Citizen Kane (1941)1


 Considered possibly the greatest film ever made, Citizen Kane is a memorable film notably by it’s story, cinematography and odd camera angles.
Orson Welles stars as Charles Foster Kane, a powerful newspaper tycoon who dies in the begining of the film, leaving the media in a frantic to dicover the meaning of his last words, “rose bud”.

Welles developed a strong narrative film with lots of contrast camera shots; High/low angles and deep focus shots.
In the opening scene, the first shot is of the no trespassing sign at the gate.  As the camera tilts up above it, there is a dark castle like mansion in the distance seen through fog that looks eeire and dangerous. A meduim close up shot of the window shows a light switch turned off. A close up shot of snowy cabin is the frame the zoomed out to reveal that it is the inside of a snow globe. An extreme close up of a mustached man saying the words “rose bud,” which the snow globe is then rolled away and crashes down the stairs. A nurse emerges from a door through a reflection in a mirror. Medium shot of her arms are seen pulling the covers over Kane, signifying that he has died.

This scene clearly sets the tone of film, begining with the first shot of the No tresspassing sign. Viewers are already alarmed that they are “tresspassers” sneaking in at Kane’s dark surroundings and witnessing his death.

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1 Comment

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