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Rated: 13+ · Outline · Drama · #1023132
Rough thoughts about Rough Draft of analysis paper on Citizen Kane

The main character in Citizen Kane is portrayed as an independent elitist. Kane overshadows scenes he is not even the central character of, as his image dancing with chorus girls is seen reflected in the window as his friends Leland and Bernstein talk of his accomplishments

Kane is naive about whatever he says goes. Any wrongdoing in the group is automatically grounds for termination from the job. Kane is controlling of business and family matters.

The only reasons for making changes is to be number one, as for example when he buys the reporters of the Chronicle Newspaper to work for the Inquirer.

                   "My paper, and do things right."

                   Makes his own "constitution" at the newspaper at the first of his career.

                   Trying to be perfect.

                   Marries the niece of the President of the United States. Marries for fame. He is an elitist just like the President.

                   Pays no attention to either wife. Susan Alexander Kane says, "The more I know you, the less I like you."

Kane coerces his second wife into a singing career, which he won't let her stop even though she has no talent. She had to succeed for him. Any wife would have to succeed in his empire. Kane showed no passion for his second wife except for her career. He feels only accomplishments as something for passion.

Kane is a man who is an idealist, and takes pride in tarnishing others. Kane demonstrates he is a hypocrite when he tears up his original newspaper "constitution." His original values have changed. He is no longer an idealistic young man. He has misdirected his passion in life.

A powerful beginning comes to a big end. (?)

Analogy type comparison to an Empire like Caesar's, with emphasis on the foot soldier. Magnitude of power, like a god and a hypocrite. He is selfish and possessive. Kane has the power of the newspaper, which becomes corrupted from his original ideals. As an old man, things begin falling downhill.

Failure is not an option. He seeks a perfect world which he is in control of. He is a man who shows no emotion. He is non-chalant about others.

Standard of Realism

Overwhelming setting of Xanadu contributes to the illusion of Kane's power because of its size.

                   Close up shot of the sign "XANADU."

                   Wives are overwhelmed and overwhelming. They never get a chance to know or comprehend Charles Foster Kane as a person.


"B and T" emphsized autheticity on page ___________ in terms of realism to some directors but non-realism to other directors.

The power of mise-en-scene on this film is not ambiguous in point of view, but sets an example of the standards of realsim though his function as a character that is extraordinary, authentic.

It is peculiar for Kane to give statutes as a personal gift to his wife, Susan. "B and T, page ____________" emphsize that what seems realistic may be highly stylized. What is real for the time of the film will change with the passage of time, and as seen by different cultures.

Different images in the film overwhelm the audience.


Kane's costume in terms of motivic thought symbolize a motivating factor as a central authority figure.

                   Kane's demeanor

                   Upper class society

                   Montage shot of first wife's clothes at the breakfast table.

Make up, according to "B and T, page _________," is a very important aspect of mise-en-scene.

                   Wells joked that he wore more make-up as a handsome young man than he did as an older Kane. His hair grayed, his hairline receeded, and he put on weight through wardrobe and body shape changes as an older man.

                   In the DVD director's cut, the narrator ___________________ stated that Joseph Cotten, the charcter Jedidiah Leland, looked as he did when he was actually an older man. We see him very clearly attended by nurses when he is interviewed by the reporter seeking the reason for Kane's last utterance, "Rosebud."

                   Expressive qualities of an actor's face

                   The oprah make-up was not extreme because it was for the stage presentation.

                   Women's make-up


Kane wanted to be bright, brilliant, and perfect, or to not be judged. His facial expression does not show emotion. He gets no happiness as the success of others, except Susan who does not succeed. He is a conceited character. The entire world is his kingdom, and he rules harshly, unable to love.

When Kane destroyed Susan's room it was because he had been left by her, and that he saw his life falling apart despite his best efforts. Jed Leland had said of Kane, "He just wanted to be loved."

                   Fireplace scene at Xanadu

As an antagonist, Kane was a bad guy because for what he accomplished, he wants more out of it.

Mise-en-scene: Unity, Disunity

Similarity, Difference


Example: When Kane is dancing with chorus girls and the entire image on stage is reflected in the window as his frinds, Leland and Bernstein speak of him.

Example: Silhouette shot of men in newsroom at screening of "March on Time" film segment on Charles Foster Kane's life. Use of strong backlight to achieve the effect. Key light is absent in the beginning, and as the scene progresses fill lights bring the viewing room into view.

Example: Bright lighting always used in the newsroom on the "Inquirer." Shows symbolically how clear everything is to Kane in his newspaper empire. He is clear about what he's doing at the paper, and spends a great deal of time doing it--to the exclusion of his first wife.

Other points about lighting to bring in:

         Shapes and overall composition

         Quality, relative intensity

         Direction - path of light from the source

         Source: frontal lighting, back lighting

         Color, saturation

Shape and texture of objects depicted

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