Essay Sample on "Citizen Kane" Analysis

Published: 2022-11-16
Essay Sample on "Citizen Kane" Analysis
Type of paper:  Movie review
Categories:  Movie
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 952 words
8 min read

Since the millennial period began, Americans have always idealized the journey to economic success. However, there is an issue that these people fail to realize; every person has their path in the quest for success. For the film's main character, Charles Foster Kane, the way towards a productive and fulfilled life is well liked as he always serves to please other people. Moreover, he fights for great attention such that as the film ends, costs him his happiness. Thus, in the rise and fall of Kane through his prosperity, depicts the futility for striving solely for likeability.

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The fresh, sophisticated and classic masterpiece, "Citizen Kane" is considered as the most famous and high-rated film in the world, with its many remarkable scenes and performances, cinematic and narrative techniques and innovations that are experimental. The film made cinematic advances on numerous fonts, and its most significant contribution of cinematography came from the use of the deep focus technique. Deep focus can be considered as having almost everything in the frame and the background, in the center at the same time, as opposed to having people and items in the foreground focus (Mulvey n.p). Additionally, the technique of deep focus requires a cinematographer to mix or combine lighting, composition, and the type of camera lens to produce an effect that is desired. Moreover, actions that overlap might be showcased by the filmmaker with a mise-en-scene and the deep focus technique, so that the physical environment becomes more critical.

Nevertheless, manipulation of the mise-en-scene effectively for the deep focus comprises of the whole frame space without leaving the audience in suspense or confused. Moreover, the technique is often useful in scenes that depict Kane's isolation and loss of control as it gives the audience a space view that is transparent that Kane commands as well as space where he has no power (Saunders n.p). Gregg Toland, the cinematographer, whom Welles selected for the video, had previously used the deep focus technique in another film that he had worked on, named as "The Long Voyage Home." Additionally, the mercury theatre that was chosen by Welles is often considered as the film's asset and vital to numerous techniques like the mentioned deep focus. Deep focus is complemented by the stage training of the members of the cast which makes it overpowering (Saunders n.p). Moreover, the cinematography and the technique of acting justifies Welles full control over the film.

"Citizen Kane" also employs some techniques of storytelling which are very creative, being showcased as a biopic. The film portrayed reality and extended the time that allows the actors and actresses to grow old as the story proceeds. Instead of being said in a linear, a whole chronological manner, Kane's story unfolds in overlapping segments that add more information the way every narrator adds his or her story (Mulvey n.p). Another storytelling approach that was innovative was Kane's life story being narrated in flashbacks. The flashbacks had been previously used in some films, but they had been implied effectively in "Citizen Kane." They are shown from the perspectives of every character who is growing old and forgetful, which cast a lot of doubt on the discussed memories. That is, they are unreasonable narrators whose opinions and interpretations impact on their accuracy (Naremore n.p). Also, the storytelling technique becomes successful in painting Charles Foster Kane as an enigma. A tortured and complicated man who as the film ends leaves the audience with numerous questions than answers, that invokes sympathy inevitably more than contempt.

Welles achievements in the film during that time marked a new direction towards cinema. Many critics argue that Citizen Kane, with its inventive use of lighting and shadow, is considered as the noir film, a genre which depicts an atmosphere that is moody and a dark environment to augment the violent or mysterious events that are always taking place (Naremore n.p). Also, Hollywood was introduced to the creative potential of cinema technique by the film.

Moreover, along with the personal story of Kane is the period history. The birth of radio, rise, and expansion of the penny press, the Hearst-supported Spanish-American war, the rise of fascism, the power of the political machines and the rise of journalism celebrity are all covered in the film. Welles also used the screenplay that was constructed densely, which covered the fantastic ground amount (Naremore n.p). Kane, being the leading actor know that the sled will never be the answer. The Rosebud is explained, but its meaning is not revealed. Therefore, this film's construction showcases how people's lives after they are dead, only survive in the memories of other people, and the memories at a particular point will butt up against the roles people play in their lives and the walls that they erect. This action is shown in the sections where Kane made many shadow figures using his fingers, hated the traction trust, he entertained millions and later, died alone (Saunders n.p).

The film is also filled with visual moments of Bravura such as the Xanadu towers, the camera that is swooping through a skylight in a club to the pathetic Susan, to mention but a few. The perfect shot of the camera rises straight from Susan's opera debut to a stagehand when holding the nose. The face of Kane that is hidden in a shadow leaves the audience in suspense as they are curious of what might happen next, which makes" Citizen Kane" more capturing (Mulvey n.p).

Works Cited

Mulvey, Laura. Citizen Kane. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017.

Naremore, James, ed. Orson Welles's Citizen Kane: a casebook. Oxford University Press on Demand, 2004.

Saunders, Graham. About Kane: The playwright and the work. Faber & Faber, 2009.

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