Media Studies Intro to Cinema

A qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog

Blog Challenge #1: Observing Citizen Kane

Filed under: Uncategorized — Francesca Scaturro at 12:00 pm on Thursday, September 22, 2011

Important trends in this film are lighting and positioning of characters. We can see the use of lighting in the beginning of the film in the scene where the reporters are trying to find out what rosebud means, and we can also see the use of positioning when Mr. Kane hits Susan Alexander when she says that he just bought her, and he never gave her anything meaningful besides money. The positioning and lighting changes when a certain person is shown to be in power or powerless and I will demonstrate this trend in this scene. The scene I chose was the scene in which Jim Getties exposes to Mr. Kanes wife that Mr. Kane is having an affair with Susan Alexander.

The use of lighting and the positioning of each person in this shot is very deliberate. We see the man in the dark who says “Mrs. Kane I don’t suppose anyone would introduce us, I’m Jim Getties”. We can see that Jim Getties is in the dark because he knows Mr. Kane’s secret, and is therefore the bearer of bad news. It is essentially because of him that Mr. Kane’s marriage with his wife will end, and his affair with Susan Alexander will be in the papers. We can see by the positioning of Susan Alexander that she is in the middle of the whole situation, and the only person she has to lean on is Mr. Kane and that’s why she is looking up at him.

 

In this next scene we are able to see that Jim Getties and Mr. Kane are at a standoff, looking at each other straight in the face, and now that are both in the dark and we see Mr. Kane’s wife in the middle. Mr. Kane doesn’t want Jim Getties to expose his affair, and is therefore looking at him straight in the face as a warning. The fact that Mr. Kane is taller and is looking down at Mr. Getties also symbolizes a sense of power that Mr. Kane is trying to exert on Mr. Getties to not expose his secret by tossing out a threat saying “I’ll break your neck”, but Mr. Getties remains unmoved.

In this next shot we how the director plays with the placement and size of the characters on the screen. In this scene Mr. Kane is left in the back and seems smaller than all the other people in this shot. At this moment he is left powerless, while Mr. Getties explains to his wife that he is going to publish a story about Mr. Kane’s affair with Susan Alexander. In this shot Mr. Getties holds the most power and is therefore facing the audience and he is very well lit.

In the next shot we can see that Mr. Kane is holding all the power. In this shot Mr. Kane’s wife, Mr. Getties, and Susan Alexander’s eyes are all on him. We can also see this by the high angle of the shot, which is placed right above and behind Mr. Kane’s left shoulder. This shot is important because he determines the fate of his marriage, as well as what will appear in the papers tomorrow. This shot is so important because it is a decision making moment. The director shows with great accuracy a moment that many people experience, when waiting for an answer to a critical question.

This next shot we are able to see that Mr. Kane has his back to the camera, while Mr. Getties face is in full view and is very well lit. This shot shows the audience that Mr. Getties is going to expose all of that which Mr. Kane didn’t want exposed to the world. In this scene the audience is the people who read the newspapers, and he has his back towards us because he doesn’t want us to see what’s going on in his personal life.

The last shot is very important on Mr. Kane running after Mr. Getties down the circular stairs while he is screaming at him, because it symbolizes in a very literal way that his life is going in a downwards spiral.

Print Friendly


4 Comments

   nas data recovery V2.30 Serial

2016/06/30 @ 3:33 am

nas data recovery V2.30 Serial

Media Studies Intro to Cinema » Blog Challenge #1: Observing Citizen Kane

   Transporte de carros

2016/08/12 @ 9:24 am

Transporte de carros

Media Studies Intro to Cinema » Blog Challenge #1: Observing Citizen Kane

   taitropin

2017/04/06 @ 3:34 pm

taitropin

Media Studies Intro to Cinema » Blog Challenge #1: Observing Citizen Kane

   ankara matematik dersi

2017/08/01 @ 1:48 pm

ankara matematik dersi

Media Studies Intro to Cinema » Blog Challenge #1: Observing Citizen Kane

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 

Spam prevention powered by Akismet

Skip to toolbar