Tag Archives: Tribute

Annette Bening to Be Honored at AFI FEST 2016

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced that AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi will honor actress Annette Bening with a Tribute and Centerpiece Gala screening at the festival.

The Tribute will celebrate her extraordinary career and will include a conversation with the actress followed by A24 and Annapurna Pictures’ 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (DIR Mike Mills) on Wednesday, November 16.

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Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI Fest President (Photo credit: Indiewire)

“Annette Bening is a modern-day icon of American cinema,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI FEST Director. “She brings her characters to life with an emotional intelligence that is luminous and powerful. In 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, she finds one of her richest roles yet, delivering a strong performance that anchors the film’s terrific ensemble cast.”

Bening is a four-time Academy Award® nominee for her indelible performances in THE GRIFTERS (1990), AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999), BEING JULIA (2004) and THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (2010). Her other credits include VALMONT (1989), BUGSY (1991), THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT (1995), GINGER & ROSA (2012) and AFI FEST 2016 Opening Night film RULES DON’T APPLY (2016). She has won BAFTA, Golden Globe and SAG Awards, and garnered Emmy® and Tony® nominations for her television and stage work, respectively.

Mike Mills’ 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, set in Santa Barbara 1979, follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. When Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing — free-spirited punk artist Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and savvy, provocative teen neighbor Julie (Elle Fanning) — a makeshift family forms that will mystify and inspire them for the rest of their lives.

The Opening Night Gala will be the World Premiere of RULES DON’T APPLY (DIR Warren Beatty) on Thursday, November 10. Isabelle Huppert will be honored with a Tribute on Sunday, November 13, followed by a Centerpiece Gala screening of ELLE (DIR Paul Verhoeven).

In celebration of the 30th edition of the festival, a trio of diverse female trailblazers are featured in both the festival’s 2016 key art and programming lineup. AFI FEST will spotlight Dorothy Dandridge, the first African American nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award®; Ida Lupino, a pioneering director, writer, producer and actress who became the first woman to direct a film noir; and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American actress to rise to international prominence.

(Source.www.blog.afi.com)

Diane Keaton to Receive 45th AFI Life Achievement Award

Legendary actress Diane Keaton will be the recipient of the 45th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film. The award will be presented to Keaton at a Gala Tribute on June 8, 2017, in Los Angeles, CA.

 

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Sir Howard Stringer (Photo credit:pcmag.com)

“Diane Keaton is one of the most beloved leading ladies of American film,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chair, AFI Board of Trustees. “Peerless in her mastery of both comedy and drama, she has won the world’s heart time and again by creating characters of both great strength and vulnerability. Her career as a director and producer is even further evidence of her passion for the art form and her seemingly boundless talents. AFI is proud to present her with its 45th Life Achievement Award.”

Diane Keaton — multifaceted actor, director, producer, author, real estate developer and photographer — can boast more than 60 diverse credits across five decades. Her iconic roles span the cinematic spectrum, from long-suffering mob wife Kay Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s THE GODFATHER (1972) to the “la-di-da” heroine of Woody Allen’s ANNIE HALL (1977) — a role which earned her an Academy Award® for Best Actress and turned her into a national fashion icon. Perhaps best known for her long comedic collaboration with Allen — including PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM (1972), SLEEPER (1973), LOVE AND DEATH (1975), MANHATTAN (1979) and more — she has proved herself equally adept at dramatic roles, with powerhouse performances in films such as LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR (1977), REDS (1981), THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL (1984) and MARVIN’S ROOM (1996). During the 1980s, Keaton turned to directing — from feature narratives and documentaries to music videos and television. A perennial box office favorite, she’s maintained her popular profile with films including BABY BOOM (1987), FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1991) and FATHER OF THE BRIDE II (1995), THE FIRST WIVES CLUB (1996), SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE (2003), MORNING GLORY (2010), THE BIG WEDDING (2013), AND SO IT GOES (2014) and Pixar’s FINDING DORY (2016). She will continue to grace the screen with her unique presence in the upcoming HBO miniseries THE YOUNG POPE.

The AFI Life Achievement Award Tribute special will return for its fifth year with Turner Broadcasting to air on TNT, followed by encore presentations on sister network Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

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(Source: www.blog.afi.com)

Isabelle Huppert to be Honored at AFI FEST 2016

AFI FEST 2016 presented by Audi will honor acclaimed actress Isabelle Huppert with a Tribute and a Gala screening at the festival. The Tribute will celebrate her storied career and will include a conversation with the actress, followed by a Gala screening of Sony Pictures Classics’ ELLE (directed by Paul Verhoeven) on Sunday, November 13.

