Response to Citizen Kane

Katherine Allegro 9/26/11 Citizen Kane Reflection Prof. Brandt ART 206 Citizen Kane Reflection First watching Citizen Kane, with not much background knowledge, it was unclear why this film is rated the best movie of all time by the American Film Institute. After watching the movie a second time with more knowledge and commentary, the reasons started to become more clear. Orson Welles had a brilliant vision for the movie, and it was all obtained through his innovative filming techniques. This is what made his film become the greatest movie of all time.

During the first screening of Citizen Kane, it was viewed strictly as an entertainment source, not as an art source. The plot was very dry and moved quite slowly. The story line could have focused more on other areas of the plot and other characters to have made it more exciting. Some characters seemed to have no importance, but from an entertainment standpoint could have been built upon a little more. It was apparent, though, that the movie was to be used as an attack on the man Charles Foster Kane was supposed to be portraying. This fact did help keep attention on the film.

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Watching the film a second time, with commentary and certain scenes pointed out, Welles’ vision became more apparent. As the film went on it was easier to spot the deep focus or triangle shots, and the allusions to earlier scenes. Welles also used the lighting to portray the characters, their mindsets, and how they change during the course of the film. For example, the first scene that he uses this in is right after the “News on the March” where all the reporters had just screened it. They are discussing new details they can put it the newspapers and are coming up with ideas.

The room is quite hardly lit, which gives the impression that all of the reporters are still in the dark about Charles Foster Kane’s death. Another scene where this works quite well is when Thompson, the reporter sent to find out more about Kane’s life, went to see what was in the document from when Kane’s mother signed him away to Thatcher. As Thompson is walking into the vault, he isn’t lit very well, showing that he is still in the dark about Kane. As he gets closer to the table the light increases and the document becomes fully lit showing that it was a major piece of the puzzle that is Charles Foster Kane.

All in all, viewing the film Citizen Kane as a piece of entertainment won’t bring forth many fans. Viewing the film as a piece of art that changed the way films were made from then on, will bring the fans. Orson Welles used techniques that only idiots would try to attempt in those days, and he invented a few of his own. Welles made filming the scenes as difficult on him as he possibly could. He accomplished this very well, and after his techniques being pointed out changed many modern day opinions of the film.

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