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Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane is an all-time classic movie, largely considered one of the greatest movies ever created. Nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning one, it tops list after list. Citizen Kane is written, directed and starred by Orson Welles. Due to his work in radio, stage and movies, he’s regarded as one of the greatest directors of all time.

Big words for a movie released in 1941. While M was a hidden gem from nearly a decade earlier, we see a massively more technical, ambitious and better cast movie that lives up to the accolades heaped on it. While the middle tends to drag a bit in my opinion, I enjoyed the method of character exposition through the use of flashbacks. The principal characters largely just play a role of different narrators, peeking into different parts of Charles Kane’s life.

Citizen Kane & “Rosebud”

The movie opens with a rather enigmatic scene where our main/titular character dies, the word “rosebud” on his lips. This mystery is the driving force that spurs the reporters to begin a winding, revealing journey of key points in the Kane’s life.

This is the most spoiled secret in history. Yes, we all know it’s his sled. Yes, the whole movie you are left wondering what his quote meant. Even if you do spoil this secret for yourself, you’ll still be wondering what the meaning behind it is. This is great storytelling.

A picture of an incinerator burning a sled (among other things), upon the sled is a single word, "Rosebud".
There she is, Rosebud.

Kane’s Life

Charles Kane has an interesting life. He seems concerned about the life and well-being of those less privileged than him. However, his actions seem more about getting people to love him through power structures and other machinations. While his aims may be altruistic, they’re ultimately narcissistic. His poor beginnings seem to help frame that up, and gives you a short, telling, insight into his behaviors and actions.

I found the whole story well done, the characters well acted and the set pieces well formulated and constructed. Overall, the whole ending is conclusive enough, but clever enough to make you think about what is going on and their deeper meanings.

Categories
Games

Wingspan

Playing the included quick start guide as we learn how the mechanics work.

Often, “crunchy” games are complicated because they are sort of like D&D. Lots of rules and functions and numbers to check and compare. Sometimes there are cards that help, or illustrate; Sometimes there are miniatures and place mats to organize and strategize over.

Wingspan is “crunchy”, but much more elegant. This game is all about building machines. With birds. Um… yeah.

So, each of the gorgeously hand-illustrated cards is like a cog in a well oiled machine (or, sometimes not so well oiled). In the beginning you may not even have birds to put in each of the sanctuary types, but as the game goes on, you hit a tipping point and suddenly birds are powering this egg-laying, card drawing, food producing machine that can cause larger games to run out of resources available.

Not only is it a fun, intricate game, it’s also a beautiful and informative game. Each card has the bird’s common name, scientific name, wingspan (ha!), region that it inhabits, average number of eggs it lays, nest type, and a quick factoid. All of this is included on the card that has a hand-painted picture of the bird, region it’s allowed to be played in, food it requires to play and (as in most cases) a power that it provides. This is all in addition to the cutesy little bird feeder that doubles as a dice tower, for rolling random food dice.

The game is also sort of competitive. You’re vying for most points, so you’re looking at birds, finding good fits, and fitting this all in with end of round goals, secret bonus goals and more. While points is the main method of competition, you can also push other players out (or just hinder them, really) by consuming resources they need or picking/tucking better birds to deprive them of high-scoring options.

If that wasn’t enough, the company also provides what appears to be a more competitive option for scoring, and a solitaire mode — you know, in case you’re quarantined alone.

Everything about this game oozes quality, attention to detail and downright adorableness.

If you haven’t played a good, deep board game in a while. Pick this one up.