In ELLE, Isabelle Huppert plays Michèle, who seems indestructible, bringing the same ruthless attitude to her love life as she does to her business as head of a leading video game company. But her life changes forever after an unknown assailant attacks her in her home. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game — a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.

Among international film’s most seasoned actresses, Isabelle Huppert has countless awards to her credit — with 15 César Award nominations, the most for any actress, and a win for LA CÉRÉMONIE (1995). Her other films include VIOLETTE (1978), STORY OF WOMEN (1988), MADAME BOVARY (1991), THE PIANO TEACHER (2001), I HEART HUCKABEES (2004), WHITE MATERIAL (2009), AMOUR (2012) and THINGS TO COME (2016). She has twice won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival, and is an Officer of both the National Order of Merit and the Legion of Honour.

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(Source: www.bolg.afi.com)

FILM REVIEW: La La Land (Chazelle, 2016): USA

Viewed by Larry Gleeson at Venice Film Festival.

Film Director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land comes on the heels of his Oscar nominated screenplay adaptation for 2015’s Whiplash, where a highly intense music teacher molds a young, dedicated student. J.K. Simmons performance as the teacher garnered him an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

Chazelle, an avid music lover, had wanted to do a musical spectacle in the manner of Jacques Demy’s The Young Girls of Rochefort and The Umbrellas of Chambourg  while mixing in a splash of Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen’s Singing in the Rain. Moreover, Chazelle wanted a realism mixed into the story. Having resided in Los Angeles for the last ten years and having had a love affair with the city, Chazelle chose the City of Angels to set his Hollywood success-seeker film.

The film opens without much fanfare in a typical Los Angeles morning traffic jam. A young woman, Mia, played by Emma Stone, in a white Prius, is having an issue with her phone and misses an opportunity to move forward as the traffic jam has freed up somewhat. The young man behind her in a late 1980’s maroon-colored, Buick Riviera convertible, Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling, lets her know with a blare of his horn and a not-so-friendly “good morning to you” gesture. Soon traffic slows again. This time, however, as radio are being dialed in, drivers begin exiting their vehicles and break into to an energetic, six-minute song and dance number, “Another Day of Sun,” staged on the 110 freeway overlooking downtown Los Angeles. As the song concludes, the title is flashed across the screen and the film is off and running with a start reminiscent of Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas.

La La Land is more about relationship and the life-changing experience two young lovers gain from each other. Mia is an aspiring actress mired in her real job as a barista juxtaposed against a series of failed acting auditions where she is continually interrupted. Sebastian, on the other hand, is a coarse, die-hard classical jazz pianist who doesn’t believe in compromising his convictions for anything or anyone. As their paths begin to cross Sebastian brushes off Mia as someone who will never understand his plight – until she does. When their paths finally converge, the harsh realities of life begin to set in and the two unknowingly turn to each other in raw emotional exchanges and thereby find the strength each needs to reach the stars.

In a powerful denouement in the city full of optimism and broken dreams, the story concludes with a Mick Jagger and Rolling Stones truism echoed faintly at first only to be finished with an exclamation point:

“You can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometime you find

You get what you need!”

And if the story isn’t enough in itself, the catchy musical numbers credited to Chazelle’s long-time friend and co-collaborator, Justin Hurwitz, will keep almost any music aficionado’s attention. If not, then the roving camera movement of cinematographer Linus Sandgren is bound to keep eyes in the scene. And, if that’s not enough, then the supercharged production numbers from choreographer Mandy Moore will keep you riveted as they sync in timing with Sandgren’s camera movement allowing the actors seemingly the ability to levitate. And in vein with Chazelle’s vision and outright homage to the musicals of the 50’s and 60’s, Production Designer David Wasco keeps the screen illuminated with a bright vision of reds, yellows, pinks, pastel greens and sky blues, aided wonderfully by Mary Zophres’ costuming, while the filming locations could very well serve as a Los Angeles pop culture tour.

If there’s only one film you can see this year – make it La La Land! Highest recommendation.

Dorothy Dandridge, Ida Lupino and Anna May Wong Honored at AFI FEST 2016

In celebration of the 30th edition of AFI FEST presented by Audi, a trio of diverse female trailblazers will adorn the festival’s 2016 key art and be featured in its programming lineup. AFI FEST will spotlight Dorothy Dandridge, the first African American nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award®; Ida Lupino, a pioneering director, writer, producer and actress who became the first woman to direct a film noir; and Anna May Wong, the first Chinese-American actress to rise to international prominence.

