Citizen Kane Essay

Citizen Kane Essay-42
Curious about Kane's dying word, “rosebud,” the newsreel editor assigns Thompson, a reporter, to find out what it meant.Thompson is played by William Alland in a thankless performance; he triggers every flashback, yet his face is never seen.I look at a scene and tease myself with what will come next.

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It is the green light at the end of Gatsby's pier; the leopard atop Kilimanjaro, seeking nobody knows what; the bone tossed into the air in “2001.” It is that yearning after transience that adults learn to suppress. I have analyzed it a shot at a time with more than 30 groups, and together we have seen, I believe, pretty much everything that is there on the screen.

“Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn't get, or something he lost,” says Thompson, the reporter assigned to the puzzle of Kane's dying word. The more clearly I can see its physical manifestation, the more I am stirred by its mystery.

“All he really wanted out of life was love,” Leland says.

“That's Charlie's story--how he lost it.” The structure of “Citizen Kane” is circular, adding more depth every time it passes over the life.

There is the Kane who made shadow figures with his fingers, and the Kane who hated the traction trust; the Kane who chose his mistress over his marriage and political career, the Kane who entertained millions, the Kane who died alone.

There is a master image in “Citizen Kane” you might easily miss.He questions Kane's alcoholic mistress, his ailing old friend, his rich associate and the other witnesses, while the movie loops through time.As often as I've seen “Citizen Kane,” I've never been able to firmly fix the order of the scenes in my mind.Bernstein, the mogul's business wizard; Ray Collins as Gettys, the corrupt political boss, and Agnes Moorehead as the boy's forbidding mother.Welles himself played Kane from age 25 until his deathbed, using makeup and body language to trace the progress of a man increasingly captive inside his needs.Then as he walks toward us, his stature grows again.A man always seems the same size to himself, because he does not stand where we stand to look at him.Hearst was Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch and Bill Gates rolled up into an enigma.Arriving in Hollywood at age 25, Welles brought a subtle knowledge of sound and dialogue along with him; on his Mercury Theater of the Air, he'd experimented with audio styles more lithe and suggestive than those usually heard in the movies.Deep focus allows Welles to play a trick of perspective.Behind Kane on the wall is a window that seems to be of average size.


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