Orson Welles And Kurosawa's Citizen Kane And The American Dream

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When Citizen Kane was released in 1941, it forever changed the film industry and exposed the world to a great cinematic masterpiece that used the American Dream as a foundation for it’s plot. Nearly a decade later Rashomon was released and displayed the unique aspects of Japanese cinema and the pursuit of the truth. Orson Welles and Akira Kurosawa both had clear visions of what they wanted their films to be; however, the two men took different approaches. Welles demonstrated different filming techniques, used a specific framing device and music to broadcast his theme. Kurosawa sought out elements of nature, lighting and the theatrical role of music to clearly communicate his ideas with the audience. Although these films are completely different, …show more content…
Both filmmakers used these films as an opportunity to demonstrate their individuality and manipulate different aspects of film Luckily, they were awarded for it. Both went past normalized conventions and the rules of filmmaking. Welles used a cockatoo and exaggerated camera angles to draw attention to the different aspects of his plot (the cockatoo alerting the audience of a negative shift) and Kurosawa used shots of the sky, the sun and a put his characters in centered focus (ignoring the rule of thirds) to do the same. These films also comment on different aspects of social class. Citizen Kane exemplifies the struggle for the American Dream and class. Charlie Kane’s parents have a vision for his life and find their lifestyle unfulfilling. They want more for their son which is why they send him off with an established man to be his new guardian. Similarly, in Rashomon three men represent different social classes. The Woodcutter is the working class, the monk is dignified and elegant like the wealthy and the other man is greedy and moraless signifying the poor or the way Kurosawa wants them viewed. Another captivating aspect of both films is their use of perspective. Both use it to give different accounts of the same story. One is the life of Charlie Kane, the other is the crime of the Bandit. However, both stories center around looking for the truth behind someone’s death and other characters involvement leading up to that event. The perspectives are nicely spaced out in both works and the focus remains on that character’s story until it is finished, with few interruptions. This not only creates a feeling of continuity but, allows the viewer to make their own personal assumptions about the character’s and their stories. The filmmakers leave a lot up for interpretation and grant the audience the freedom of deciding who the antagonists and protagonists are. While some might consider Charlie Kane a

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