, funny, and genuinely romantic as opposed to sappy.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy:

It's really one long story over three movies. I am a huge geek, and for geeks it doesn't get much better than seeing Gandalf fall with the Balrog on the big screen. Frodo Lives!

Manos: The Hands of Fate: You know your movie is in trouble when the title translates as "Hands: The Hands of Fate." Though it is probably the worst movie ever made (Yes, even worse than "Plan 9"), I include it on the list because it has provided endless hours worth of entertainment in the form of the "Mystery Science Theatre 3000" Style commentary my friends and I make on it. If you're like me and enjoy mocking bad movies, this is a must-see.


Bjork: The most original, unique, and talented female musician of all-time.

Radiohead: The greatest band of our time. 'Kid A' was a masterpiece.

Keane: They're probably the most "normal" sounding band that I like. I can honestly say that I love all of their songs, which is rare for me. They are also AMAZING live.

Led Zeppelin: This doesn't really need justification, though I think I should note that the reason I discovered their music was because I found out they reference Lord of the Rings alot.

Daft Punk: My favorite techno music comes from Daft Punk. It's very danceable, and "Discovery" is a techno-music masterpiece.

Katherine Rivard


1. Juno—Diablo Cody is my favorite local writer, and the actors were amazing.
2. the Graduate—A film that represents the radical movement of the 60’s.
3. The Life Aquatic—I enjoy the plot and the characters in this movie.
4. Amelie—Audrey Tautou is one of my favorite actresses.
5. A Scanner Darkly—This film was impressive and beautiful, but at the same time sad, ugly, and real.


1. Workingman’s Dead: The Grateful Dead—An amazing collaboration of folk, rock, and blues.
2. The Band of Gypsies: Jimi Hendrix (with Gypsy Sun and Rainbows)—Naturally, I enjoy Hendrix’s talent on the guitar, and it is such a unique album.
3. Rubber Soul: The Beatles—This album is comforting to me.
4. Bonobo—soft, mellow, and relaxing. Beautiful use of percussion.
5. Clint Eastwood: Gorillaz—The album is like a story unfolding. I love the beat and the overall atmosphere

Jasmine Omorogbe- Top 5

Top 5 Movies:

The Bad Seed: Crazy story about an evil young girl and the debate between nature and nurture.
Rize: Powerful documentary about the origin and art of crump dancing.
The Little Princess: no explanation needed, not your typical princess story.
You Got Served: Corny? Very much so, but I love hip-hop dance movies.
Runaway Jury: An interesting plot with lots of unexpected twists and turns.

Top 6 Artists:

Alicia Keys- beautiful, soulful, strong voice, definitely a woman to be admired
Chris Brown- gotta love his young but beautiful voice and crisp dance moves, definitely what I listen to daily to make me smile
Kanye West- a rapper cut from a different cloth, though quite self confident, Ye's music is separate from a lot of the stuff that is out today. Gotta love him!
T. Pain- synthesized voice and sometimes garbage lyrics, but adlibs and crunk factor are just right, good for when you need to get pumped up or calm down with a significant other
Ise Lyfe- dynamic spoken word artist and conscious rapper from the Bay
Lauryn Hill- she had to make the list, even tho it's been way too long since she came out with anything, she is still one of my faves

Alexander Culverwell

Top 5 Movies

1. Braveheart. Being Scottish this has to be my favorite film as it representsthe history very well. Mel Gibson has an extremely good accent in it as well.
2.Fracture. This film has a great story that makes the audience really think about what is goig on. The twist in the story in the end is the best part as did not see it coming.
3. 51st State. I love this film as Samuel Jackson and Robert Carlisle are up there with my favorite actors. The comedy inthis film is very good as it a good mix between American and British.
4. Happy Gimore. Being a golfer this film is very appealing to me. There have been many attempts at golf films but this is definately the best. Adam Sandler is very good in this film.
5. Green Street. I am a huge football (soccer) fan and this film is a very well represented view on how some fans react to the games, which is very appealing to me.