AFI FEST will screen three films featuring each artist in its expanded Cinema’s Legacy section that celebrates motion picture heritage and presents recent restorations of film classics and films about the history of cinema: Otto Preminger’s CARMEN JONES (1954) starring Dandridge; the Lupino-directed THE HITCH-HIKER (1953); and E.A. Dupont’s PICCADILLY (1929) starring Wong.

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Dorothy Dandridge (1922-1965) rose to prominence alongside her sister Vivian and jazz singer Etta Jones as part of the song-and-dance trio the Dandridge Sisters, before becoming a solo artist who starred in Hollywood musicals. With CARMEN JONES (1954), she became the first black woman to receive an Academy Award® nomination for Best Actress.

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London-born Ida Lupino (1918-1995) was a pioneering actress, director and producer. Her acting credits include THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT (1940) and HIGH SIERRA (1941) opposite Humphrey Bogart. She made her writing/directing debut with NEVER FEAR (1949) before THE HITCH-HIKER (1953) made her the first woman to direct a film noir.

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Anna May Wong (1905-1961) was the first Chinese-American movie star, having achieved stardom in the Technicolor THE TOLL OF THE SEA (1922). Among her collaborators were Douglas Fairbanks, Josef von Sternberg and Raoul Walsh, with credits including THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1924), PICCADILLY (1929) and SHANGHAI EXPRESS (1932).

(Source: www.blog.afi.com)

Warren Beatty to Receive SBIFF’s Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film

Academy Award® winner Warren Beatty will be honored with the eleventh annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film. Known for his iconic roles in BONNIE AND CLYDE, REDS, and DICK TRACY, Beatty will next be seen as Howard Hughes in 20th Century Fox’s RULES DON’T APPLY, which he also wrote and directed. The award will be presented at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara on December 1, 2016 with all funds raised supporting SBIFF’s free year round educational programs.

Since 2006, the annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film, which this year coincides with Douglas’s 100th birthday, has been awarded to a lifelong contributor to cinema through their work in front of the camera, behind, or both. Past honorees include Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Forest Whitaker, Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris, and John Travolta.

“Warren Beatty upholds the highest artistic standards of the film industry,” says Kirk Douglas, original award recipient. “His choice of material has entertained us as well as made us think more deeply about the world we live in. I’m delighted he is accepting this recognition of his extraordinary talent.”

The event starts off with an outdoor cocktail reception where attendees mingle with each other and watch the honoree and other special guests walk the red carpet. Following the reception, attendees are seated for an extravagant dinner and tribute in an intimate setting. Following the three-course meal, special guests will take the stage to recognize the honoree’s complete body of work with various montages and clips. The evening culminates with the honoree being presented with the award and addressing the attendees. These events are truly a once in a lifetime experience and will be remembered by its attendees for many years to come.

Tickets are available here.

The 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival s scheduled to run February 1-11, 2017.

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(Source: www.sbiff.org)

 

29th Tokyo International Film Festival Announces Lineup for Director in Focus: Shunji IWAI in Japan Now Section

 

The 29th Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF) is pleased to announce the full lineup of films to be featured in the Japan Now Director in Focus: Shunji Iwai section.

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After his recent explorations into filmmaking in Hollywood and feature-length animation, Iwai returned this year with the much-talked-about A Bride for Rip Van Winkle. As he continues to move forward into the third decade of his career, this is a perfect time to look back at Iwai’s prolific body of work, and much-deserved international reputation.

 

Shunji Iwai
Shunji Iwai’s directing career began in 1988 with commercials, music videos and TV dramas, soon earning him acclaim for his cinematic style and vision, which came to be known as the “Iwai Aesthetic.” In 1995, he scored a huge hit across Asia with Love Letter and in 1996, PiCNiC won him a second consecutive award in the Forum section of the Berlin Film Festival, bringing him to even greater international attention. Swallowtail Butterfly (96) blazed a new trail in movie and music collaboration, and All About Lily Chou-Chou (01) won awards at Berlin and Shanghai. Other major works include Hana and Alice (04), a segment in the omnibus film New York, I Love You (09) and his first English-language film, Vampire (12), which played in competition at Sundance and in the Berlin Panorama section. Iwai’s first feature-length animated film, The Case of Hana & Alice, was invited to the 2015 Annecy Animation Festival. His latest film, A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (16), was released in Hong Kong and Taiwan prior to domestic release in Japan.
Kohei Ando, TIFF Japan Now Programming Advisor, comments:
“Shunji Iwai is a rare director who renders fable-like tales of contemporary Japanese youth and paints memory, time, space and society with his distinctive visual style. Fireworks, Should We See it from the Side or the Bottom? was a monumental early work that brought him critical praise and a Directors Guild of Japan New Directors Award. His first feature-length film, Love Letter, a masterpiece that begins when a letter is delivered to the wrong person, it won many festival awards and continues to have a strong following among Asian and international fans. Swallowtail Butterfly is a groundbreaking work, the first to depict an era when the Japanese yen is the strongest currency in the world. Iwai’s English-language debut, Vampire, is a love story set against the world’s end. And as his latest film, A Bride for Rip Van Winkle, is a sumptuous hide-and-seek story that evokes Shuji Terayama’s poetic style. This year’s director focus takes us into the mesmerizing, unforgettable world of Shunji Iwai.”

