Write descriptive essay about Citizen Kane movie 1941, write an essay of at least 500 words on Citizen Kane, 5 paragraph essay on Citizen Kane, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
Citizen Kane
Drama, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Orson Welles
Joseph Cotten as Jedediah Leland
Dorothy Comingore as Susan Alexander Kane
Agnes Moorehead as Mary Kane
Ruth Warrick as Emily Monroe Norton Kane
Ray Collins as James W. Gettys
Erskine Sanford as Herbert Carter
Everett Sloane as Mr. Bernstein
William Alland as Jerry Thompson
Paul Stewart as Raymond
George Coulouris as Walter Parks Thatcher
Fortunio Bonanova as Signor Matiste
Gus Schilling as The Headwaiter
Philip Van Zandt as Mr. Rawlston
Georgia Backus as Bertha Anderson
Storyline: A group of reporters are trying to decipher the last word ever spoken by Charles Foster Kane, the millionaire newspaper tycoon: "Rosebud." The film begins with a news reel detailing Kane's life for the masses, and then from there, we are shown flashbacks from Kane's life. As the reporters investigate further, the viewers see a display of a fascinating man's rise to fame, and how he eventually fell off the top of the world.
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The Great Cinema Swindle
I know why you're reading this. You're smart, you have great taste, a passion for cinema, and you see CK near the top of every 'Great Movie' list ever compiled. So with great anticipation you borrow a DVD copy and sit down for a real treat, and... you can't get through the first half hour. You fall asleep.

Surprised, you think, 'It must be me, maybe I'm tired,' so a month later, you try again. But you don't even get as far as before, and wake up drooling out the corner of your mouth as a bloated Orson Welles, with really bad age make-up, groans 'Rosebud, Rosebud'.

It doesn't make sense. You're perplexed. You've watched other films on the lists... Casablanca made you stand up and cheer, cry, laugh, feel connected to all humanity. You even adore films on the list that some might consider oblique, like 8 1/2, which you reckon reinvented cinema language, weaving in and out of memory, dreams, psyche, reality, putting the human spirit up on the screen, making you cheer, laugh, and feel connected to all humanity.

So why does CK leave you so cold? You wonder, 'What's wrong with me? Am I stupid or something?'

Your borrowed DVD copy gathers dust (notice how the lender never asks for it back?), taunting your unquiet mind: "You must watch me: I'm the greatest film of all time!" But you shudder at the thought. Life's too short and, after all, there's more engaging things to do - like scraping plaque off the dog's teeth.

Years pass. Finally, you can take it no longer. You think, 'To be a serious film lover I MUST watch Citizen Kane! Maybe I was too immature before - yes, that must be it!' So you gird your loins and sit - awake! - through the whole thing. The whole turgid, ponderous, dull, vacuous, plodding, dank catastrophe. It's even worse than you feared. An emotionally and intellectually empty story. Your average six year old can invent a more complex, engaging tale.

Genuinely puzzled, you ask people who name it as one of the greatest films of all time why they like it, and with barely concealed superiority that phoneys are wont to adopt, they wax lyrical talk about the haunting mystery of the final words, "Rosebud, rosebud". You notice there's no feeling behind what they say. They also talk a great deal about Gregg Toland's cinematography, with liberal references to "deep focus", and you appreciate this, you really do, the cinematography was damned fine, best thing about the movie. That shot which started outside the window then tracked back into the room was really cool. But you just don't believe a movie is made great by cinematography alone.

In all your inquiries, you never once hear the following phrase, spoken from the heart: "God, I love that film".

So here you find yourself, reading IMDb comments.

Well, let me tell you this: There's Nothing Wrong With You! You Are Right! It's Overrated Flashy Unintelligent Rubbish!

One day, perhaps (one can but dream), the coolest, greatest, most admired film being in the world will point out the bleeding obvious nakedness of this bloated Emperor, and the assorted film critics, film studies teachers, and others who need to be told what to think by an authority figure, shall squirm, and CK shall drop off the lists once and for all.