Top 5 Arists

1. Oasis. Since I was 8 I have loved Oasis. There music always brings back fond memories of holidays in Spain, especialy the song wonderwall.
2. Proclaimers. This is a great Scottish band that have many upbeat songs. Whenever I hear there music it always reminds me of Scotland.
3. Dave Matthews Band. Having only recently discovering this band i have growen to love them. THey have a great unique style of music which I really enjoy.
4. DJ U. This is a Japenese artist who is very good at mixing music. He has lots of very good mixes that mix present and older songs. Very highly recommended.
5. Kanye West. One of my favorite artists. He produces all his own stuff and very good lyrics. I really like his style with his songs making a lot of sense unlike other rappers.

I'm Patrick Fryberger, and these are my favorites:

The trailer for T2, which looks more like a Grindhouse trailer today

I am huge movie fan and I often spend my nights going to, renting, or just simply watching movies on DVD or TV. My top five favorites listed here are films that I have had some sort of a personal connection to for some time, even some dating back to when I was three years old. Oddly enough, they all were released in a span of five years, and because of the modernity of the titles I just want to note that I do have a strong affection for older films, from Metropolis, to The Third Man, to The Night of the Hunter, to McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and so on. Yet, I can't deny the fact that my favorite films seem to all come from the early '90s, as seen here:

1. The Adventures of Milo & Otis
As cheesy as it sounds, this little film says more about life and friendship than any other I've ever seen. Plus the actors are animals, which says even more.

2. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
It's not original, innovative, artful, or particularly looked upon as one of the greats, but in my opinion this is a perfectly done film; one that is accessible, entertaining, thoughtful, and even genuinely touching all at the same time. It will always be overshadowed by the equally great Pulp Fiction as the pinnacle of the '90s, but I’ll take T2 over just about anything. It should be mentioned, however, as with the previous selection, that I have watched it since I was three or four years old, so there's some definite bias involved.

3. Raising Arizona
In a jokey way I like to consider this the story of my future life. There is no other movie that has matched the rapidfire, screwball, high-octane comedy seen here, not even the recently great Hot Fuzz. Nicholas Cage and Holly Hunter are a riot, and the Evil Dead-ish camerawork by the Coens and future director Barry Sonnenfeld is completely ridiculous.

4. The Crying Game
I've always felt that The Crying Game is one of the most original films ever made. It's got everything, and everything is done well. I also like to think it's one of the greatest love stories of all-time, but I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff. The less that is said about it, the better, so see it if you haven't already.

5. Reservoir Dogs
This was the movie that everybody wanted to see when you were a freshman or sophomore in high school. I remember seeing the incredibly cool posters on older guys’ walls and constantly thinking about it. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas had the same effect, but this was so much better. I remember watching it with my best friend and from the opening title sequence on, we had one of the greatest times we'd ever experienced. In other words, I'll never get enough of this movie, or Tarantino for that matter.

I'm not as well-versed in music, but of course I have my favorites:

1. The Rolling Stones
It is often said that the Beatles called it quits because of internal/creative struggles within the band. This is wrong. The Beatles bit the dust when the Rolling Stones declared themselves "The Greatest Rock n' Roll Band in the World" and went on to live up to that title for the remainder of their career.
2. Tom Waits
When Keith Richards duets with Waits I feel I've found the greatest music ever produced in the history of time.
3. Beck
The prototypical hipster.
4. The Beastie Boys
The most underrated mainstream act of the '90s, if that makes any sense.
5. The Mountain Goats
Essentially a one-man band that everyone should check out if they haven't already.

Thomas Campbell’s top Five Movies and Artists

1) Man on Fire: I always enjoy movies with Denzel Washington, especially this one; it is a powerful emotional movie with many wealth, racial, and power themes.

2) American History X: There are many very powerful themes behind this movie. I really liked how throughout the movie the flashbacks emphasize the importance of these themes. It was one of my film studies during high school and still remains an all time favorite even after watching it so many times during school.

3) Shawshank Redemption: This is also another movie that I watched for a film study at high school. There are great story lines behind this movie of time in prison. I also like how an innocent man who goes to jail can still win over all in the end.

4) Blood Diamond: This movie just emphasizes the reality of struggles between the government soldiers and rebel forces in India, and especially the war of diamond market among African countries. It is an extremely powerful movie.

