I am the "someone" who posted about Kane being a shallow masterpiece in the Vertigo thread. Here is what I wrote:
Citizen Kane is the anti-Vertigo, in that it is anti-psychology. It is a “shallow masterpiece”, as Pauline Kael once noted (although she missed the point of her own observation); despite the big reveal at the end we really know as little about Kane at the picture’s finish as we do at the beginning. Citizen Kane is a film about surfaces because life is about surfaces; human psychology is ultimately an impenetrable mystery, and motivation can only be guessed at without certainty. Citizen Kane initially appears to be the more superficial of the two films, but is ultimately the more profound, in that it respects the inscrutability of a man’s soul, instead of reducing it to one director’s kinky obsessions.
Kane is shallow the way a mirror is shallow, yet place a subject between two of them, and it will be reflected into infinity, as Kane is reflected into infinity as he stiffly walks from Susan's vandalized sleeping chamber. Sometimes the reflection is clear; sometimes it is distorted, as the reflection of a dying Kane is distorted in the shards of the shattered ornament in the film's dreamlike opening. Kane shows us the clear and distorted details of a man's life; yet Kane remains a mystery at film's end, as all men and women remain a mystery to other men and women. Can you say you really know your wife, your husband, your children, your parents, your friends, your self? As the enigmatic Tanya wearily stated at the end of Tough of Evil, "what does it matter what you say about people?"
A man's soul is infinite; it contains multitudes; and even the most simple soul contains nooks and shadowy recesses that can suddenly and without notice be thrown open to the light of day. A film like Vertigo is considered profound because it can be explained by its director's psychological peculiarities; Kane can not be explained, so Citizen Kane is considered shallow. Yet Kane, with its dazzling array of surfaces, its maze of contradictions, its vitality and exaggeration, its magic and misdirection, is ultimately the richer film, and more true. As Pilate asked, "What is truth?" As Welles once pointed out, James Cagney, when performing, was never real, but was always true. Citizen Kane is the same.
Is Kane cold? Emotionless? On the contrary, Kane is a rich emotional tapestry. There is a delicate sensibility at work behind all the bravura; Kane is full of extraordinary emotional moments:
The look on Mrs. Kane's face as she yells "Charles" out the window at her son. In fact, all of Agnes Moorehead's performance.
Susan Alexander" "Well, what do you know, it's morning already..."
Kane giving up his business empire: "I always gagged on that silver spoon."
Bernstein's story of the girl in the white dress: "I only saw her for one second. She didn't see me at all. But I'll bet a month hasn't gone by since that I hadn't thought of that girl."
Jed Leland in the old folk's home: "Maybe I wasn't his friend, but if I wasn't, he never had one."
The look of abject terror on Susan Alexander's face during her opera debut.
Kane's wife, Emily, to her husband, in his lover's apartment: "You decided what you were going to do, Charles, some time ago."
An impotent, enraged Kane, to his nemesis, Gettys: "Don't worry about me. I'm Charles Foster Kane! I'm no cheap, crooked politician, trying to save himself from the consequences of his crimes. Gettys! I'm going to send you to Sing Sing! Sing Sing Gettys! Sing Sing!"
I could go on. So many beautiful moments. Kane cold? I've seen it over a hundred times, and the hair still goes up on the back of my neck as the camera tracks in on burning Rosebud, that dollar book Freudian gag, that cheap gimmick that explains everything and nothing, as Hermann's remarkably poignant score soars. In the right mood, that ending will make me cry. No trespassing, indeed.