Until that great day, don't be afraid to speak the truth.
Powerful drama, fast paced
Citizen Kane is a great movie, a first of its kind to include a novelistic character arc, depth, scope and technical innovations that hadn't been so successfully directed previously, although given that hundreds of thousands of films were produced throughout the 20th Century, the claim that Kane is the "greatest movie of all time" is just glowing hyperbole.

But is the film really good? Yep. Follows the story of an impoverished child that lucks out with a land deed that makes him a super-wealthy industrialist (a plutocrat, really) and owner of multiple newspapers, he's a media tycoon and philanthropist who's designs for nationwide (global?) power and influence are bought down by the sensationalistic media and personality politics that he himself had made a lions share of his fortune from.

The acting is strong, every scene and sentence either moves the plot forward or develops character - if only Hollywood movies these days could follow these two concepts without digressing into pointless CGI "franchise" movies that infantalize their audience and dazzle them with computer rendered frames that the brain unconsciously recognizes as fake anyway, but besides all that, Kane is a movie about a seemingly real man, and an era: the American century.

I don't subscribe to the notion of American exceptionalism, and am not actually American at all (even if I did live there, I wouldn't consider myself) but the film is really about the birth of a culturally, and economically new power apart from "the old country", with new values, new leaders and new forms of equality and mass media. The film also explores the inherent contradictions and hypocrisies of the new ruling class of the 20th century; Kane goes from being a genuinely useful idealist, to being an obscenely wealthy fool, trying to dignify the lot of the working class (his own social roots) by pushing a music retail clerk and mediocre stage singer to the level of stardom through his own great wealth and media influence. You can see parallels to today's society in every sequence of Citizen Kane, and its worth seeing more than once.
A Film-Study Exercise
A technical masterpiece, making it a must see at least once in one's life. Watch it as a film-study exercise, but not as the great film it is claimed to be.

We follow the life of Charles Foster Kane, a fictionalized character based on the life of William Randolph Hurst. There are strong performances in the film, magnificent use of shadows, angles, sets, as well as the fact that Orson Welles wrote, directed, starred in and had complete control over editing it. (This was unheard of at the time. But this was not really the first independent film production. Look to Howard Hughes and John Ford for this.)

Good or great film-making is ultimately about story telling. For me, a film that moves me emotionally and/or intellectually, employs subtlety rather than insulting my intelligence, has true-to-life characters, presents believable situations, can be enjoyed over and over again, and stands the test of time, earns such praise. I confess that I do prefer to have a strong reaction to the main character, be it empathy, hatred, love or disgust, and some understanding and sympathy of motives. I am well aware that there are people whom are extremely difficult to completely understand, (John Ford, for example), but they are not a complete mystery.

I originally saw this film about 25 years ago. As a college student, I was very quick to parrot traditional perceptions and said, "Great flick!" rather than form my own opinion. I recently re-watched it, and am quite content to wait another 25 or more years before doing so again. When the audience has to don deep-sea diving gear to attempt to understand something about the character via interpretation rather than subtlety, then the film missed the mark. The only character I found evoking any emotion, empathy or real comprehension was Kane's second wife. The film ended without any real understanding of Kane or his why his final words are what they are, nor do you care.

Study the cinematography once in you life. But that's quite sufficient.
I will not discuss whether this is the greatest film ever made or not. There is no greatest film. You either like a film or you don't. No one film is the supreme film, as there is no one book that is the best, no one song and so on.

Citizen Kane is Orson Welles debut feature made in 1941. He was commissioned to make it by RKO features after he got some fame from the now infamous 1938 broadcast of the war of the worlds. He got the chance to develop his own script use his own actors and crew and had a lot of creative control and thus we got Citizen Kane.

Citizen Kane is about a man: his life, his trials, his tribulations, his ups, his downs and finally his death. The movie opens with what is now one of the most iconic scenes in movie history. An aging Charles Foster Kane played by Orson welles himself lets slip a snowglobe as he utters his final words " Rosebud "

From then on we are taken on a journey through his life. And we watch the talent of welles unfold. Maybe it is his career in radio and theatre but Welles can do one thing and that is tell a story. There is not one dull or uninteresting moment in the film. The story unfolds in a brilliant manner and you are completely sucked into the world of Charles Foster Kane that is so well created by Welles and portrayed by his hand picked crew

Welles has created a fascinating character study in Charles Foster Kane. There have been so many great men and everyone has always tried to scratch away at the surface at try to reach the whole truth about what a man was. Welles tries to show that there is no one truth or no one answer to a man's life. Life is so vast and so varied that every man at one point is occupied in living so man different lives that it is impossible for anyone to gauge what one action or one word meant.

