10 Things I thought while watching Citizen Kane

Last night I watched one of the most famous films of the history of Cinema; Citizen Kane. Not a film of my favorable choice, but I know that it’s part of course and now that I’ve heard the title since the beginning of Media Studies in 10th grade, I thought this might be the time to dig into it…

The film is from 1941, so it’s pretty old. There’s something about my ability to concentrate when it comes to “old” films, especially when they’re black and white, but I really tried to focus this time. Still.. there were a few things that confused me while I was screening. At least, my brain didn’t sleep. Here are 10 things I thought about while I was watching:

  1. Is this a documentary or a fiction film? (during the first few minutes with the newsworthy montage)
  2. Who is this Charles Kane? Did the main character just die within the first three minutes?
  3. The sound is very dominating. Lots of non-diegetic sound to support the different moods of the film (good for an analyses)
  4. Oh, now the film is starting for real (after the establishing announcement of Kane’s death) and the mission is to figure out what “Rosebud” is, I can deal with that!
  5. Okay flashback… Really have to focus to stay on track here. Now is this little Charles? Why is this memory important? Charles is sent away, remember that for later.
  6. Back to the present, just thought we were gonna watch the narrative chronologically but I guess not. But I realise we’re gonna see some important people of Kane’s life leading us to a flashback.
  7. There’s a lot of Movie Maker transitions used here – swipe/slide, not so modern but if you don’t pay attention you won’t notice them.
  8. It’s super hard to keep track of who is who when the film is in black and white… I really can’t tell all of Kane’s women apart.
  9. Interesting to see the change and development in Kane’s character. From being this young man who just wants to do something he is passionate about, to this old power greedy man who becomes semi violent and arrogant.
  10. So…. “Rosebud” is the brand of his childhood sled… really? Oh well. Mystery solved!
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One thought on “10 Things I thought while watching Citizen Kane

  1. I loved to read your thought process throughout the film! I must admit I had a few similar struggles (“Wait what? What’s going on?” “Why do those parents give their child away to this random dude?” “Is it just me, or does Kane look like Hitler?” “Can someone please explain why we have to listen to Kane’s wife horribly singing opera songs for 5 minutes? Why, just why”). Despite my confusion, I must say that I was deeply impressed by the film. I took some aspects for granted until I reminded myself how old this movie is – 75 years! Once I truly realized that, I started to notice how well they aged Kane (didn’t know they could already do that back then), how the film incorporated some significant political themes that we now learn about in history classes, and how relevant the issue of powerful media moguls still is.

    Like

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