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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Brazos County officials are distributing free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for K-12 students on July 12 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Bryan High Silver Campus Cafeteria.
Brazos County to distribute free school supplies
‘Back to School Bash’ invites K-12 families on July 12
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 11, 2024
Graduate G Tyrece Radford (23) drives to the basket during Texas A&Ms game against Nebraska in the first round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee, on Friday, March 22, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
How Tyrece Radford can catch the attention of NBA scouts
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • July 10, 2024

After 5 years of college basketball at Virginia Tech and Texas A&M, Tyrece Radford is furthering his athletic career with the San Antonio...

Craig Reagans 1973 brown Mach 1 Mustang features custom stickers of Craig and his wife, and is completely rebuilt from the ground up. The interior was completely torn out and replaced with new dashboard and radio.
Compassion in the car community
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • July 9, 2024

This past Sunday, Cars and Coffee welcomed exactly one car: a sleek, brown Mustang that stood alone like a lone ranger in the Wild West. This...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

“Mank,” the charming movie about a movie

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Photo by via imdb.com

The critically acclaimed “Mank” was released for limited viewing in select theaters on November 13, 2020 and on Netflix beginning December 4. 

Old Hollywood dominated the late 1930s and early 1940s while the world was engaged in World War II. Although, Hollywood was lunged into a war of its own through propaganda films and the constant battle between studios. Several influential filmmakers, such as director Orson Welles and screenwriter Herman “Mank” Mankiewicz, made their mark through their work, which is especially poignant in their collaborative Academy Award-winning classic “Citizen Kane.”
Last year’s Netflix original film “Mank,” is a movie of a movie in a sense as it reevaluates the screenwriter’s creative genius behind “Citizen Kane.” “Mank” is directed by David Fincher, who worked on the project with his late father for years before its release on Nov. 13, 2020. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards, this Netflix original follows the story of Mankiewicz struggling to finish the best screenplay of his career.
Without a doubt, “Mank” never fails to grasp the classic era of the 1940s. Overlaid in black and white, directors and writers fill the screen and don’t hesitate from immersing the audience into the fantasy. We get a taste of each Hollywood profession through the focused characters, such as Amanda Seyfried as actress Marion Davies, Arliss Howard as American film producer Louis B. Mayer, and Gary Oldman as Mank.
Filled with a series of flashbacks, the film grasps the viewer’s attention by telling a non-linear story of Mank and his screenwriting process. Loosely based on true events, this story takes an interesting approach to the time period and the early developments of big blockbuster films. For those who are not familiar with the inner workings and intertwined drama, this story gives fantastic historical context.
The costume design is phenomenal throughout “Mank.” Feathers and fur drape themselves over Seyfried in a way that Halloween costumes wish they could. Slick suits flatter the men who introduce themselves as working and entangled in the studio systems. Even actresses Lily Collins and Tuppence Middleton, who are not portraying Hollywood icons, are covered in the appropriate wardrobe for women at the time, which supports the story significantly.
Witty personalities and slight humor make their way into the film from time to time to make the sticky situations fresh. There wasn’t one actor or actress that broke the illusion of Old Hollywood. If anything, they did a brilliant job of capturing their character’s personalities in their respective professions. Oldman, maintaining the camera’s focus for most of the film, did an exceptional job capturing Mank’s characteristics, especially his carelessness.
As a drama, dialogue takes center stage and maintains the interest in what’s happening throughout the movie. Though since it is such a wordy film, essential details can be missed, and if they are, there can be a loss of appreciation. However, one factor that broadens appreciation for the film is the piece of work that Mank centers himself upon: “Citizen Kane.” Details from “Citizen Kane” find themselves hiding throughout “Mank,” and there are many “ah-ha” moments that arise after watching both. As a duo, these films are fun adaptations of entertainment, but I think some appreciation for “Mank” can be lost if one hasn’t seen the masterpiece the entire film alludes to.

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