Film History—Citizen Kane Still Counts

We are not usually interested in what film critics outside are up to. That’s their business. But Mick LaSalle‘s confession in the Sunday (Feb. 24) San Francisco Chronicle that he had never seen Blade Runner or 2001: A Space Odyssey was a bit staggering. How could you write about films for a living and not stumble across those two prime examples of the sci-fi genre? Maybe if he had seen 2001 before he saw Danny Boyle’s Sunshine he could have discussed the obvious connection between the two films in his review of the latter. Not that Sunshine is particularly good; it’s a mess. But it exists as a gloss on Kubrick and that’s worth mentioning. I am also still reeling from LaSalle’s declaration that he finally did see 2001 and found it unwatchable. The film influenced scores of  subsequent space epics, and it remains a visual thrill to this day. But we really wanted to discuss the fact that LaSalle claims to know a professional film critic who has never seen Citizen Kane. That’s more than an oversight, that’s dereliction of duty. If LaSalle isn’t joking, then he has an obligation to name this person so that he/she can be hauled before the High Court of Critics and stripped of his/her notepad and flashlight pen. Enough is enough. 

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