The US election has provided the world with one of the most unprecedented events as neither Joe Biden or Donald Trump have yet to be declared the winner.
Key states such as Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina and Georgia are still counting votes and are still too early to call. At the time of writing Biden has remained confident that he will get to the 270 electoral college votes required for a candidate to become president. However, president Trump has called for all the vote counting to stop and has declared that he has won the election. He has also begun the process of a legal battle, accusing the Democrats, with no evidence, of cheating.
It remains to be seen how long Trump's dispute with the election results could go on for and how serious he will be about these so far baseless claims against the Democrats but for cinephiles, it is reminding them of a scene in a movie from way back in 1941.
Orson Welles' masterpiece, Citizen Kane, is largely regarded as one of, if not, the greatest film ever made. Seen as a pioneering example of the narrative structure that would been seen in cinema for decades to come as well as revolutionising cinematography and editing, its a landmark picture on the pantheon of film. It has also proven to be strangely prophetic given the recent news from America.
The film follows the life of fictional a wealthy newspaper publisher and industry magnate named Charles Foster Kane. At the height of his influence, Kane attempts to become the governor of New York. He looks set to win the election until news of an affair is released and sees his campaign collapse and ultimately lose.
Yet as the owner of a powerful and widely read newspaper Kane is able to decide what the headline about his success or failure at the polls might be. In a scene around halfway through the movie, his newspaper show two different headlines. One reads 'Kane Elected' but given his loss, they cannot use that. The second read 'Fraud At the Polls' which they choose to use, to suggest a narrative that Kane had been cheated despite that not being the case.
It's one of the many iconic scenes from the classic movie given Trump's reaction to the results so far, more than one person was quick to draw a comparison between him and Welles' movie.
In the movie “Citizen Kane,” a tycoon runs for political office. In advance of the election result, his newspaper p… https://t.co/LugDMwu7SK
It's remarkable that a movie made 79 years ago can still be so pertinent.
If you've not seen Citizen Kane, and you should, then it is currently available on BBC iPlayer. In addition, the forthcoming Netflix movie, Mank, tells the story of screenwriter, Herman J, Mankiewicz who is credited as a co-screenwriter on Citizen Kane along with Orson Welles.