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Citizen Kane Film Critique

Citizen Kane Film Critique - (ART-22FA1 The American Cinema...

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1 (ART-223374-01-08FA1) The American Cinema The three films that I reviewed for this essay were Citizen Kane (1941), Casablanca (1942), and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). I had never seen any of these films before, and needed to see them multiple times in order to properly critique them. I have to say that I rather enjoyed this assignment, and it gave me a new appreciation for films of this era. My essay will revolve around the film Citizen Kane (1941) and I will compare and contrast the other two. Citizen Kane (1941) was directed by Orson Welles, who also co-authored the screenplay. It was release by RKO Pictures, which was no surprise since he was already a Radio Star with broadcasts like The War of the Worlds (October 30, 1938). Mr. Welles radio experience was a prominent factor in the success of this film. The picture begins with a No Trespassing sign, and also ends with one. As the camera moves up the chain-linked fence it begins with the image of a castle in the background, which we later find out is Xanadu. This beginning sequence has a theme which carries on throughout the film. The theme is basically a constant. Welles uses constants throughout the film to carry the audience through the entire film. In this sequence, we see a sole window lit up in Xanadu, and that same window remains in the same position of the screen through each frame. Each image brings us closer and closer to this one lit window. The transition comes when we finally reach the window, it goes dark, and then gets re-lit, but now we are on the inside. Another constant which Welles uses is “Rosebud.” Once we are inside the lit window, we see the main character Charles Foster Kane whisper “Rosebud” as he drops a snowball ornament and dies. The point of the film, which we will later see, is an investigation into the
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