5) Pursuit of Happiness: I just love this movie because Will Smith never gave up in his pursuit to a happy secure life for his child. Everything and Anything went wrong for him but he never gave up, and it just shows that if you have dreams in life it is possible to reach the top.

1) The Goo Goo Dolls: The Goo Goo Dolls have compiled several of my most favorite songs. I love the lyrics and no matter how man times I hear their songs they never get old.

2) Jack Johnson: Just a perfect artist whose songs are perfect for just chilling. I do a lot of driving and his songs are perfect for a long road trip to listen to.

3) Counting Crows: I just love their songs and Mr Jones is one of my favorite songs ever.

4) Billy Joel: I like to mix up my music, and sometimes I resort back to and get in the mood for certain older music Billy Joel is a great start.

5) Live: I Have always love this band sine I started listening to music great lyrics, great beat, great songs.

Amanda Ruffalo

1. You’ve Got Mail- typical love/hate story between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (both of whom I absolutely adore!).
2. Toy Story- favorite Disney movie ever made! Clever humor, for both children and adults, that always makes me laugh.
3. White Christmas- classic movie with Bing Crosby. Just a feel good movie with exceptional singing and dancing. Reminds me of Christmas at home with my family.
4. Jerry Maguire- never laughed so hard at a movie in my life. Plus the romantic story line is amazing.
5. Pretty Woman- classic romantic movie that I can watch over and over again.

1. Jack’s Mannequin- He has a very unique voice and just overall amazing songs.
2. Third Eye Blind- Great band to just turn up loud and listen to! Especially good to work out to!
3. The Weepies- Different kind of music. It’s just very calming. Good music to just sit and relax to.
4. The Fray- Best voices I’ve ever heard! All their songs are amazing.
5. Stevie Nicks- very different and gorgeous voice. Reminds me of my dad because he always use to blast her music in the car.

Jackie Robak: favorite artists

1. Bob Marley... Do I need to put an explanation??? No, I think the name speaks for it's self.

2. Incubus... The lyrics are amazing, not including his great voice. Each CD has a different vibe. So they never get old to listen to.

3. The Strokes... Great chill music, it just puts you in an up-beat mood, who wouldn't like that?

4. Garden State Soundtrack... If you haven't heard it, you need to. Every song is spectacular, more indie types of music.

5. 311... I think I have a soft spot for them in my heart because their from Nebraska and thats rare. But I have to admit I hated there last CD, they are trying way too hard to be reggae.

Jess Doll's Favorite Movies and Music

Top Movies

Young Frankenstein: it's a classic comedy that my parents turned me onto...funny!
Pursuit of Happyness: great acting by Will Smith and his son, engaging, heartbreaking, and happy all at once
Good Will Hunting: a great story about a man who turns his life around by applying himself through the help of his therapist
Friday Night Lights: a action packed football tale, meaningful to me because my brothers and father coach/play football
Now and Then: a movie from my childhood about best friends and their journey through life

Top Music Artists

Ben Kweller: laid back sound and easy to sing a long to, love his song "Penny on a Train track"
Jack Johnson: similar sound to Ben Kweller, soft guitar and easy going songs
Alicia Keys: a great signer with lots of "soul" in her music
Kanye West: a talented artists with a different style than most rappers
Colbie Caillat: my new favorite artist, love her song "Bubbly," her sound is similar to Jack Johnson

top 5 movies and artists

My Top 5 Movies:

1. American History X

I chose this movie because it was just one of those movies for me which I couldn't look away from. This seldom happens for me due to my extreme case of ADD, so when I find a movie that actually keeps my attention for the whole length of the movie I tend to remember it. It was also very powerful, and kind of hits you deep, especially knowing that these kind of groups still exist. Another reason I chose it is because Edward Norton is one of my favorite actors, and I thought he had an especially good performance in this movie.

2. Requiem for a Dream

I have probably never been depressed more at any one point in my life then when I finished watching this movie. That's not to say it's not amazing, though. This movie lets you know exactly what it's like to live as a hardcore drug addict, and it tends to include everything, not bothering to censor the "bad parts" of an addicts life to protect the audience from being depressed. It really makes you not want to do drugs too, with is always a plus.