The final monologue is filled with profundity. Even if parts of the movie seem aged (none did to me) that final monologue will always remain relevant as will the movie .

And I am giving it a 10 not because I am another admirer of the emperor's new clothes. I could have given it an 8 or a 9 but now it has become cool to hate Citizen Kane. To protest against these people citizen Kane deserves a 10
Listen to a crotchety old guy when he's talking at you, whippersnappers
Any (re)viewers who came away with negative impressions of Kane probably made the mistake of watching the film on video. You should never approach a classic film in anything but a proper movie theatre. Would you watch "2001" at home on a 14" screen? You would! Why? Watching 2001 on anything other than a full-size movie screen, or even better an IMAX screen, is a waste of time. Its grandeur cannot be appreciated under home conditions, pausing the film every 10 minutes to check on the laundry.

Citizen Kane has a lot more plot than 2001, but the problem is the same. Everything that's daring and exciting about the direction -- the crazy camera angles, the freakish tracking shots, the wildly imaginative changes in mood and lighting -- you don't get anything of that on a tiny screen. All you get at home are the clever plot, brilliant dialogue, and great performances, but even so I find Kane boring at home too. Oh, and don't forget the subversive assault on the necessarily irresponsible use of corporate power. Off hand, I can't think of a single Welles film that works on a TV screen. Well, maybe Touch of Evil, since it's so heavily plotted. But with Ambersons, Lady From Shanghai, The Trial, Chimes At Midnight, to cite just a few quickly, you're just ruining it for yourself getting your first exposure at home.

There's a second-run movie theatre somewhere near you that needs your support and probably shows nice, scratchy prints of Kane, exactly the kind that everyone who loves Kane saw their first time.

I'm one of the people who thinks the AFI list is a bad joke which can safely be ignored. By accident, some great films did manage to wind up on the list. Citizen Kane is one of them.

As our Neapolitan compatriot, who most graciously excluded his own country's Ladri di biciclette from consideration, says, Citizen Kane is "il più grande film della storia del Cinema". I think it's the greatest in cinematic history as well. Yeah, and it's boring at home.
Childhood Ultimately makes the Determination
More movie review lists have awarded "Citizen Kane" the honor of being the best film ever made than any other film whatsoever..Deservedly so!! Why?... The superb character portrayals... Charles Foster Kane (based on William Randolph Hearst) was a character which sparked a lot of controversy in the movie industry back in 1941!! This film did not even win best picture that year, that award was given to "How Green was My Valley". Reluctance to allow a film like "Citizen Kane" to be released, evoked a formidable indication that people had a perception of the silver screen as the purveyor of the stilted panacea which provided glossy entertainment for the movie audience!! The ugly depiction of abhorrent human nature that "Citizen Kane" so succinctly illustrated, left a scar on the manufactured illusions of movies during this era!! So many film's entertainment agenda during the '30's and '40's were fortified by high budget fantasy!! These illusions orchestrated a premise of escapism that the moviegoers grew accustomed to!! (Wizard of Oz is a stellar example)...Nevertheless, "Citizen Kane" hit the big screen, and from there, received unprecedented critical acclaim!!

What was the attraction?.... Charles Foster Kane was a neglected and irascible man who concocted a myriad of avoidable vulnerabilities in his life. His childhood became a pitfall of doom and despair which left an indelible mark on him!! His empathy for the working class people inevitably translated to his perception of them as chattel, and that he must be the ameliorated recipient of their gratitude!! His fame and fortune was predicated on the idea that the banal proletariat be relegated to the pathetic plight of a marketable commodity!! So many concepts were avant-gard in this movie, this is why they were widely unacceptable!! Concepts such as: The life of a corporate mogul being the culprit to making Charles Foster Kane fall prey to vanity and social entitlement!! He became a victim of megalomania, this was his ultimate downfall!! The dark human emotions and vindictiveness of politicians seeking election and/or re-election manifested themselves through very authentic reactions from the characters in this film!! The perennial egocentric demeanor which afflicted Charles Foster Kane throughout the entire movie, signified a pejorative compassion which was totally self centered!!!

