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Citizen Kane Analysis

936 words - 4 pages

In his renowned film Citizen Kane, director, writer, actor, and producer Orson

Welles employs an innovative use of shadows, darkness, and angles to portray hidden

emotions and thought provoking social commentary; setting a precedent for all films to

come. This movie, called the “father” of film noir, employs an ingenious use of lighting and

focus to create new depths that add to the characters, drawing our attention to details that

shape the story. This film presented to the world a fresh take on the boundaries of story

telling, and ground breaking innovations that influence film making to this day.

Take, for example, the short film obituary for Charles Kane, ...view middle of the document...

This ever

2 Sierra Putman

present shadowing of Thompson only dissipates when he realizes that the thing he had

been hunting to discover wouldn’t define who Kane was, and that all the information he

had accumulated along his journey was the best definition of a man that he could have for

Kane. Thus bringing him out of the darkness of ignorance and mystery.

The film noir elements throughout this movie are employed to create a strong social

commentary about the lifestyles of Kane and his counterparts. Having made fortunes,

having loved and lost, having been adored by the unknowing public- Kane’s life should have

been more than satisfactory. But through the use of film noir elements we are aware from

the first shot that there is no chance this movie is going to end happily. In the first shots, we

are met with images of a crumbling mansion. And, as one shot dissolves into another, the

camera moves closer and closer to the mansion, each time revealing new imperfections.

The dark and angst nature of this film is in part to show the corruption and deceit of a

society that our world looks so highly upon. What we imagine to be a bright, happy, high

society world is proven, as we look closer and closer, to be dark and full of secrets. This is

impeccably evident when in “News on the March” we are shown what the outside world

imagines the Kane mansion to be- bright and full of light- when in reality we are shown that

the house is simply too large, lonely, and unfinished. The use of lighting and deep focus is

what presents these two contrasting views so spectacularly. In “News on the March” the

house is made to seem continuingly alive with something...

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