Japan Now Section: 

Created to showcase outstanding Japanese films from recent and upcoming months, Japan Now displays the diversity of Japanese film, and unique facets of Japanese culture, as well as providing a multifaceted look inside Japan today. The section highlights the work of a Director in Focus, as well as outstanding work by other directors, with subtitled screenings of films to boost their recognition overseas.

(Source: http://2016.tiff-jp.net)

Toronto: Natalie Portman Biopic ‘Jackie’ Nabbed by Fox Searchlight

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Tatiana Siegel

Fox Searchlight has acquired U.S. rights to Jackie, which sees Natalie Portman star as former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

In an otherwise sleepy Toronto market, the deal marks the first significant sale of a finished film. Searchlight will release the historical drama on Dec. 9, giving it a prime awards-season birth.

Jackie, directed by Pablo Larraín, takes place in the days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, focusing on Theodore H. White’s Life magazine interview with the widow at Hyannis Port.

Noah Oppenheim wrote the original script, which won best screenplay at this year’s Venice  Film Festival.

“Pablo Larraín’s Jackie is a daring, one-of-a-kind cinematic portrayal of a beloved icon,” said Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley. “Led by an indelible performance from Natalie Portman and supported by a richly talented ensemble of actors and artists, the film is one we are thrilled to bring to audiences later this year.”.

Larraín will now have two potential awards-season contenders this year, as The Orchard will be pushing his Neruda, which is also playing at the Toronto Film Festival, in the foreign-language category.

Added Larraín: “[Searchlight’s] movies have been an important influence on me as a filmmaker, and it is a personal achievement for me to have them bring this very special story of a beautiful, sophisticated and mysterious woman to the world. Jackie was the most unknown of the known women of the 20th century.”

Darren Aronofsky produced Jackie along with Juan de Dios Larraín, Mickey Liddell, Scott Franklin and Ari Handel. Pete Shilaimon, Jennifer Monroe, Jayne Hong, Wei Han, Lin Qi, Josh Stern executive produced.

The film made its North American premiere in the Platform section of the festival.

Searchlight had first and last rights to negotiate on the film, which was repped by CAA.

 

See what Natalie, Noah Oppenhiem and Pablo Larrain have to say about Jackie:

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http://players.brightcove.net/769341148/E1zVmpNYx_default/index.html?videoId=5120087968001

*Featured photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Stehphanie Branchu

(Source: www.hollywoodreporter.com)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Unveils Scuola Grande di San Rocco Reverso Enamel Watch at Venice Film Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Roberts Naas

This weekend marked the close of the 73rd edition of   the Venice International Film Festival. Swiss watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre has been a partner of the cinema event for a dozen years and is firmly entrenched in honoring film and the ancient city of Venice. In fact, for the past three yeas, the brand has been an active supporter of Venice restoration, assisting with restoring the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, which houses numerous paintings by 16th-century artist, Tintoretto. This year, to honor the restoration effort, as well as to celebrate the brand’s 85th anniversary of the famed Reverso, Jaeger-LeCoultre presented multiple new Reverso timepieces – including a unique hand-painted watch that depicts the restoration inside the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.

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The one-of-a-kind Reverso Grande Taille watch features a miniature enamel rendition of the main marble staircase inside the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. The hand painting of the Reverse side of the case – done completely iin-housein the brand’s rare handcrafts division – took three weeks to complete. The dial required multiple layers of paintings, 32 drying processes and 15 firings of the kiln at 800°C. The watch is so beautiful and unique that it will not be sold at this point in time. Instead, it will be housed in the brand’s heritage museum in Switzerland.

To further support the restoration cause, Jaeger-LeCoultre has also implemented several initiatives. Until September 15, for every visitor to the brand’s facebook page who likes the post about the hand-painted watch, a donation will be made by the brand to the restoration program.