The character portrayal of Charles Foster Kane by Orson Wells was outstanding..Genuine feelings that were related to selfishness and avarice in this movie simply astounded me!! People have to consider the year this movie was made (1941) to fully appreciate the ideas which were thrown out at the movie audience!! No matter how reprehensible Charles Foster Kane was, he was also NEWS!!! This will always be the way of the world!! This newspaper king wound up being utterly thwarted by a form of convoluted justice!!! Leaving a largess of artwork behind, merely pointed out to everyone that his priorities purported a horrid arrogance!! The onus was on the movie audience to get acquainted with the despicable aspects of negative emotional qualities that Charles Foster Kane masqueraded around like coveted trophies!! Ultimately, his childhood put a lethal spin on his adverse reactions to everything, and played a significant role in this movie!! I strongly recommend to anyone who is interested in movies, that they see this film!! "Godfather" "Shawshank Redemption" "Lord of the Rings" (Fellowship of the Ring) and "Gold Rush" have all been selected as the greatest movie ever made by one critic's list or another, but, not nearly as often as "Citizen Kane" though!!! "Citizen Kane" is an absolutely remarkable movie!!
Narrative and Eye Disconnect
Spoilers Herein.

This an extremely influential film, by one of the very few inventors of cinema. But I do not think it is Welles' best. (That's either `Othello' or `Lady from Shanghai' depending on your religion.)

First of all, this is not the work of a genius, but the excellent product of three committed artisans: Welles, Tobin and Mankiewicz.

Mankiewicz, with his brother, were the industry's working intellectuals. Here (aided by Houseman), he simply got a client intelligent enough to know what was up. Similarly with Tobin, who was the Sascha Vierny of his day. These two men pulled on Welles, but as we will see, in independent directions.

The story, Hearst and all that, is irrelevant except for the notion that a writer in the right place can create reality if willing to pay the price. The acting is fine of course, uncharacteristically abstract -- but that's hardly innovative nor groundshaking. No, what makes this film important are two features, and the failed relationship between them.

The first of these is the incredibly complex narrative structure. Things that are normally nested frames: a reminiscent flashback, a text annotated with pictures... are here multiply set up and in turn enfolded into the film proper. We see a newsreel, whose footage later appears in the `real' action; we have a recalled death vision of a childhood but that becomes untenably self-critical; we see her singing and again from her perspective. We have several on-screen narrators but each gets swallowed. There are so many narrative devices at work it keeps us spinning, sledding as each comes into play and is then reabsorbed. The puzzle is assembled several different ways. Nowhere else is such narrative cleverness been even attempted, not by Lynch, Bergman, Wenders, anyone.

The other innovation is the breaking of convention with the eye of the camera. The camera takes positions -- physical and philosophical -- that were previously utterly unknown. Previously, the camera was audience supplemented by `context' shots: perspectives that a human observer might not see but that seemed natural. Now, the camera is something unto itself that we have to accommodate. The camera does things no human would or could. It sometimes (often!) sees two things simultaneously, something that never happens with the natural eye. It has a curiosity that we would not have directed. The eye defines the lighting, not the other way around -- here everything is colored not by what it is, but by how the film's eye changes it.

Both of these experiments are masterful. They changed the world of films, and hence dreams, and hence all of abstract thinking forever.

But the flaw, the lethal problem with this film is that the two experiments have independent lives. They are not coordinated beyond some fairly easy touchpoints and then only in the simplest of ways: an image that is being described by a speaker and the nature of the newsreel. It is as if there were TWO geniuses at work, each doing something important and neither communicating with the other. So when there is a shift or a trick in the narrative, the eye is ignorant of it.

