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.