Film Noir and German Expressionism in: "Batman" and "Citizen Kane"

Essay by mb2000 March 2006

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In the films, "Batman" (1989), directed by Tim Burton, and "Citizen Kane" (1941), directed by Orson Welles, there are many Codes and Structures of German Expressionism and Film Noir. The films show these through the institution of the American family, masculinity, history of colonialism and colonization, and Film Noir and German Expressionism.

In the film Batman, the institution on the American family is similar. This is because Alfred (actor Michael Gough) would be acting as Bruce Wayne's--also known as Batman--(actor Michael Keaton) father figure. Alfred would be like the father because he guides Bruce through life, since Bruce's real father was killed, along with his mother. Batman's girlfriend in this movie, Vicky Vale (actress Kim Basinger) would represent his wife since they love each other so much. At the scene with the very long dinner table, Bruce Wayne is sitting at one end of the table and Vicki Vale is sitting at the other end, which are a couple meters apart from one another.

Bruce realizes that the table is ridiculously long and asks if she wants to move to a smaller table, and she agrees. This shows them getting closer together, and Bruce getting closer to being able to tell Vicki that he is Batman with Vicki's trust that she will not tell anyone.

In the film "Citizen Kane", the institution of the American family is both similar and dissimilar. The beginning is similar at the beginning of the movie when Charles Foster Kane (actor Orson Welles) was a child and he was a regular kid having fun. He has a father and a mother that he lived with. Charles' parents thought it would be best for his if they let another man raised him that was wealthy so that he would not be living in poverty. This...