But hey, it was just the man's first film. He quickly fixed that in `Othello' and especially `Shanghai.' The merger of eye and narrative is the real revolution. `Kane' raised the question, which is why it is important. Tarkovsky, some Bergman, Malick, Greenaway have subsequently succeeded with this merger using different devices, but the master is Kurosawa. Welles made Kurosawa possible. It all starts here, but only as a promise. In real terms, the film is a failure.
The Lighting Effects Used In 'Citizen Kane'
The limitations of the movie being in 'black and white' did not hinder the captivation of the viewer. The impact of Citizen Kane lies in mise-en-scene and the technical tools of film-making, lighting, framing, editing and angle. The most prominent cinematic technique used in Citizen Kane is probably the lighting. The director meant for it to be a dark picture with very heavy contrasts, so he used single source lighting. The objective was to use simple lighting devices in order to give the scene a certain ambiance and in some cases, to further develop the characters with the use of shadows. An example of single source lighting is when Thompson is reading Mr. Thatcher's memoirs. This single source light creates a sense of isolation which seems to accentuate Thompson's lonely quest. The way the light illuminates the room also says a great deal about Thatcher's personality, especially by how it illuminates the large portrait of him hanging on the wall. One of the most memorable times in the movie that a single light source was used is the scene where the reporters debate how they will add to the story. The bright light source that comes from the window is so soft that it, complimented by the cigarette smoke, covers most of the room in shadow. As a result, the characters are not easily seen. This scene is effective because it says a great deal about the reporters themselves, or at least how the directors wanted to portray them as; where they are not primary or main characters in the movie. Casting all of the reporters in shadow, implied that the director wanted the reporters to be seen as characters of no importance, not just as characters, but also as an institution when considering the media. The reporter scene also happens to be the strongest use of shadows and light, which is a more prevalent technique, used throughout the film that says more about character intentions and motivations. Shadows are used to express the ethical value of a character; they cast doubt on a character's reliability, or by the absence of shadow, display a character's innocence or truthful intentions. As opposed to the lighting of a scene, the use of shadow is more effective on a character. One of the most touching uses of shadow In the movie is during the scene where Kane reads the Inquirer's "declaration of principles", which he wrote. When he does this, he is cast in shadow as he reads the declaration but once he has finished reading, he is cast back into light. This says two things about Kane; regardless of whether his idealism is genuine, Kane does not have a strong enough character to persist with such principles. Shadows heavily used during the confrontation between Boss Gettys and Kane and his wife at the time at Susan Alexander's apartment.

There is one scene in particular where Susan is standing between Gettys and Kane. In this scene both men are cast completely in shadow as opposed to her who is completely in light. This can be used to signify that both men are can be deemed as very dishonest people. Susan on the other hand is the innocent person in this quarrel. She is the victim of both men's ambition, which has forced her between them. Shadows were also used later in the film in order to display Kane's superiority over Susan. This is when she reads the horrible review about her by Leyland in the Enquirer. She tells Kane that she wishes to quit, but he demands that she continues singing. He stands up over her and she is covered by his shadow for a moment, suggesting his dominance over her. He intimidates her and she does continue with her career. Quality, direction, colour and source of light are large aspects of the scene where the reporters decided to find out what 'rosebud' means and therefore state the plot of the film. The quality of light is differentiated throughout the scene. The intensity and direction of the light source change depending upon who is speaking and the sources are intensified as the speaker's relevance increases. The main reporter, Thompson and his editor, Mr. Ralston, are highlighted and shadowed according to how big their roles are at a given time. From the beginning of the scene, Ralston's face is shadowed and his movement around the room is limited. While he is deciphering what he thinks about the news reel depicting Kane's life, his face is shadowed and dark as he moves across the set. Citizen Kane is still respected and admired because of the groundbreaking cinematic techniques that are just as inspirational to filmmakers today as they were fifty years ago.
A true original
RKO was the smallest of the Big Five Hollywood studios and the purveyor of mainly undistinguished genre pictures. For this reason they hired a young theatre producer called Orson Welles to make a prestige film. Welles had just shook up radio with his production of The War of the Worlds, a broadcast that was so innovative and realistic it caused widespread panic throughout the United States with some people really believing that Martians were attacking. Welles was given free reign to make the film he wanted. This was unprecedented for an untried film-maker. The film's central character resembled newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. The film was delayed several months while RKO tried to appease Hearst's lawyers. It was well received by the critics but not a popular success. It would remain the high point of Welles career and the one time he enjoyed such complete control. This led in part to the auteur theory where masterpieces of cinema were attributed to the director's genius. However, this is too simplistic as Welles had great collaborators here such as screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and cinematographer Gregg Toland. The former provided a disciplined structure for Welles to work off and the latter the deep focus photography that allowed him to manipulate cinematic space in a way that strengthened the story. The combination of deep focus and long takes allowed for scenes where characters moved around the cinematic space in ways that heightened the drama considerably.

