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The Movie That Tranformed An Industry.

980 words - 4 pages

Orson Welles' 1941 film, "Citizen Kane", is a powerful dramatic tale about the uses and abuses of wealth and power. It is a classic American tragedy about a man of great passion, vision, and greed. He attempts to push everything to the limit, but he ends up pushing too much, causing the eventual ruin of himself and all around him. Although Citizen Kane is known for having one of the greatest storylines of all time, it is the production aspect that makes Citizen Kane so memorable. The movie is a visual masterpiece, a horde of enlightening camera angles and magnificent images that had never been attempted before, and arguably, has never been equaled since. The movie's cinematographer, Greg Toland, had many new and innovative ideas that he had planned to institute in Citizen Kane. The most noted of these groundbreaking effects is his perfecting of a deep-focus technique that allowed him to photograph backgrounds with as much clarity as foregrounds. An example of this is seen early in the film when Kane's parents are discussing his future in the foreground of the shot, while through the window Kane is seen playing outside in the snow. In addition to Toland's perfecting of the deep focus, he and Welles had interesting ideas about camera angles and other effects. They wanted to revolutionize the movie industry, and through their hard work they were able to accomplish their goal. In Orson Welles' pioneering 1941 film, Citizen Kane, he and Greg Toland incorporated their many innovative cinematographic ideas, which were displayed through the evident mastery of the camera and its ability to use deep focus, and interesting visual effects.The term deep focus is defined as "a strategy of lighting, composition, and lens choice that allows everything in the frame to be in focus"(Roger Ebert). Greg Toland had pioneered this technique in John Ford's, The Long Voyage Home, but in Citizen Kane Toland set out to improve its use. Deep focus is a difficult technique to use because it demands full concentration on everything that is being displayed on the screen. Previous to deep focus, directors did not need to worry about the background of a shot. Since it was not in focus they were able to center their attention on only what was in the foreground. Citizen Kane utilizes deep focus for virtually the entire movie, which means everything that can be seen by the camera is important. Orson Welles is famous for paying attention to small details that most people would overlook. For this reason he was able to use the deep focus method to near perfection. This technique is most effective in scenes that show Kane's loss of control, and his personal isolation because it gives the audience a clear view of the space Kane commands. Deep focus is a cornerstone of Citizen Kane, and many critics argue that if it were not...

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