Citizen Kane Mise En Scene Analysis

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Photography is the key element of mise en scene that determines how an audience will interpret the visual information in film. Orson Welles used the photography of his 1941 film Citizen Kane to emphasize aspects of the film he wanted viewers to focus on, and to remove non-essential information from the frame. This was accomplished through various camera tequniques including manipulation of angles and proxemity. Approaching the end of the film there is a scene just after Susan (played by Dorothy Comingmore) has left her husband Charles Foster Kane (played by Orson Welles), where he proceeds to trash her bedroom in a fit of anger. As Kane stumbles around the room sweeping items onto the floor and throwing things into walls, (Welles 1:48:25-50:27), …show more content…
A majority of the shots during the room-trashing sequence are deep-focus shots with Kane stumbling between the midground and background, distancing him from the camera. Through use of distance, Welles prevented the audience from sympathizing with Kane. “In general, the greater the distance between the camer and the subject, the more emotionally neautral we remain. Public proxemic ranges tend to encourage a certain detachment” (Giannetti & Leach, 129). Welles prevented the audience from becoming emotionally involved with Kane in this sequece so that the symbolic visuals of the scene would be noticed instead. For example, the visual created by Kane's distanced proxemity visually communicates that he is in isolation. Kane had just lost his second wife, leaving him with no friends or family to give him the love he craves. He appears small and lonely in comparison to the large furniture around him, with his appearence being swallowed by the hoards of posessions in the room (Welles 1:48:25-50:27). Even as he destroys his surroundings, he looks like an angry child rather than the powerful man he considers himself to …show more content…
The camera pans away from Kane for the first time since the sequence had begun, revealing a shift in power on screen. Placing the snowglobe is placed in the forground and center of the frame provided a visual example of the snowglobes' significance to Kane. As stated by Gianetta and Leach: “The central portions of the screen are generally reserved for the most important visual elements” (p. 101). Kane's placement on the left of the screen where only his legs are visable suggest he is strongly influenced by the central image: “The left and right edges of the frame tend to suggest insignificance because they are the areas faarthest from the center of the screen” (Gianneti an Leach, p. 103). The influence the snowglobe had over Kane's actions was demonstrated as his destruction is brought to an immidieate halt when the snowglobe lays in his path. Photography is the key element of mise en scene that determines how an audience will interpret the visual information in

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