Twice voted the best American movie ever in polling by the American Film Institute, Orson Welles' Citizen Kane exudes greatness in almost every cinematic category.
Which makes it the perfect movie to kick off the Library's new film series, Movies That Matter.
Presented on Sundays through May, 2013 at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., this series offers films essential to cinema literacy from all over the world.
Each event features introductory and closing remarks by Robert W. Butler, for more than 40 years film critic of The Kansas City Star and now a member of the Library's public affairs staff.
Citizen Kane (1941) screens Sunday, September 2, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. in the Truman Forum at the Plaza Branch.
Technically Kane is a masterpiece of inventive filmmaking, employing dramatic lighting and sound effects, seemingly impossible camera angles and movements, deep focus, and more special effects than any Hollywood picture up to that time.
Narratively it is a puzzle, depicting the life of a famous and powerful man through the often-contradictory memories of those who loved or despised him.
It offers Orson Welles - only 24 when he co-wrote, starred in, and directed the movie - in the performance of a lifetime, playing a character from the age of 25 to nearly 80.
And the story of the film's creation - and its near destruction by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, whose career and private life inspired the character of Charles Foster Kane - is one of the great behind-the-scenes tales in all of Hollywood history.
Admission is free. RSVP online or call 816.701.3407.
Other titles in the series:
September 16: The General (1926)
September 30: The Seventh Seal (1957)
October 14: Rashomon (1950)
October 28: Nosferatu (1922)
November 4: Raging Bull (1980)
November 18: The Bicycle Thieves (1948)
December 2: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
December 9: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1939)
January 6: The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
January 13: My Darling Clementine (1946)
January 27: Bringing Up Baby (1938)
February 10: All About Eve (1950)
February 25: Dr. Strangelove (1964)
March 10: The Circus (1928)
March 24: Rear Window (1954)
April 7: Wings of Desire (1987)
April 21: Singin' in the Rain (1952)
May 5: Sunset Boulevard (1950)
May 19: Metropolis (1927)