Citizen Kane Analysis

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Citizen Kane – Charles Forster Kane and Susan Alexander
SHOT 1: Dissolve into an over-the-shoulder close up of Susan working on a jigsaw puzzle. She is completely dressed up as if she was getting ready to go out for a night on the town with an expensive gown and jewelry. The lighting design is very high contrast with Susan in white, while the background falls to solid black. Susan is in the left foreground of the shot as Kane’s booming voice can be heard saying “What are you doing?” While the shot does not tell the viewer, one can assume they are in a large, empty space as his voices echoes through the room. The camera rapidly pulls back as a dolly tracking shot as Susan turns her head towards the camera and the voice.

SHOT 2: Cut to an extremely wide establishing shot of the other side of the room. The lighting is still high contrast with shafts of light shooting into the room. The viewer instantly sees the scale of the room as Kane enters in the distance. He is clad in black, very small on the frame, and answers his own question with the rhetorical question “Jigsaw puzzles?” In the left foreground of the frame there are several large statues stacked across the frame into the distance. Two are of Egyptian origin, the next is Greek, and the fourth appears to be Asian. The doorway looks like part of a European Church. These set pieces help to establish the size of the room and emphasize Kane’s wealth. As Kane walks into the shadows the camera pans with him as he crosses across the room.

SHOT 3:
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For example Susan’s wardrobe reveals a lot about her character. Even though she is going nowhere she is dressed in her finest gowns and jewelry. Susan’s character needs things such as expensive dresses and jewels to feel fulfilled. However as the puzzle montage shows, over time the dresses and jewelry seem to present her as a “princess” who is being kept captive in the castle by a monster

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