 

There was also a signing in Venice during the film festival, wherein anyone who signed the guest book with a heart drawing included, the brand would also donate to the cause. To kick off that initiative, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s brand ambassador Carmen Chaplin (of Charlie Chaplin descent) drew a heart that was engraved on the back of a Reverso watch.

Also during the festival, Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled a host of new Reverso watches, including a high-jeweled piece, as well as several incredible haute Joaillerie watches that underscore the brand’s prowess not only in watchmaking but also in the arts of gem setting, enameling, engraving and more.

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(Source: www.forbes.com)

15 Facts About Orson Welles’ CITIZEN KANE: America’s Greatest Film Turns 75

Three quarters of a century after its release in 1941, Orson Welles’ towering achievement CITIZEN KANE is still a triumph of style, an endlessly fascinating mystery, a masterpiece to be marveled at for all time. It continually places atop lists of the greatest films of all time, including AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies lists, both in 1998 and in 2007.Welles said, in an undated statement now included in the AFI Catalog entry on CITIZEN KANE, “I wished to make a motion picture which was not a narrative of action so much as an examination of character…There have been many motion pictures and novels rigorously obeying the formula of the ‘success story,’” he continued. “I wished to do something quite different. I wished to make a picture which might be called a ‘failure story.’”While that can certainly be said of the title character — whose rise and fall pivot around that infamous last dying word “rosebud” — the story of CITIZEN KANE is anything but.

In celebration of CITIZEN KANE’s 75th birthday (it was released in theaters on September 5, 1941), here are 15 facts about the groundbreaking film that can perhaps only begin to explain its historic, enduring impact.

1. The initial working draft screenplay of CITIZEN KANE, dated April 16, 1940, was titled “American.”

2. Orson Welles was just 25 years old when he directed, co-wrote, starred in and produced the film, his very first feature.

3. CITIZEN KANE was the feature film debut of Ray Collins, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead and Everett Sloane — all of whom had worked with Welles on his theater productions or radio broadcasts as members of his Mercury Theatre. It was also the screen debut of Welles himself.

4. Co-screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz dictated a majority of the CITIZEN KANE script while bedridden and being cared for by his nurse after shattering his leg in a car crash.

5.  Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst is the primary inspiration for CITIZEN KANE’s protagonist, Charles Foster Kane. Mankiewicz created Kane’s dialogue using — almost verbatim —lines from Hearst’s own writings and speeches.

6. Hearst was so angered by the film — and in order to keep it from being released — he accused Orson Welles of being a Communist, an accusation that, at the time, had the potential to destroy Hollywood reputations and garner government investigations.

7. The design of Kane’s estate, Xanadu, was inspired by Hearst Castle, Hearst’s extravagant mansion in San Simeon, California. In 2015 – 74 years after its release – CITIZEN KANE screened at Heart Castle for the very first time. Tickets for this benefit screening, which consisted of 60 attendees, cost $1,000 each.

8. CITIZEN KANE was nominated for nine Academy Awards®, but won only one: Best Screenplay. Co-writers Welles and Mankiewicz shared the award.

9. Welles viewed John Ford’s film STAGECOACH about 40 times over the course of one month while making the film, modeling shots from the director’s techniques. Nominated for CITIZEN KANE, Welles would end up losing out on the Best Picture Oscar® to Ford’s HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY held in 1942.

10. While filming a scene in which his character violently trashes a room, Welles was so immersed in his character that he cut both of his hands, causing them to bleed. Commenting on his dramatic commitment afterward, he said, “I really felt it.”

11. Welles, along with cinematographer Gregg Toland, popularized and perfected the technique of “deep focus,” keeping every object in the foreground, center and background in simultaneous focus. One example of this is during the scene inside Mrs. Kane’s house, where young Kane can clearly be scene throwing snowballs at the house in the distance while the audience is privy to the mother’s conversation inside.

12. On the ninth take of the sled-burning scene, the furnace had grown so hot, the flue caught fire, which caused the Culver City Fire Department to respond to the location. Welles was noted to be delighted with the commotion.

13. While filming a dramatic sequence in which Kane chases his rival down a flight of stairs, Welles tripped and fell about 10 feet, suffering a chipped ankle. The injury forced him to direct from a wheelchair for two weeks.

14. The opening scene, in which a dying Kane whispers the pivotal line of “Rosebud,” was shot in one take. It was the final scene shot during production. “Rosebud” ranks at #17 on AFI’s 100 top film quotes of all time.

15. In 1975, 34 years after the release of CITIZEN KANE, Welles was honored with the 3rd AFI Life Achievement Award. He was the first actor/director to receive the award. Watch his full acceptance speech below.

(Source:www.blog.afi.com/