3. Ratatouille

This movie is amazing. When I first saw it I didn't even want to go because I thought it sounded really stupid, but it turned out being probably my favorite animated movie. I liked it alot because I have worked in restaurants, so I was familiar with some of the stuff they made, the definition of a su-chef (I felt pretty tight knowing that one), etc. I also really liked the main character.

4. The Prestige

I liked this movie because it had a really interesting premise, and I used to be really into magic when I was younger, too. The twist at the end is just ridiculous (in a positive way), and really completes the movie. There was also some really good acting.

5. Donnie Darko

I really liked how this movie was filmed, and just the weirdness of it overall. Jake Gyllenhaal is a really good actor, and the soundtrack in it is really good as well.

Top 5 Artists:

1. Aesop Rock

I have kind of like a 9-way tie for number one, so it was tough to choose, but I decided on Aesop cause theres just so much more to his music than I know about right now. Although I don't know what he's saying alot of the time, I know that its meaningful, so I know theres still alot more to know.

2. Slug

Not alot I have to say about him. Really good lyrics, and he's local so I feel like I have to support him. I kind of like his old stuff better than his stuff now, though.

3. The Roots

The Roots are the best instrument hip-hop band of all time, and they always put out awesome stuff. Black Thought is also, in my opinion, of the best rappers of all time.

4. A Tribe Called Quest

One of the best groups to just chill to. Even though they were in their prime in the 90's, their music is timeless and is just as good today. Q-Tip has one of the best voices in hip-hop, in my opinion, and Phife Dawg is his perfect counterpart to him.

5. Wu-Tang

Could be the best hip-hop group ever. Rza is also one of my favorite producers.

Josh Zaborowski

1. Remember the Titans- Great football film about controversial time period. Really promotes teamwork, trust, and brotherhood. Coaches show this movie to their players no matter what the sport is.
2. Cinderella Man- A movie that shows the fight to survive and do what you love, while doing anything to keep your loved ones together. Great movie.
3. Fox and the Hound- True Friendship, sweet, funny movie. Greatest Disney movie of all time.
4. The Sandlot- Loved this movie ever since I was a little kid playing baseball. There was nothing better than playing baseball with my friends and this movie shows that simple joy.
5. The Ron Clark Story- A made for T.V movie, but showed the struggle and effort to overcome a bad situation that you are in. Feel good story, shows everyone that they should believe in themselves.

1. Garth Brooks- One of the greatest country artists alive.
2. Sister Hazel- I just really like their music. Plus thy put on an amazing show in the little city of Stevens Point.
3. Rise Against- Again, I just really like the sound of their music. Plus they also have some good acoustic tunes.
4. The Yoopers- Anybody that sings about 30pt bucks, beer, and the Packers is okay in my book.
5. Steve Miller Band- Just some good ol classic rock tunes.

Rob Skogen

We have all seen the critics' lists from every possible angle and the usual suspects are ever present. It is easy to conclude whether a film or album is worthy of acclaim when someone else makes the choices, but creating a personal list from scratch is rather tough. I'm sure you all struggled with making the final cuts as I did, but the defining quality of each item comes back to whether or not it continues to evoke powerful reactions when watched or listened to a second (third, fourth, etc.) time. Without further ado, here are my favorites of all time:


Big Fish (2003)
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Being John Malkovich (1999)
Death to Smoochy (2002)


John Coltrane, Blue Train (1957)
Jimi Hendrix, Axis: Bold As Love (1967)
Marvin Gaye, What's Going On? (1971)
Parliament, Mothership Connection (1976)
Michael Jackson, Thriller (1982)

Yu Katayama

Top 5 Movies
1. Top Gun - This movie has been my favorite for a long time so i chose this
2. Braveheart - I like this film because of the plot and ususally i like this type of movie.
3. Lock, Stock and Two smoking Barrels - It's different style of movie. i thought the plot was good and it was quite funny at the same time.
4. The Castle - Since i grew up in Australia, I chose this movie because it's one of the best films that came out of Australia.
5. America History X - I chose this because of the theme behind this film and the acting in the film.

