Main

February 5, 2008

Christina Johnston - Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane is indeed a noteworthy and unique piece of American cinematography. Its position on the
'best films of all time" list is warranted in my opinion. I would rank it on my personal top ten movies, because I value the attention to creative detail, dramatic lighting, and important message that it delivers. What makes Citizen Kane exceptional is its depiction of how money can corrupt even the most obstinant of people. Kane began as an average man with a commitment to delivering honest, uncorrupted news to his fellow average man. As he was swept up into politics, affairs, and fortune, the movie slowly shows his evolving motives and values. For example, Kane's new found passion for collecting statues, exotic travels, and dwindling marital commitment signal his moral metamorphosis.

I don't think that Citizen Kane would have the same affect on today's audience as it did on the audience of its time. Modern movies often portray the dangers and evils that money and greed bring. Movies of Citizen Kane's time didn't expose reality to the degree that modern movies do in my opinion. Hollywood was heavily influenced by government censorship, and movies were often made to promote certain ideals and propaganda. Today's audience has been desensitized by modern innovations in movie making, and therefore may not appreciate the complexity in lighting and mood synthesized in Citizen Kane. For example, in the beginning when the man is investigating Kane's book to solve the mystery of the word "rosebud," the book is almost glowing with light on top of the stark table, representing the importance of Kane's life story. Similarly, as both of his wives are leaving him, they are also almost glowing with light as they retreat, symbolizing the goodness in his life leaving him.


Citizen Kane-Cassandra Johnson

Citizen Kane:

I enjoyed Citizen Kane quite a bit. Best movie of all time? I don't know. It's a very intriguing rag to riches story. It seems to me that Kane's intent is good all of the time. In the beginning he doesn't even seem to be interested in the money, all that he wants is the newspaper. One of my favorite lines in the movie is when Kane says, "If I hadn't been really rich, I would've been a really good man." I guess it just goes to show what a little bit of power and money can do to a person. The problem seemed to be that he had a lot of opinions and a very generous mind, but he only believed in himself. The people closest to him described him as being desperate for love but not having any to give in return. My favorite character in Citizen Kane is Jedediah. I couldn't help but giggle when he stumbles into the press and tells Kane exactly what's on his mind.

Overall, it's a really sad story about a really lonely man. He really doesn't have a genuine relationship throughout his entire life. I think that a lot of today's films goers would care about the message of Citizen Kane because the issues presented are still relevant. We've definitely all seen and experienced the effects that the media has on the society we are part of and a lot of us realize the "American Dream" is not all that is cracked up to be. This movie depicts the rise and fall of a very powerful man who, in most people's eyes, had it all. Things are not always as they seem. I think that the portrayal of Charles Foster Kane is pretty fair. It really doesn't show much of his point of view, but who would know him better than the people "closest" to him? It's fair because everybody has a right to their own interpretation. Welles was just exercising that right.

February 3, 2008

Citizen Kane - Eric Nelson

Citizen Kane falls quite a bit short when talking about my all time favorites. I just can not get into black and white movies. Putting the absence of color aside this was a very well executed film. For the time and even today the use of lighting, aging make-up, and vast sets made this movie something to remember.

The idea of the American dream as being hollow does hold significance with film goers today. Due to the materialistic world we live in and my pessimistic outlook, the best I can do is say that people would like to think that they would choose real love over a material possession. Although I believe that most Americans today care more about money than anything else, I still think they would say otherwise, which leads me to believe they would realize the meaning of a hollow American dream.

“Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message-all things that do not interest most film goers today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care.? This statement, sadly, holds great weight. Today’s movie goers watch movies not for the underlying meaning or symbolism, but rather for the story, to be entertained. No one would really care because no one would really understand. Even I got caught up in the story and the psychological factors of why Kane did the things he did, rather that realize the message of material things don’t make a person happy.

Comparing Citizen Kane to films of today I don’t really notice angle differences, but taking advantage of lighting is a huge part of this movie. Due to the film being in black and white the use of lighting was very important, where as today lighting is not as noticeable because we are distracted by colors.

I think today’s films jump scenes quite a bit more than Citizen Kane because they are so many more things happening that it is hard to stay at one scene for too long. It also has to do with keeping the audiences attention. People of today are fast pace and get bored easily so I don’t think the idea of long takes would work as well in today’s world.

