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Film 270

by: Madelon Morford

Film 270 Film 270

Madelon Morford
Emory University
GPA 3.4
Introduction to Film

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Film notes
Introduction to Film
Class Notes
FILM 270
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This page Class Notes was uploaded by Madelon Morford on Saturday February 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Film 270 at Emory University taught by Venell in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Film in Film at Emory University.

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Date Created: 02/20/16
The film was considered controversial and un attering upon release because of its obvious parallels to real people and events Kane as Hearst The Inquirer as a representation of the New York Journal Xanadu as The Ranch Susam Alexander as Marion Davies and other parallels are illustrated through the film The cinematography of the film was also praise for it advanced qualities The film was acknowledged as a milestone in the development of cinematic technique The use of a subjective camera unconventional lighting highcontrast lighting the use of shadows and strange camera angles deepfocus and shallow focus shots and depthof field and were some notably unique qualities of the films cinematography Contributors Orson Welles tripled as the films director star and producer Citizen Kane mindset fixed and growth film about William Randolph Hearst Characters 1 Charles foster Kane Emily Norton J edidiah Leland bff Bernstein manager Thatcher banker guardian Susan alexander Thompson journalist who wants to know what rose bud is Getty s 9 Junior killed in car crash 8091 9 Film Techniques depth of field in the film partial subjective narration unrestricted vs restricted lap dissolve two shots a shot dissolving off the screen while another fades onto the screen overlapping moment Herman J Mankiewicz on the script and also with an uncredited John Houseman Gregg Toland as his talented cinematographer manipulating image by cutting the film strip swish pan s moving the camera so fast it seems to blur the images conventional montages editing to condense time Deep focus and great depth of field Sharp focus form Wide depth of field short vocal length and or smaller aperture Smaller aperture faster film stock and more lighting Deep focus from background to mid ground to foreground High great contrast between light and dark Expressive shadows Shallow focus only one field is in focus Internal of the projected frame Deep and shallow focus Textbook example of field Advanced make up art Super imposing the film strips for visual effects Production advance very high Shadows used on purpose Themes different people with different interpretations of an event Kane like Phil is characterized by other characters and how they talk about him and how he treats them and how that has changed theme of media portrayals Rosebud Sled Compelled to act to satisfy others but he doesn t treat his wives and more personal characters like this Connotations of the shadows in the film personified by Kane All talk about his image and not actions Cloak of a shadow Cant see face symbolic image no access to Visual dark Dichotomous character two faced light dark shadows Wants to dominate people but also please people Uses people in his life to put on a play and satisfy other around him More mean to his personal people Rose bud maybe because it was the last time he felt like he had control and sanity and social humanity NOTES The film engendered controversy because it appeared to fictionalize and caricaturize certain events and individuals in the life of William Randolph Hearst a powerful newspaper magnate and publisher Newspaper the inquirer rosebud reminder of loss childhood remorse loss of humanity loss of social understanding when he doesn t have control he remembers rose bud The film was accused of drawing remarkable un attering and uncomplimentary parallels especially in regards to the Susan Alexander Kane character to reallife o lowangled shots revealing ceilings in sets a technique possibly borrowed from John Ford39s Stagecoach I 93 9 which Welles screened numerous times sparse use of revealing facial closeups elaborate camera movements 0 overlapping talkover dialogue exhibited earlier in Howard Hawks39 His Girl F ridav 19402 and layered sound 0 the sound technique termed quotlightningmixquot in which a complex montage sequence is linked by related sounds a cast of characters that ages throughout the film ashbacks ashforwards and nonlinear storytelling used in earlier films including another ragstoriches tale starring Spencer Tracy titled The Power and the Glory 1 933 with a screenplay by Preston Sturges and RKO39s A Man to Remember I 938 from director Garson Kanin and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo the frequent use of transitionary dissolves or curtain wipes as in the scene in which the camera ascended in the opera house into the rafters to show the workmen39s disapproval of Mrs Kane39s operatic performance also the famous 39breakfast39 montage scene illustrating the disintegration of Kane39s marriage in a brief time 0 long uninterrupted shots or lengthy takes of sequences Citizen Kane is the interpretive story of a pessimistic and self involved character Alexander Kane as played by to represent Hearst Kane s life story is told through a variety of perspectives and pointsof view by many characters that were an integral part of Kane s life The objective of the interviews with each character was to deriddle Kanes last words Rosebud the associates and friends of the deceased providing a sometimes contradictory nonsequential and enigmatic portrait The film tells the thoughtprovoking tragic epic story of a 39ragstoriches39 child who inherited a fortune was taken away from his humble surroundings and his father and mother was raised by a banker and became a fabulously wealthy arrogant and energetic newspaperman He made his reputation as the generous idealistic champion of the underprivileged and set his egotistical mind on a political career until those political dreams were shattered after the revelation of an illadvised 39lovenest39 affair with a singer Kane39s life was corrupted and ultimately selfdestructed by a lust to fulfill the American dream of success fame wealth power and immortality After two failed marriages and a transformation into a morose grotesque and tyrannical monster his final days were spent alone morose and unhappy before his death in a reclusive refuge of his own making an ominous castle filled with innumerable possessions to compensate for his life39s emptiness The discovery and revelation of the mystery of the life of the multimillionaire publishing tycoon is determined through a reporter39s search for the meaning of his single cryptic dying word quotRosebudquot in part the film39s plot enabling device or McGuffin MacGuffin However no one was present to hear him utter the elusive last word The reporter looks for clues to the word39s identity by researching the newspaper publisher39s life through interviews with several of Kane39s former friends and colleagues Was it a favorite pet or nickname of a lost love Or the name of a racehorse At film39s end the identity of quotRosebudquot is revealed but only to the film audience One source Gore Vidal a close friend of Hearst wildly claimed in 1989 in a short memoir in the New York Review of Books that quotRosebudquot was a euphemism for the most intimate part of his longtime mistress Marion Davies39 female anatomy And finally the film39s title has often been copied or mirrored as a template for the titles of other biopics or documentaries about a figure often striving for sociopolitical recognition as in the following films 0 Citizen Saint I 94 7 about modern miracle worker Mother Frances Cabrini 0 Damn Citizen 1 958 about a Louisiana state politician Citizen Tania I989 about heiress Patty Hearst39s abduction by the Symbionese Liberation Army 0 the HBO madeforTV Citizen Cohn I992 about Senator Joseph McCarthy39s loathsome lawyer Roy Cohn James Woods of the late 40s and 50s in the HUAC Citizen Langlois 1995 Fr about pioneering film archivist Henri Langlois of the Cinematheque Francoise with some footage from the 1941 film 0 Oliver Stone39s epic biography Nixon I 995 could have been titled Citizen Nixon it39s a modernday 39Citizen Kane39 story about another tragic figure filmed in a disjointed non linear or nonchronological fashion with unexpected ashbacks and the use of newsreel footage as Welles did and including an argument between Nixon and his wife at the dinner table resembling the famed breakfast table scene in Citizen Kane the famous 18 12 minute gap would serve as the enigmatic 39Rosebud39 director Alexander Payne39s debut film and political satire Citizen Ruth 1996 about Ruth Stoops Laura Dem a pregnant woman caught as a pawn in the middle of the abortion rights issue Citizen James 2000 about a young Bronx filmmaker writerdirectorstar Doug E Doug the TV series Citizen Baines 2001 about an eXpolitician James Cromwell dealing with three grown daughters the documentary Citizen King 2004 about Martin Luther King Jr originally made for PBS39 American Experience series


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