Top 5 Artists
1. Journey - Journey is one of my favorite artists because of the songs like Eye of the tiger and Midnight Train
2. Bone Thugs N Harmony - I simple like bone thugs becuase they've been around for a long time with lots of famous songs and also i like their raping style which haven't changed much over the years.
3. Tupac - Some of the songs that tupac wrote is phenomenal. the lyrics in some of the songs are very deep and catchy.
4. Michael Jackson - Some of the songs he wrote back in the early days are class! Everything song that he came out with were pretty much a hit so thats why i chose him as one of my top 5 artists.
5. Dave Matthews Band - I like Dave Matthews because of their unique original style and their lyrics.

1. Amelie- I love this movie because all the characters are so quirky.
2. Black Cat, White Cat- This is a relatively recent Serbian film that some of my friends gave me. It has a really funny plot and lots of angry gypsies.
3.Howl's Moving Castle- The amount of fantasy and distinct characterizations in Miyazaki's films is incredible. Enough said.
4. Everything Is Illuminated- The film quality in this film is fantastic. Plus, you can't go wrong with Eugene Hutz.
5. Chocolat- This is a great movie when you just want to be chill and think about chocolate.

1. Lauryn Hill- I know it's old but whenever I listen to either her single stuff or The Fugees I am in a good mood for the rest of the day.
2. The Beatles-Their stuff is just so darn catchy.
3. Billie Holiday- Her voice is captivating.
4. Leahy- I have a weakness for Irish music.
5. Fiona Apple- She's got a really cool style.

My Top Five Movies and Artists

The Great Debaters:
I love this movie because it clearly represented the power of education in the society. If the kids hadn't been to school, there's no way they could have ever turned out becoming great debaters. Also because of knowledge that they obtained from their professor/debate master, they were able to stand on their feet and defend not only the school and community they came from, but also defended their race amidst of people that highly underrated them. They came from a small town in Texas and beat the monster Havard debate team. It tells me that education truly unlocks many of one's inner potentials.

American Gangster:
I love this movie because it was a true story tale of Frank Lucas and his success on the cocaine business. Not paying so much attention on how sinful it was for him to distribute the poisonous substance to his community, I was definitely moved by the fact that he was actually able to pull off the highly risky move. It was during the seventies and the battle to stop drug flow, especially from overseas was already at its peak. The fact that Frank Lucas, a black man in the seventies, was able to maneuver and use the military to his advantage in transporting the drugs was purely phenomenal. Not so mention the fact that he was also able to orchestrate the strongest gang, even better than other known mobs. The movie was truly moving. I learned that anything is possible nomatter who or what kind of circumstances one has to overcome.

Bourne Ultimatum:
I love this movie because Matt Damon continues to win the fight between him and the system which took away his identity, on top of which he accomplished his mission to find out what really happened to him. The action and escape scenes are great, but what really made this movie one of my top favorites is how he used his enemy's weapons against them. He knew that with technology it wouldn't be hard for his pursuers to find him nomatter where he was hiding. Instead of being afraid and giving in too easily, he was smart enough to manipulate them and therefore was always a few steps ahead of them. This movie shows me that I can accomplish many tasks that I may initially not think I would if I utilize the resources around me and put them to use towards getting my desired results.

The Pursuit of Happyness:
I love this movie because it entailed the true meaning of "pursuit" of the American Dream. Will Smith didn't give up his struggle to become who he wanted to be. His girlfriend dumped him because she didn't believe that he can actually make it to the top. Not only that he was dumped, he had to endure taking good care of his son, getting kicked around from one residence to another, and finishing up with one of the few best scores on the exam that he had to take. He was always true to himself and didn't allow anybody to convince him otherwise. In the end his struggle reacjed the hearts of the employers and he got the job of his dreams. It was truly a movie with life lessons. It shows that if one can dream of it, he or she can definitely do it if he or she put their mind to making it happen for them.

Another classic case of true life event that shows that power to influence the whole world has no age barriers. Alexander was still young when he formed his army, he had the power to talk and really influence their actions. No one ever predicted that he could take over the East of their world. For centuries they believed that it was impossible to do so, until Alexander proved them wrong. Once again, it shows that anything is possible if one truly believe in making it happen.