It was a fair representation of Charles Foster Kane. He was a little boy taken from his parents at an early age to learn to be an adult and suddenly he had all of these rules to follow. So it is only expected that he would rebel against the norm off the time and not be interested in money. Also the fact that he felt unloved can explain why he is always trying to get people to love him. It also explains why he try’s to buy love, because money was put on a pedestal and he was never really exposed to real love so he didn’t know how else to get people to love him.

January 30, 2008

Amanda Ruffalo

Citizen Kane is almost always at the top of “the best of all time? film lists. Why do think
that is, and would you put it on your own “all time? list?

I don't think I would go as far as to say that Citizen Kane is at the top of "the best of all time" list, but it was a pretty decent movie for its time.
Citizen Kane had many positive elements. For instance, the movie experimented with many different camera angles which made for a more interesting film. Storytelling is a strong aspect of the movie as well. Citizen Kane takes us through the life of one man; his accomplishments and failures, marriages and divorces. It shows everything Kane had to do to achieve the American dream. This made for a more realistic movie, showing how hard one man had to work to get to the top and how lonely it really is up there. I also really enjoyed the symbolism that took place in the movie. Having the viewer unaware of what 'rosebud' meant throughout the film keeps them in suspense until the end when the meaning of 'rosebud' is presented.
I wouldn't put this movie on my top list because even though it was a pretty good movie it was a little too slow moving for me and it was actually quite depressing.

January 29, 2008

Citizen Kane-Brenna Munoz

I will admit that at first it was hard for me to focus and gain interest in the film Citizen Kane, partially because the films most of us engage in today are far more digitally enhanced and appealing to the eye; for example color vs. black and white. However, once I adjusted to this difference, I was able to see the film for its defiant strengths such as the story line, acting, connections with society, and creative filmmaking considering the limited resources and technology available at the time.
Although the movie was created years ago, it reflects on issues still relative to modern society. This allows people of today’s society the ability to make connections, which is usually an important aspect of films from a viewer’s perspective.
Citizen Kane reflects on the popular belief that having everything one could ever imagine does not always lead to true happiness. Implying that material worth is not what is most important. Americans, then and today, live for this story. It gives the less privileged hope and forces people to empathize and appreciate the non materialistic gifts life has to offer. Making connections and giving most people a better sense of worth.
The constant mystery of trying to figure out the meaning and significance of Charles Kane’s last word, “rosebud,? had me curious and intrigued throughout the entire movie. When the solution to the mystery is solved, revealing the symbolism of rosebud to the loss of Kane’s childhood, it implies that something as significant as one’s childhood is irreplaceable and no material worth can ever fill this void. This is always a popular storyline among modern society and never seems to get old.
I wouldn’t go as far to say that this is the greatest movie of all time. However, I would agree that this is a very excellent film that can still be appreciated today. The positive qualities found in the symbolism, connections, respectable acting, and creativity leave Citizen Kane a film quite deserving of a significant amount of credit.

Citizen Kane- Ashley Bergman

I remember my grandfather saying once that Citizen Kane was the best movie of all times, and that Plan 9 from Outer Space was consistently voted the worst. Personally, I enjoy Plan 9 a lot more than Citizen Kane if only for the fact that it induces some serious laughter. So when I first saw Citizen Kane as a senior in high school, I was left wondering what all the fuss was about. I thought Orson Welles was a good actor and that he made a pretty solid movie but—the best movie of all time? I didn’t think so and I still don’t. However, I don’t agree with this comment (seemingly written by either an old man who is wondering where the good old days disappeared to or some sullen teenager):

“Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message—all things that do not interest film-goers today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care.?

This I find to be very harsh (and also, if that’s all it takes to make a great film, I could make one tomorrow!). I would agree that people don’t care too much about Citizen Kane anymore as it is somewhat dated and a story that isn’t really relevant to your ordinary citizen as most of us aren’t multi-millionaires who can do whatever we want, but I don’t agree that the lack of interest is due to the fact that film-goers don’t care about cinematography, symbolism, or message. We do seem to care as the movies that get nominated to win Academy Awards tend to be fluent in all three of those categories. There’s even an award for best cinematography so someone must care.

