Shot-By-Shot Analysis Of The ‘Picnic Scene’ In Citizen Cane

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

download word file, 5 pages 5.0

Downloaded 24 times

Shot-By-Shot Analysis of the "˜Picnic Scene' in Citizen Cane Citizen Kane, produced, directed and starring the "˜boy genius' Orsen Welles, is considered by many to be the greatest film of all time. Written by Welles, and Herman J. Mankiewicz, the film is an investigation into the life of the deceased newspaper tycoon, Charles Foster Kane. It is told through a series of well-crafted flashbacks, and highly revered for its violation of classic Hollywood conventions. In Citizen Kane, Welles' innovative use of cinematography, sound, lighting, music, and editing, shape and propel the narrative, painting a more complete picture of Mr. Kane than each of the flashbacks could. This essay will focus on how the editing and other techniques of the 23 shot Everglades picnic sequence relate to the thematic intentions of the sequence which appears in Susan Alexander's flashback, and marks the end of Susan and Charles' relationship.

The sequence begins with a dissolve from Kane at Xanadu, where Susan has taken to jig saw puzzles of outdoor scenes to escape the boredom and suffocation of her situation, to a medium shot of the couple whose tension is still quite visible, being chauffeured in a car. The tension comes from an argument the couple had shortly before, wherein Susan wants to go to New York, but Kane decides on an Everglades picnic instead. In doing so, the production which ensues denies Susan even the enjoyment of the outdoors she got from her puzzles. She and Kane continue to argue, and we hear a blues piece which symbolizes Susan's mood. This scene then dissolves to a linear shot in deep focus of Kane's motorcade, appearing like a funeral procession in their lifeless uniform order.

After the seemingly endless procession of black cars, there is a dissolve to a close...