Citizen Kane is often considered a triumph of technique but it's really the way in which the technique was used and controlled to strengthen the story that makes it so notable. It wasn't the first film to utilise deep focus or long takes but it was the first one to use them so systematically. It combined many opposites – social comment / surrealism, European art film / Hollywood entertainment, comedy / tragedy, realism / expressionism. Kane himself is presented in a variety of ways – dreamlike images of him dying, a remote public figure, a man known by wife and friends and finally a detached being. This reality is expressed by a combination of objective fact and subjective opinion. The beginning of the movie illustrates opposites of approach. We begin with a subjective dreamlike death scene and immediately are thrust into the objective 'News on the March' segment that mimics the news documentary in a similar way to how Welles mimicked the radio news in The War of the Worlds. In this part we are told the whole narrative in summary. It's a microcosm of the film as a whole. After this we then piece together the story of Kane's life via the accounts of various people who knew him, all interviewed by Thompson, a man whose face we never see because he really represents us. The use of flashbacks, multiple narrators and an ambiguous conclusion was a very innovative one for the time. The film as a whole resembles one of the jigsaws that Kane's second wife Susan works on, each piece contributed another truth but some pieces are missing. To add to the complexity of the film, different people offer contrasting judgements that make up the differing periods of his life. Welles once remarked that 'the point of the picture is not so much the solution of the problem as its presentation'.

Thompson realises that no single word can 'explain a man's life' and so it proves with 'Rosebud'. The sledge and paperweight represent the time when Kane was happiest and the love he lost but it's left essentially ambiguous and is never fully explained. Kane seeks to regain the love he lost for the rest of his life but always on his own terms, this leads to the ruin of his career and relationships. He winds up in Xanadu his very own pleasure dome with caves of ice. The final tracking shot moves slowly over the expensive rubbish that Kane has accumulated; as we pan forward we see items from further and further back in the story until we find the fateful Rosebud sledge. The 'answer' to our quest.
CITIZEN KANE may let some people down, but it's still worth seeing.
It's a difficult undertaking for someone of my generation to watch a film like CITIZEN KANE. Not because it's "too old" or "too boring", but because it has been hailed--almost universally--as the single best motion picture ever made. And while the anticipation of seeing a film with such overwhelming acclaim may be quite exhilarating, actually watching it is ultimately an intimidating and somewhat disappointing experience.

This isn't to say that I thought CITIZEN KANE was a bad film; in fact, I thought everything about it was downright brilliant. From the enchanting performances right down to the meticulously planned camera movements and clever lighting tricks, there isn't a single element of CITIZEN KANE that isn't a stunning achievement in all areas of filmmaking.

CITIZEN KANE's storyline is deceptively simple. Even though the plot unfolds by jumping in and out of nonlinear flashbacks, it is surprisingly easy to keep track of. The straightforwardness and relatively fast pace of the story are what make it seem intimidating. Because everything moves smoothly along without any standstill, it feels like we are being fooled-like there is something much greater that we just can't seem to grasp. As a first-time viewer, I knew from its reputation that there must be *something* that separates this movie from all the others; something buried within its simple plotline that everybody else has seen, but that I just could not seem to get a handle on. And then, during those final frames, that something was revealed, and it all began to make sense. To me, it was these moments of confusion and uncertainty followed by a sense of enlightenment and appreciation that made watching CITIZEN KANE such a meaningful experience.

But no matter how great of a movie CITIZEN KANE really is, it can never live up to one's expectations. Although I do feel that it is deserving of its acclamation, the constant exposure to its six decades worth of hype and praise will invariably set most modern viewers' standards at a height that is virtually unreachable--even if it really *is* the best movie of all time.
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