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Citizen Kane

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Citizen Kane is one of the world's most famous and highly-rated classic film masterpiece. Although it was not a commercial success at the time of its release it has always been praised by film critics. The film had a budget of $800,000 and was directed, produced, as well as acted by the twenty five year old Orson Wells. Wells used innovative and unique cinematic techniques in Citizen Kane that would influence the film making for all eternity.

One cinematic technique that Wells used was the Montage, the cinematic technique used to provide a lot of information in a very short amount of time or to show the passing of time. There are many of these used throughout the film which include the use of newspaper reels, opera shows, and my favorite the breakfast table. In the beginning they show Kane and Emily as the giddy, happy, and playful newlyweds who are sitting next to each other in the sunlight, but by the end just like their marriage their chairs gradually drift apart, they aren't talking, and the sun disappears.

Another cinematic technique used was Well's keen and innovative use of camera angles. He used low angled shots where he had to actually dig a whole in the studio's floor to reveal ceilings. In earlier films you couldn't see the ceilings because they didn't exist; they were just studio lights and microphones. In Citizen Kane they used cloth ceilings that looked real but were actually fake that hung just below the microphones that they used. The use of ceilings in this movie was used to symbolize the importance or greatness of a character. At the start of the movie Kane seemed to almost touch the ceilings towering over everybody else, but by the end of the movie in his palace, Xanadu, he appeared to be small and weak and almost powerless.

Well's also used many dissolves and fades to change images or scenes. He used dissolves to fade one image into the next where the first image is dissolving while the next image to be shown is gradually appearing. He also used fades when he went from a completely black screen to the next image that gradually appears onto the screen. The first examples of Well's use of dissolves and fades was in the beginning and end of the movie with the scenes of the gates to Xanadu. He uses a serious of shots which dissolve or fade into each other to get closer and closer to the gates or fences of Xanadu.

Lighting was a key cinematic technique that Well's used to project a character's persona in the film. He used shadows to hide or mask the faces of the seemingly corrupt characters, like the reporters who are trying to find the meaning of rosebud. He also



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