Donald Deconstructs Citizen Kane

If there is any con­tem­po­rary fig­ure out there that resem­bles Charles Fos­ter Kane, it is that real estate mogul and unlike­ly GOP front run­ner, Don­ald Trump. Like Kane, Trump was edu­cat­ed in, and thrown out of, some of the most elite pri­vate schools out there. Both have huge, larg­er-than-life per­son­al­i­ties that read­i­ly turned them into media icons. Both had tumul­tuous rela­tion­ships with women that end­ed up tabloid fod­der. Both osten­ta­tious­ly flaunt­ed their wealth. And both have grandiose polit­i­cal ambi­tions.

Above you can watch The Don­ald expound on Orson Welles’s mas­ter­piece in a clip direct­ed by none oth­er than mas­ter doc­u­men­tary film­mak­er Errol Mor­ris. Trump is remark­ably thought­ful in this piece com­pared to the cam­paign trail where he often sounds like a WWE bark­er chan­nel­ing Mus­soli­ni. He comes to the movie from a van­tage point that most of us just don’t have; name­ly, he knows what it’s like being obscene­ly wealthy.

Cit­i­zen Kane is real­ly about accu­mu­la­tion. And at the end of the accu­mu­la­tion, you see what hap­pens. And it’s not nec­es­sar­i­ly all pos­i­tive. I think you learn in Kane that maybe wealth isn’t every­thing. He had the wealth; he just didn’t have the hap­pi­ness. The table get­ting larg­er and larg­er and larg­er with he and his wife get­ting fur­ther and fur­ther apart as he got wealth­i­er and wealth­i­er, per­haps I can under­stand that…. Wealth iso­lates you from oth­er peo­ple.

At the end of the piece, Mor­ris asks Trump to give Kane some advice. His response, deliv­ered with a smirk, is pure Trump – i.e. bom­bas­tic and misog­y­nist. “Get your­self a dif­fer­ent woman.”

The seg­ment comes from an abort­ed project by Mor­ris called Movie Movie, where he envi­sioned putting mod­ern fig­ures into the films they most admire. So imag­ine Trump actu­al­ly in a re-enact­ment of Kane. Or, as also almost hap­pened, imag­ine Mikhail Gor­bachev star­ring in a reen­act­ment of Dr. Strangelove. It’s a damned shame that Movie Movie nev­er got made.

Below you can see more of Trump along with Gor­bachev, Lou Reed, Wal­ter Cronkite and oth­ers talk­ing about their favorite movies in a video made for the 2002 Acad­e­my Awards.

via Kot­tke

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Lis­ten to Orson Welles’ Clas­sic Radio Per­for­mance of 10 Shake­speare Plays

Lis­ten to Eight Inter­views of Orson Welles by Film­mak­er Peter Bog­danovich (1969–1972)

Watch Orson Welles’ The Stranger Free Online, Where 1940s Film Noir Meets Real Hor­rors of WWII

Orson Welles Explains Why Igno­rance Was His Major “Gift” to Cit­i­zen Kane

Jonathan Crow is a Los Ange­les-based writer and film­mak­er whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hol­ly­wood Reporter, and oth­er pub­li­ca­tions. You can fol­low him at @jonccrow. And check out his blog Veep­to­pus, fea­tur­ing lots of pic­tures of vice pres­i­dents with octo­pus­es on their heads.  The Veep­to­pus store is here.

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