"Citizen Kane"

Essay by JuggleyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, October 2006

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"Citizen Kane" has been lauded as the greatest motion pictures to come out of America during the black-and-white era (or any era, for that matter). It also represents the pinnacle of Orson Welles' film making career. The movie opens with an unforgettable image of a distant, fog-shrouded castle on a hill. This shot goes a long way into establishing the mood of the movie, as well as that of Kane. The viewer soon learns this place to be Xanadu, the private residence of America's "Kubla Kahn," Charles Foster Kane. Within moments of the film's eerie opening, Kane is dead, uttering the word "Rosebud" as he hunches over. His death, like his life, is a big news event, and the paper he owned, the New York Inquirer, is desperate to unearth the meaning of his mysterious last word.

The camera work in the movie is cutting edge. Citizen Kane used major devices in the film, which made scenes stand out.

Some examples are that in each frame, costumes, lighting, set, and characters are positioned very carefully. The different frames also included deep focus which allowed for a three-dimensional scene with the important characters close to the camera. The movie is a visual masterpiece, a "kaleidoscope" of daring angles and breathtaking images that had never been attempted before, and has, in many peoples opinion, never been equaled since. There's no doubt that Citizen Kane was far ahead of its time in this accord.

The camera work included Close shots, Low Angle shots, and one-shots, just to name a few. All three of these shots, and more, were used over and over again, to place emphasis on the authority of each character. The different frames also included deep focus photography which allowed for a three-dimensional scene with the important characters...