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Citizen Kane -9/16/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — glennis at 2:52 pm on Saturday, September 17, 2011

Citizen Kane is the highlight of director Orson Welles work and the foundation of all editing tricks we seen today. His innovative techniques were astounding for his time and revolutionized the world of editing. He used layering of spacing and specific framing of the characters to give the film a more visual meaning rather then just watching the character’s faces in close up as they talk to each other.
One example of such techniques could be found in one part of the film where the reporter finishes his conversation with Charles Kane’s guardian and manager.

The reporter and the general manager stand in the middle of the living room, behind the manager stands a large portrait of Charles Kane above the fireplace, dozens of smaller frames surround him and Kane’s face is covered in shadow. The only two things that are well lit are the two men in conversation, everything other furniture is covered in the dark.

Kane’s portrait could be seen looming over them both hidden in the darkness and how his general manager is in the light directly in front of it. To me it felt like Mr. Kane was a ghost trying to speak because of the way he is directly looking at the reporter above the manager. The frames covering the wall around the portrait is one of the interior designs used in this film where there is never a space left empty or undecorated. I see some sort of meaning for the frames to be surrounding Kane’s though, maybe it represents his obsession with material things in life but when you take a closer look inside the frame you see nothing. This style of positioning his actors forced the viewers to think deeply about the film and why he purposely designed the scene in such a way. He wants us to look beyond what we see.

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1 Comment


   Amy Herzog

September 23, 2011 @ 12:35 am

Very nice reading of the portrait here– it reminds me of the portrait Hitchcock used in Rebecca… We’ll also see this used in Sirk’s Written on the Wind.

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