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Purchase College Examines Secrets Of 'Citizen Kane'

PURCHASE, N.Y. – Nearly 300 people discovered what rosebud means and much more about Orson Welles at a Purchase College screening of his 1941 classic “Citizen Kane.”

“It was fun – the students asked good questions,” acclaimed director and Welles’ longtime friend Peter Bogdanovich said. He participated in a discussion after the movie Thursday evening. “They’re nice. Very bright students, I thought.”

The movie was first shown more than seven decades ago, when a ticket cost 25 cents . The Purchase screening was free and showed how the movie still resonates today, said one historian.

“Good art is good art. I guess tastes change, fashions change, some things are up sometimes and down other times, but this is a powerfully good movie and it still holds up,” said film scholar and professor James Naremore, who wrote a book entitled “The Magic of Orson Welles.”

The night came together through the work of Oscar-winning filmmaker and Purchase professor Chuck Workman. He thought his friends Naremore and Bogdanovich were both great for the first event of the year in the School of Film and Media’s “Great Films, Great Directors” series.

Bogdanovich was a natural to talk about Welles, Workman said, because of his relationship with the Hollywood icon until his death in 1985.

“We wanted to have an event that would take advantage of the beginning of what they’re calling Alumni and Friends of Film and Media,” said Workman. “So we thought wouldn’t it be a good idea to show a really interesting film and maybe have a guest or two.”

Workman could not have been happier with the screening and discussion.

“Everything worked fine,” he said. “I’m just delighted the way it came out – I think it’s great.”

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