Citizen Kane (1941), directed, produced and co-written by Orson Welles is his first featured film, which proves to be his most influential work. Being considered as the greatest film ever made by critics, this film was voted five consecutive times as the greatest film in the Sight & Sound’s poll of critics.
Also starring Orson Welles as the title role, Charles Foster Kane, this film explores the life of William Randolph Hearst. This film, a series unfolding in mostly flashback scenes is about the research and discovery of a newsreel reporter, solving the mystery of Kane’s dying word, “Rosebud”, after his death became sensational. With the use of good cinematic language, this film is able to appeal to audiences through the use of complex lighting, sound composition and visual trickery.
I’m in awe by how the layering of multiple flashback scenes in numerous perspectives among different individual is able to uncover and reveal Kane’s life without it being disorganized and with the absence of his own point of view.
My favourite part of the film is the emphasis of Kane’s loneliness through two scenes – the scene where Kane, as a child playing alone in the snow and him uttering “Rosebud”, the name of a sled which is his source of comfort as a child, with his dying breath. In both scenes, it emphasizes on how lonely and isolated Kane was as a child and how he is unable to relate and fit into adulthood. It evokes a sense of him feeling and being isolated throughout his lifetime.
The emphasis of having solely Welles/Kane on the poster is a reflection of how this film is about him – finding out the identity of “Rosebud” through people around him, him being the director and producer and how a part of this story is derived from his own life experiences.
List of references:
1. Left Field Cinema. Analysis: Is Citizen Kane the Greatest Film Ever Made? [Online] Available on: http://www.leftfieldcinema.com/analysis-is-citizen-kane-the-greatest-film-ever-made [Accessed on 20 June 2013]
2. WellesNet, 2007. Orson Welles explaining the meaning of Rosebud in Citizen Kane. [Online] Available on: http://www.wellesnet.com/?p=187 [Accessed on 20 June 2013]
3. Rotten Tomatoes, Flixster. Citizen Kane (1941) Movie Info. [Online] Available on: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/citizen_kane/
* Cassandra Goh is an aspiring director/photographer, currently living behind countless façades. To know more: http://www.twitter.com/_kasandura