Top Artists

Sometimes I feel like I have a lot in common with Nas. The way he puts his words together and the way he rhymes turns my head. I have most of his tracks and I never get tired of listening to them -especially It Ain't Hard To Tell, I Excel- He has so much pride in himself doing what he loves to do; he worked his way up from the streets of Brooklyn NY to being one of the finest rappers ever known. Another particular thing I love about him is that compared to other ridiculously bad rappers out there, he doesn't downgrade women, but instead respects them in his tracks. He is now married and may soon have a baby.

Another all time favorite rapper and born leaderwho, also growing up in the streets of NY, did what he loves to do and sang his way up to establishing Rocafella records, a multi million record company. He started with nothing and now he's well known not just for his singing abilities, but also for his leading abilities off the stage. He also own the NJ Jets NBA team, and more. It makes me wonder how he makes it all happen. I want to be more like him.

He is someone that will forever be remembered for his ability to put words together with ease and make them into classic songs. He is now known all over the world for his musical talents. His words are moving, emotional, and he often tells it like it is. His lifestyle off the stage is the reason for his early death but his ability to draw attention to himself was breathtaking.

Michael Jackson
Who would disagree that Michael Jackson and his innovative ways will forever be remembered. He hasn't sang for a long time now and I'm worried that he may have lost his great voice. He has been dealing with a lot of issues but I hope he'll come back and sweep us all from our feet once again. He is a pop legend and will always be because no one made or makes music like he did. Most of his tracks are classic compared to other musicians. He is one and only and that's why he's one of my favorites.

Eminem is not just good on the stage with mic, but also good in movies. His movie 'Eight Mile' is still played today by many because he intergrated his real-life struggle to make it to the top and his acting skills to make it standout. He will always be remembered by many for being himself. He didn't give in to believing what his society wanted him to, and was able to convince all that music genre doesn't have racial boundaries.

January 22, 2008

Ariel Ward

Children of Men -- A war movie cloaked in a science fiction setting. Both cinematically and emotionally intriguing.
Proof -- After I saw this movie, my future was basically decided (I'm a math major). The entire area of mathematics was romanticized in a way that appealed to me.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind -- I find I tend to like movies where the story is told in a new way. A new twist on the old "love story" idea.
Oldboy -- It's almost beyond words how intense and involved this movie is.
Memento -- I loved the way the plot unfolded (backwards). Kind of goes with Eternal Sunshine.

Pink Floyd, The Wall -- One of the few concept albums where the music and the story fit flawlessly together.
Rob Dougan, Furious Angels -- The instrumentals on this album are incredible. Dougan's voice is unique and fits with the smooth orchestral arrangements perfectly. (An instrumental version of the title track is in Matrix Reloaded.)
Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville -- Like Alanis Morissette with the girl rock thing, only less angsty and more catchy.
Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel 3/Melt -- All the songs are incredible, but the last track "Biko" is especially touching; it's about Steve Biko, the South African anti-apartheid activist that died in police custody. Gabriel is known for writing such charged songs.
Radiohead, OK Computer -- Redefined the genre. Great lyrics and melodies.

Jackie Robak: favorite movies

1. The Shawshank Redemption... This is my all time favorite movie! Not only because Morgan Freeman is my favorite actor, but because of the story line. And the relationships the characters have with each other and how they make jail its own subculture. I also think that taking a good person and having something bad happen to them, like Andy, and he still prevails at the end is a great story.

2. The Wizard of Oz... What girl didn't like this movie? I can't tell you exactly why this is one of my favorites, I think it was an inherited gene. Maybe because I'm from Nebraska, which isn't too far away from Kansas I felt as though I could relate to her. It has all of the archetypes to make a good story. And what girl could deny red shoes like that?

3. Wayne's World (number one)... There is really nothing "golden globe" about this movie, I just love it because of its dumb humor. Not only did they bring in new vocab like "sweeng" but all of the music played in the movie were classics.

