Cinema-Understanding motion pictures
Discuss the use of the various elements (Photography, Sound, Editing, Lighting, Acting, Story, etc.–select at least three) and how they help to underscore these themes and allows the audience get closer to the core of Kane, of what motivated his actions and the “reasons” for his rise and fall.
For the past several decades, Citizen Kane (1941) has consistently been ranked as the “greatest” movie of all-time. Critics cite the numerous innovations in the use of all the elements that have been discussed in this course as a major reason for this ranking.
In many ways, Kane seems like what a Film School student’s first enthusiastic attempt at film making might look like, throwing every stylistic and cinematographic effect they had studied into the feature ( Welles was 25 years old and this was his first film), yet, in this film, these innovations combine to create a complete, and unified whole and unique visual/aural experience. Many of these innovations and techniques have been used and incorporated into films since Kane’s release and film makers from around the world study Kane as a guide for further possibilities in cinema.
Prompt: The themes of Love, Power, and Money are woven into this knotted tapestry to create a portrait of a man’s life, a rising and falling, while the audience (and the investigative reporter) search for one thread that might reveal the enigma of Citizen Charles Foster Kane. Discuss the use of the various elements (Photography, Sound, Editing, Lighting, Acting, Story, etc.–select at least three) and how they help to underscore these themes and allows the audience get closer to the core of Kane, of what motivated his actions and the “reasons” for his rise and fall.
Consider, as an example: At he opening of the film, we see the camera moving closer and closer to the decrepit mansion, Xanadu, then closer to an open window, and finally inside to Kane’s bedside. Likewise, the whole movie is a moving closer and closer to who Citizen Kane is and what he, in a sense, “meant” by “Rosebud”. At the end, the camera pulls back out, as “Rosebud” is revealed to a long shot of the mansion–a reversal of the opening movement. Or how story is told from multiple perspectives and points of view moving from external newsreel reportage to persons who are personally closer and closer to the man himself.
Approx 600 words for entry
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