Fourth Estate returns to theaters in a year of major elections

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Fourth Estate returns to theaters in a year of major elections

“Do you know, Mr. Bernstein? If I hadn't been very rich, perhaps I could have become a great man.” It is one of the countless cult phrases pronounced by Charles Foster Kane that was chosen at the end of the trailer of the restored 4K version of Citizen Kane, which returns to Italian cinemas from March 24th. More than 80 years after its release, Orson Welles' masterpiece can be admired in a quality never seen before, even from a sound point of view. The choice to screen it in the original language, with Italian subtitles, will allow you to hear the true voice of the protagonist, played by the director himself. The restored version returns to the cinema with I Wonder Classics, the division of I Wonder Pictures dedicated to the rediscovery of arthouse classics.
It was 1941 when Welles, just twenty-five years old, gave birth to the film that would later enter the history of cinema, not only for the plot, always extremely current, but also for the narrative revolution, with the story from different points of view and the continuous flashbacks, which were a novelty for the time. For this reason, but also for the strong opposition the film received from the press, box office receipts recorded a resounding flop. Even at the Oscar ceremony, despite the nine nominations, the jury, conditioned by the criticism and still unprepared to accept the innovative style, awarded the film only one statuette, the one for best original screenplay. The plot is well known: Charles Foster Kane, tycoon and media tycoon, dies abandoned by everyone in his luxurious residence, Xanadu. But, before turning off, he says the word “Rosebud”. Who or what is “Rosebud”? And what is hidden in the folds of the life of an individual who, like him, was able to embody the American Dream until that dream became a nightmare? From here starts a journalistic investigation, which is not only a sociological analysis of the enormous power of the media and the dangers linked to economic concentration, but also a journey into the complex and contradictory personality of the protagonist, through five interviews with people close to him.
The figure of Kane, candidate for governor and at the center of sensational scandals which, having ended up on the front pages of newspapers, cut short his progress towards the presidency of the United States, provoked a media boycott by the controlled press William Randolph Hearst, who saw several similarities between his personal story and that of the protagonist. So Welles had to wait for years and the arrival of the masterpiece in Europe, only after the war, for its definitive consecration. As recalled by the overlays in the trailer, the film was defined by Jorge Luis Borges as “the work of a genius” and by Steven Spielberg as “a great experience”, becoming the best film according to the BBC and the American Film Institute American as always. A film – as underlined by I Wonder Pictures – of extraordinary relevance: its return to theaters falls in a year in which two billion citizens in 76 countries, including the United States, will be called to the polls, and in a historical moment in which reflection on the power of the media – social and traditional – is more urgent than ever, starting from the very recent Italian news cases.
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