Citizen Kane Analysis

Essay by strawberry_qteeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2005

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Many critics consider "Citizen Kane" to be the greatest movie of all time, and with all reason to conclude so. After all, it was an artistic masterpiece and a technological wonder. However, the film's greatness does not derive solely from its artistically executed cinematic, dramatic, and literary elements, but also from the details instilled within each and every frame, and the manner in which its every aspect helped develop the theme.

Gregg Toland's cinematography was revolutionary. The combination of montage, black-and white lighting, wide-angled lenses, deep focus photography, long tracking shots and sets with ceilings, redefined American film narrative. Deep focus allowed everything in the frame, foreground and background, to be in focus at the same time. The story was told by means of composition, camera angle, and visual styles, just as much as it was told by plot and dialogue. The entire tale was told in flashback, and used fading transitions to show the passage of time.

It had an enormous impact on the movie industry, as the camera took positions that were previously unknown. Before "Citizen Kane," the camera tended to film "context shots." The audience would be exposed to things that a human observer may not have noticed, but seemed natural on screen. "Citizen Kane" introduced a camera view that no human would see otherwise. It would notice two things at once, exemplified in the scene where Mr. Bernstein is discussing the influence of the new employees with Mr. Leland, and Mr. Kane can be seen in the mirror reflection dancing with the showgirls. Not only did this film influence the look of studio pictures of the 40s, but it also set the tone for the future of cinema, proving that the were boundless possibilities and that the camera could...