Citizen Kane

Before taking this class, I had heard Citizen Kane was regarded as one of the best films ever made for a long time and after my viewing, I can see why. The film is unlike any other from its time and is beautiful. Bazin states “ decoupage in depth approaches a realism in an ontological sense restoring to objects their existential density.” He then states that all elements actor, object, background, foreground are fused into one perceptual pattern. I saw two scenes that demonstrated this, one where Kane is being singed away by his parents and another where they are celebrating. In the scene where Kane and his news team have just acquired the Chronicle’s best, Leland and Bernstein leave the room and enter an office. There the two have an interesting conversation but the viewer isn’t only fixed on them. Through the window you can see Kane dancing with dancers and clearly see that the party is still going on. This shot was very interesting to me because it clearly demonstrates what Bazin had written about. The actors, foreground, and background all blended in together and did not overwhelm the audience. Citizen Kane also includes many montages. The one that stuck out to me the most was the when Kane is sitting with his first wife Emily. At first the two seem to be in love and sit very close to each other. Kane even states that he “adores” Emily. Emily is bothered by the fact that he works too long at the newspaper but does not seem angry. Kane even agrees to push his appointments back. Instead of cutting the camera sort of spins and it is clear that time has passed. The two now sit on opposite ends of the table and Emily is complaining about Kane’s work schedule once again but he simply brushes it off. In addition to sitting on opposite ends of the table, there is a bouquet of flowers between the two. The camera spins again and this time both Emily and Kane seem to be annoyed. Their facial expressions and tone seem harsher than previously. Again the camera spins and the two are arguing about what is to be displayed of their child’s gifts. The camera spins a final time and the two are sitting at the table, which seems to be twice the size of the old one and are not speaking but reading papers. A small little detail I really liked was the fact that Emily was reading the Chronicle, Kane’s rival in the paper business. This montage does a great job of displaying the decaying relationship with Emily and Kane over a period of time. Overall the film is a masterpiece. The story kept me engaged, the characters were all memorable, and the sets were very beautiful. I love the scene when Kane destroys his room and walks past all of the mirrors or at the end when all of the reporters are in Xanadu.Citizen Kane is a masterpiece and surprisingly still holds up to this day.

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One thought on “Citizen Kane

  1. I really liked how the beginning of Citizen Kane was told as newspaper headlines as it got the audience excited for the film. Throughout the film, the reporter was interviewing close friends and family to Charles Kane and trying to figure out what his last final words “Rosebud” meant.I too was trying to figure out what it meant and before it was revealed, had come to the conclusion that it was just a random word that meant nothing to Charles. I really enjoyed the conclusion when we figure out “Rosebud” referred to his childhood sled.

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