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Unformatted text preview: Citizen Kane " Roger Ebert once said, “ Citizen Kane is certainly a great film, a film I’ve seen more than fifty times, and I’ve never gotten tired of it…it’s filled with technical innovations that revolutionized the development of movies, and it has a haunting quality that gets inside of you and stays there” ( www.imdb.com ). Movie critics and general audiences alike respect the cinematic techniques used in Citizen Kane. The story follows the life of Charles Foster Kane, an extremely wealthy newspaper tycoon. As a young boy, Kane is forced to leave his parents when he becomes unexpectedly wealthy. He is sent to live with Mr. Thatcher, and will never see his parents again. In particular the story revolves around the word that Kane uttered on his dying breathe- “rosebud.” When Kane becomes an adult he takes control of a newspaper, The New York Inquirer. Jerry Thompson, a reporter in the movie, is given the task to find out what the significance of this final word was. The story is told by a string of flashbacks between the present action in the movie, and certain events in Kane’s life from the past ( http://en.wikipedia.org .) Techniques such as the use of deep focus, lighting and shadow, and editing techniques not only enhance the movie, but make it a ground-breaking film for it’s era. Deep focus means that everything in the frame, even the background, is in focus at the same time ( www.sparknotes.com .) Many times in movies, it is only the objects in the foreground that are in focus, while the background is out of focus and indistinguishable. By showing everything within a frame with perfect clarity, it allows more details to enter a scene, and engages the viewer by allowing them to see everything that is going on within the shot ( http://aaronfilms.tripod.com ). As the viewer we unconsciously are able to decide where to look, rather than being confined to the action in the foreground. ( http://movieimages.tripod.com ). Greg Toland was the cinematographer for Citizen Kane . Toland worked for years to develop new, faster lenses that would allow more light in, thus creating greater depths in scenes. Deep focus also gave Welles more leeway on how to move the actors, and how to set up the different scenes ( Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography). One of the most remarkable shots in Citizen Kane that utilizes deep focus is when Kane’s mother is signing the papers that make Mr....
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This note was uploaded on 10/20/2008 for the course COMM 1300 taught by Professor Scherer,c. during the Spring '08 term at Cornell.
- Spring '08