English 299C: Film as Narrative Art - nwsccmoodledemo.com

English 299C: Film as Narrative Art - nwsccmoodledemo.com

English 299B: Film as Narrative Art Mr. Kelley

Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) Point to Consider:

Citizen Kane makes use of multiple narrators. How many versions of Charles Foster Kanes story are portrayed? Which version of the story is true?

How does this narrative ambiguity reflect the films theme? What kind of person is Charles Foster

Kane? What is important to him? What does he want? How do you know? Kanes last word, Rosebud, remains a

mystery to the characters in the film, although the allusion is made clear to the audience at the films end. What do you think Kane means by this cryptic

utterance? How does this connect with the films thematic concerns? Kane lives out a version of the American

Dream, and yet he dies an empty man. Does the film seem to offer a critique of the values of 20th century American society? Does it compare with Chaplins

Modern Times? How is journalism portrayed in Citizen Kane? Are there significant differences or

modifications in the portrayal journalism between this film and Hawks His Girl Friday?

What is the visual style of the film? Is it appropriate for the themes of the film? Welles makes use of light and shadow in interesting ways. Note some examples.

How is this lighting style related to the films themes? Consider Welles use of sound effects,

including music, and camera angles to help underscore and, indeed, make his points. Consider the ways in which Welles uses

editing to make his points (the breakfast scene being one famous example). Selected Filmography of Orson

Welles

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) The Stranger (1947) The Lady from Shanghai (1948)

Macbeth (1948) Touch of Evil (1958) The Trial (1963) Chimes at Midnight (1967)

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