Citizen Kane Essay

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Film Review – Citizen Kane Enyu Hsu Citizen Kane is one of America's top movies because it uses a lot of lighting techniques and scene transitions that has never been done by any director before. This movie was made completely according to Orson Welles' own will, and he wasn't afraid to experience new things and play with the camera. One of the most important elements in Citizen Kane is the lighting. Being a black and white movie, lighting can express a lot about the plot, contents, and the character. One technique Orson Welles really likes to use is deep focus. It enables everything in the scene to be in focus. For example, when Kane barges into the room where Susan Alexander is attempting to suicide, we can see him clearly as well as the bottle of medicine sitting beside Susan. Welles also likes to use only one source of lighting at certain scenes. For example, in the library when Mr. Thompson is reading Mr. Thatcher's diaries, only he was lit while the whole room was dark. It shows that he is lonely and clueless in trying to find out more about Kane in the diary. Light and shadow can also show the characteristics of a person in this movie. When an argument is raging in Susan's apartment between Kane and Gettys, Susan is standing between the two men and completely lit while the two men were cast in shadow. This shows the innocent of Susan and the evil intentions of Kane and Gettys. During another scene, when Susan wants to quit singing, the shadow of Kane is cast over her as he refuses to let her quit. This shows the dominance of Kane over Susan. Orson Welles uses unique scene transitions in Citizen Kane. During the middle of the movie, where Emily, Kane's first wife, and Kane were at the breakfast table, the transitions show the bond breaking between the couple. Every time the scene changes, they are still the same person, but the table seems to get longer

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