Citizen Kane Essay

2130 words - 9 pages

Citizen Kane Citizen Kane is a story of a reporter trying to find the meaning of "Rosebud", the last words of the recently deceased newspaper tycoon, Charles Foster Kane. The film portrays the life of Kane through flashbacks of memories friends and co-workers tell to the reporter. The movie tells the rise and fall of Charles Foster Kane. Many remarkable cinematic elements are utilized in this film, granting it the title of one of the greatest movies ever made.The film begins with the camera focused on a "No Trespassing" sign, the same sign used to end the movie. It then follows up a wrought iron fence, laced with the letter "K". The film uses fade ins to move from one image to the next showing the vast estate of Xanadu. The camera shows empty gondolas, bobbing on the murky water, with a reflection of the large castle cast on the private lake. Exotic animals penned in a private zoo and a perfectly cut lawn and shrubbery are shown. A single light shines from a window of the large palace. Inside is the dying Kane, holding a snowglobe with a small house inside with snow. He whispers "Rosebud" as he drops the globe, it shatters as it hits the ground. Thus begins the story of Charles Foster Kane.The following scene is of a "March of Time" news broadcast. With the kind of music often used in news broadcasts in the first part of the century, and a booming over voice, montages of newspapers are shown and the summary of Kane's life is told. After the newsreel is through, a news editor tells his reporter to find out what was meant by "Rosebud", and sends him on his mission.The story of Kane is introduced by the journal of his former guardian, Mr. Thatcher. The journal begins the story with Charles as a child, being adopted by Mr. Thatcher and taken away from his parents in Colorado. Mr. Thatcher takes Charles away to be raised in the east. Through a series of quick cuts, Kane is shown growing up, and making Thatcher's life less than easy. The adult Kane hears of a small newspaper that Thatcher has taken control of and through a letters says that he would like to take it over because he thinks "running a newspaper would be fun". Kane then uses his newspaper to attack Thatcher and others among America's financial elite.A cinematic element used in the scene of Charles as a boy used the cinematic element of foreground framing. While Charles' mother and father inside are taking care of the paper work with Mr. Thatcher, we see him through a window playing in the snow with his sled. The boy is the smallest element on the screen, but is made the main focus by foreground framing "" Charles' parents and Mr. Thatcher act as the frame by standing on either side of the child creating a frame-like set up. This technique is used several different times in the film.The next account comes from Kane's assistant, Bernstein. He tells of how Kane took over The Enquirer, fired the editor, hired topnotch writers, and enlisted his college friend Jedediah Leland as the drama...

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