4. The Last Unicorn... I know no one probably knows this movie but it was one of my favorites as a child. It's a cartoon about the last unicorn, and how she goes and tries to find where the rest of them went. Which were chased into the ocean by the red bull. I recently watched it and it's really kind of dark for a kid movie, probably why I liked it so much. Trust me, there is no other cartoon movie like it.

5. Silence of the Lambs.... like I said before the more disturbing the movie, the more I'll like it. There are lots of disturbing killer movies out there but the reason I like this one is probably because of the way he kills them, its very creative. And the skin suit, I mean that's really messed up. Also parts of the movie are based off of a real killer. You can't tell yourself it's just a movie, because it really happened.

Liz Vieira

My top movies are:

1. Funny Games- Austrian film that toys with the viewer by blurring the line between viewer and participant. Film conventions are destroyed as time rolls backward and events are erased and replayed.

2. American Beauty- It has perhaps become too popular of a film for film scholars to acknowledge, but the simple and powerful messages of this film along with the stunning photography make it my favorite. Beauty is simple, relationships are complex and life does not follow a linear path toward success.

3. Children of Men- This futuristic film has some difficult to follow moments and becomes a bit preachy, but the film ultimately creates a unique future world that is almost more believable than our own reality.

4. Edward Scissorhands- Tim Burton's true masterpiece that highlights the power of friendship while criticizing suburban life.

5. A Scanner Darkly- I love the painterly style of this film and Waking Life and both are adaptations of Philip K. Dick's work. The reason Scanner makes the list and Waking Life doesn't is because of the potency and relevance of political commentary. A Scanner Darkly creates a world in which we are perpetually "stoned" through government and creates a literal world based on figurative acts.

I know much less about music than I do movies; I listen almost entirely to lyrics because I know very little about music techniques.

1. U2- I love U2 because I feel like their music is empowering and can relate to everyone. "Beautiful Day" and "Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own" are examples of emotions everyone has felt that the band can speak to.

2. Better than Ezra- The eclectic mix of culture, pop and critique made me fall in love with BTE the first time I heard them. "King of New Orleans" and "American Dream" are pinnacle examples of how the band can change their style and comment on current happenings.

3. The Beatles- I listen to the Across the Universe soundtrack, but it's the lyrics that I love, so I'll credit the Beatles for my admiration. There is a song for every emotion and seems to be advice to deal with every situation, even if it's as simple as "Let it Be."

4. The Postal Service- Unique covers of songs I already like with soothing vocals and calm but challenging rhythm make this my favorite band to fall asleep to. It is comforting and relaxing but interesting enough to listen to all the time.

5. Alanis Morrisette- I listed music for all moods except anger. Cliched as it may be, I love to listen to Alanis because of her empowering lyrics and social conscience.

Chris Remy

New Page 1

Hello Everyone! 


1) The Goonies- Classic Movie that reminds me of my Childhood.



2) Better than Choclate- Lesbian Indy film that i would watch all the time.  Not because they are lesbians but because of the diversity. 



3) Storm of a Century- Not only is history involved in this movie it is also a great book!



4) Breakfast at Tiffany's-  What can I say.  I really like the glamour in this film!



5) Shawshank Redemption- Sometimes I just need to break out of everything and this movie helps me get there. 





1) Rent Soundtrack- The lyrics are really quite catchy and I really like this one. 



2) Mercyme- First heard the "I can only Imagine" at a funeral and ever since I have followed the band. 




3) Dean Martin - My father used to play this on a record growing up.  Reminds me of family and home. 



4) Frou Frou- This band's music is so peaceful that it clams me. 




5) Amici- The Opera Band- This is not like traditional opera. Also peaceful. 

Sydney Liles

My Favorite Movies:
1. Happy Gilmore: I am a golfer and just love watching this movie because the way he acts on the course is how I feel when I am playing.
2. Ladder 49: This movie gets me crying everytime.
3. His Girl Friday: This is the movie that made me interested in all the parts of media.
4. Big Lebowski/ Fargo: I just really like the Coen brothers films.
5. When Harry Meet Sally: The best of classic romantic comdies.
6. Twister/ Jurassic Park(the first one): had to add one more- I wanted to be a storm chaser when I was younger, and everytime this movies are on I can't stop watching them.

