Saturday, 1 May 2021


Spurred on by the success and controversy of the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast from two years prior, Mercury studios and RKO Radio Pictures granted screen-writer—collaborating with Herman J. Mankiewic, producer, director—an unusual degree of autonomy and creative-control for his first feature, with Orson Welles’ (see previously here, here and here) influential and critically acclaimed drama Citizen Kane premiered on this day in 1941 at the Palace Theatre on Broadway. Cinematography, light and flashback heavily informed the genre Film Noir, as well as the biographical structure and pace of the film appearing again and again as storytelling and filmmaking models with echoes of the meta-medium of the press as a Faustian character, an untameable and compelling force of nature established going forward.