Citizen Kane Essay

1210 Words5 Pages
Discuss the ways in which Citizen Kane challenged the traditional narrative and technical elements of classic Hollywood cinema. Give specific examples using appropriate cinematic terminology. Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film directed, co-written, produced by, and starring Orson Welles. This was Welles’s first feature film. With this film, Welles introduced many new filmmaking innovations. Some of the innovations were in cinematography, storytelling techniques, and special effects, lighting and framing of a scene. One of the greatest movies of all time was Orson Welles's Citizen Kane. Almost all of the movies of the time were told chronologically and had a beginning, middle, and an end. Citizen Kane was the first movie to tell the audience the end of the movie in the beginning. The movie was mostly told in flashbacks. Unlike traditional Hollywood, Citizen Kane combines non-linear and composite storytelling from multiple points of view, including the famous opening newsreels, interviews, and flashbacks, to present the main character (Kstrykers Blog). Traditional Hollywood has very static mise-en-scene with actors and objects mostly in the center of the frame and never out of focus. Objects, characters and props were usually evenly distributed throughout the scene. The lighting was usually three point and split the scene into foreground and background. An innovative technical aspect of Citizen Kane is the unprecedented use of deep focus (Ogle, P. 1985). In nearly every scene in the film, the foreground, background and everything in between are all in sharp focus. Another unorthodox method used in the film was the way low-angle cameras were used to display a point of view facing upwards, showing the ceilings in the background (Toland, G.). Since movies were primarily filmed on sound stages with the Hollywood studio system, it was impossible to film
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