Favorite Music
1. The Moody Blues: My dad introduced them to me at a young age and it just stuck with me.
2. Lonestar Coming Home: It's their second to last cd as the orginal Lonestar, now that their lead singer left.
3. Rascal Flatts: I am a country girl, which annoys a lot of people when they are in my car.
4. Aerosmith Greatest Hits: I like their music because I can listen to it when I am in any mood and it always makes me feel better.
5. Gary Allan: I think he is really underappreciated in the country world, and after all he has been through he came back strong. Plus he is great in concert.

Marc Dunham

A Beautiful Mind - Amazing look into the struggles of mental illness as seen by one of the great minds of the 20th century.
This Is Spinal Tap - Being a performing rock musician, this is all too real, and painfully funny.
The Lord of the Rings - Possibly the greatest epic movie series of my generation; in both production scale and storyline.
The Untouchables - Brilliantly-casted story about the fall of Al Capone and the era of American prohibition. The plot, acting, direction, and soundtrack make up for the incredibly cheesy blue-screen effect at the end of the film.
Top Secret! - From the creators of Airplane! and The Naked Gun, this is my favorite comedy of all time.

Musical Artists:
Guns n' Roses - Driving blues rock by a group of extraordinarily talented musicians who took their fame to the extreme and all lived to tell about it.
Aerosmith - One of the best screams in rock history.
Alice In Chains - Chilling vocal harmonies and great production.
Led Zeppelin - Arguable founders of hard rock/heavy metal music.
Nine Inch Nails - Powerful lyrics accompanied by unconventional but well-produced and well-placed music and effects.

Amanda Kennedy

1. Dogma- I was raised Catholic though i have many issues with organized religion, and i thought that this movie brought an interesting perspective to having faith while being funny as well.
2. Lord of the rings- I'm a huge nerd and the second i saw these movies, i became obsessed.
3. Armageddon- This movie makes me cry every time.
4. The Notebook- Best romantic movie ever.
5. Mean Girls- I thought this was hilarious, and not too far from the truth (just really exaggerated).

1. Wicked soundtrack- I find it very inspirational
2. Eminem- He's very edgy yet can be funny/playful in his songs and then some of them just get you to think about the world, like the song "mosh" from the album Encore
3. Celtic Woman- It's very relaxing, and my family heritage is Irish, so it connects on another level.
4. Panic at the Disco- They are fun and they have my kind of humor (raunchy)
5. "Once more with feeling" soundtrack- I'm obsessed with the TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and this soundtrack is from the musical episode they did.

January 8, 2008

Welcome Everyone

Hello everyone. Welcome to the 3253w course blog. My hope is that this blog provides a forum for an energetic online community in which we can share ideas and learn from one another.

I thought that I would get things started by posting my own five favorite movies and albums. I'm sure many of you are thinking the same thing as I am -- "How do I narrow down a lifetime of music and film experiences to just five?" My favorite film or album of any given moment is often a contextual decision that depends on what mood I'm in, or what I'm doing (for example, activities such as eating dinner, or working out at the gym typically call for different kinds of music). Having said that, this isn't intended to be an exhaustive list, just something to give others an idea of what you like, and maybe expose people to something new. Who knows, maybe someone else will check out a film or album that's on your list and it will become one of their favorites too?

A few films and albums that would make my list are as follows (in no particular order):


John Coltrane - Giant Steps (I must have listened to "Mr. PC" a thousand times by now)
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here/The Wall (two amazing concept albums from start to finish)
Phish - New Year's Eve 1995 (Live) (Trey is probably my favorite guitar player of all time)
Jamiroquai - Synkronized (every song is good... I rarely think that of albums)
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin (still sounds as rockin' today as it did 20 years ago)



Pulp Fiction (loved the non-linear storyline and great dialogue)
Fight Club (has intriguing philosophical undertones)
Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back (no one had ever seen anything like it when they came out)
The Godfather/The Departed (tie for favorite gangster film)
Stranger Than Fiction/Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (tie for the "who'd of thought a comedian could do such a good job in a serious role" award)