Citizen Kane analysis paper

October 19th, 2010

The movie that I want to analysis is Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, RKO pictures, 1941) I think this movie’s cinematography, lighting, music and color is different from the same period’s movie. Citizen Kane’s cinematography is very unique, its lighting and color are tending to dark because the director wants to create a mysterious mood at the beginning, powerful mood in the middle part and the lonely mood at the end. About the sound design, the director chose the mysterious mood sound and tending to a little bit louder to make the audiences feel surprising. For the music part, I can’t feel a happy mood music in this movie; all of the background musics in this movie are tend to mysterious and serious. I think the director chose these kind of sounds and music are for matching Kane’s character and his encounter.
Kane is an important man in the contemporary because he has enough power and money to affect United States economy and politic. Even Kane has power and money enough; he did not know what he really wants in his mind. He tries his best to fight for something like he uses a lot of money to build up Susan’s music affair because he wants people agree with his thinking and work. But it is meaningless to him because he needs nothing but love in his deeply mind and he did not recognize it. His wealth and self hood turn him into a selfish and lonely man so he lost his friend and lover at the last.
At the beginning, the scene is showing Kane is dies in a bed while holding a crystal snow globe and utters “Rosebud” and then the crystal globe slips from his lifeless hand and smashes. I like this scene so much and repeating to watch it again and again. I like the director makes the big close up of Kane’s mouth and saying “Rosebud”, the big mouth gives me a big impression; it makes me feel like mysterious and keep thinking what’s the meaning of “Rosebud” is. Orson Welles is using a smart way to attract his audience to keep watching this movie. And Welles also add the mysterious background music in this scene, it makes the audience feels like that is a serious moment and do not miss up the following scenes. After Kane said “Rosebud”, the crystal snow globe slips from his hand and broken. This scene gives me a big impact too because I do not have to see Kane’s facial expression; I also know the broken globe means Kane is dies. I think this is a smart way to express Kane’s situation without any dialog and facial expression. Also, “Rosebud” is the key point of the whole movie, but actually we do not know what is going on at the beginning. It is like the director throw us the answer first and we have to find out the process in every plot and scene. I think this is a tricky arrangement of this movie.
In conclusion, I really like the way of Welles using the camera shooting and lighting to set up the mood in this movie, especially he likes to use low angle to shot the image so he does not have to use too much dialogue to explain the scene and plot. It is also easily to make the audience to understand the plot with the good match background music and scenes because Welles concentrated on the images more than others.

Comment about movie “M”

October 8th, 2010

Basically I don’t think “M” is a horror film or crime dram, I think it’s a philosophical film. Actually the Killer Hans Beckert is a complicated person, sometime I think he is lacking human emotion when he is killing a little girl but at the end of the movie I find out he is a poor guy because he doesn’t want to kill those little girls and he just can’t escape or control the evil compulsion that over take him. Every time when I see the images of Beckert’s oversized, fearful eyes, I think Fritz Lang is trying to set the mood of ugly humanity in this character and I think this picture more effectively than any dialogue could. I also like the shadow of Hans Beckert was showing in the notice and his whistling because those are Beckert’s unique character and this foreshadows the appearance of Hans Beckert – a serial killer is coming.

This movie is showing us the Germany’s society environment at 1920 which is an sin era but Lang tries to show us the cops and gangster still has a humanity. Even they are defying each other , but they are also helping the other’s needs to hunt the serial killer. Humanity is the powerful thing to make people turn into solidify.

“Citizen Kane” comment

October 8th, 2010

Orson Welles is a smart person, he used a completely different way to narrated Kane’s story. At the beginning, the scene is showing Kane is almost pass away but he left a hint for us – “Rosebud”. This is a smart way to attract the audience to keep watching the whole movie and find out the meaning of “Rosebud”. (even this movie is kind of old and boring but I still wanna find out the truth so I keep watching it and paying attention in every details to find out the meaning of “Rosebud”)

After that, we see Kane’s wife, friend, assistant to describe Kane is what kind of person and what he did, etc. The audience has to go through the third person to know more about Kane, and I think this is the funny thing and Orson Welles used a fresh way to narrated a story which is totally different from a usual movie. And about the camera shooting and lighting, Welles was doing a good move in this point too. He used the low angle to shoot the indoor scene and using the sense of space to emphasize the character’s relationship, for example, Kane and Susan’s sense of alienation is always display in their big, grand home, they always have to speak to each other in a long distance which means their relationship is not really close as a usual couple. Welles also using the strong low-light effect to make the contrast between characters, it can make the audience to know what’s going on just look at the image and without any dialogue.

In conclusion, I think Citizen Kane is a good movie because Orson concentrated on the images, character’s expression more than the dialogue and I think this is pretty hard to use the little dialogue to express more plots.