Let’s look at the winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2006. Personally I was very annoyed that Crash, a story about racism, won over Brokeback Mountain, a story about, well, you know, because I felt Brokeback Mountain was the better film and Crash was nothing new. But I guess the audiences and voters felt different and no doubt it was due to the message of the movie: that racism is still prevalent even if it’s not overt. Take a look at the leading-contender for Best Picture this year, No Country For Old Men, which is seeping with symbolism and has a powerful message of its own. Movie-goers do care about these things, just not so much in out-dated, 60 year old movies.

January 28, 2008

Citizen Kane - Katherine Lung

I wouldn’t list Citizen Kane as one of “the best of all time?. The appeal of the American Dream is not as relevant as it was back then, and I believe it’s just harder for the majority of the population to relate to this as the middle class families have been growing steadily. Although I enjoyed the movie to a certain extent because I do believe that there is much more to life than the American Dream. It is not about the quantity of materials, but the quality and significance of holding such materials, whether it is excessive or not. The difference in the adult’s (Kane’s parents) idea of what happiness is (wealth) compare to a child’s (Charles Foster Kane) idea of what happiness is (family), is significant in the movie as at the end on his deathbed when he mentions the name of his sledge, brings us back to the notion that all the wealth he acquired and the love he bought never filled the void of leaving his family and the simpler times during his childhood. As he acquires wealth and spends money ruthlessly throughout the movie, it is fairly apparent that he was becoming farther and farther from affections he desired. In his final home, his palace, the large fireplace was sparsely furnished, normal conversation was hard to hold (they were shouting in the grand hall or … living room?) and everybody was unhappy. It was ironic how Charles Kane thought wealth could buy back what lacked from him but at the end what mattered to him most was considered worthless when he died and was burnt. It was a good movie and the irony forces people to rethink the concept of the American Dream.

January 27, 2008

Jon Marshalla's Citizen Kane Entry

I would like to address several of the questions posed. First of all, as to Citizen Kane being considered the greatest movie of all time, I would have to disagree, although I do think that it was an amazing movie about what is important in life.

As far as this movie not interesting your average movie goer today, I think it wouldn't interest many. The first 5 minutes of the movie where it shows the life of Kane documentary are somewhat annoying in my opinion. Once the regular dialog and characters came into place, the movie become much more interesting. I think the depiction of the "American Dream" not being all that it's cracked up to be is very critical, today probably more so than before. Here is a man who had all the wealth in the world, and the final thing he thinks about on his deathbed is a time when he was with his mother and had a sled. He didn't want to leave as a young child because he desired the love of his mother. Later in life, when he had "gained everything," he had really lost everything in my opinion. The most important thing in life is not the money and things we acquire, rather it is the people in your life. For me it doesn't matter where I am, what I'm doing, or whether or not I am rich or poor, if I am not surrounded with people who care about me. Nothing is more important than this, and oftentimes people forget this in their pursuit of money and power. It is a powerful message about life, and I enjoy the storytelling method where the reporter goes and talks to people who have interacted with Kane in their life. It reminds me of the style of the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" and has many parallels with it. Both old movies, well ahead of their time, filled with messages that are just as important today as they were in the 1940s.

Citizen Kane

At first I didn't see how this movie could be rated one of the best movies of all time. Now, I can see why this movie is classic. It has all the elements of the "rags to riches" story. Everyone loves to see the underdog make it. It makes good story because it correlates to people that want to be that person or strive to be that person from rags to riches.

The part that stuck out the most to me is his lost childhood. How he used money, power, and knowledge try to compensate for a childhood that he lost. He was never happy or satisfied with what he had in life, even though became wealthy and powerful. He used it to live his dreams through other people which in the end did him no good. It wasn’t self fulfilling because he was never satisfied. In the end all of things he acquired didn’t hold any value compared to his sled “Rosebud? did. His sled represented simplicity. It was a symbol of freedom and living in the present time.

I think this movie depicts people who get caught up in material possessions and living a lavish life that they forget the simple things in life that should be cherished and remembered. For example, parents who are so occupied working and forgetting that they need to be there for their kids. They don’t get to experience their child growing up and being a big part of their life because they are so occupied worrying about the future and forgetting what is important now.

-Hubert-

Martine Schroeder

The film “Citizen Kane? I must admit, was only mildly entertaining to me. However, I do feel that this movie conveyed an interesting message. The fact that Kane’s financial success was so unfulfilling to him is a message that continues to be a topic of interest today. This can be exemplified by the number of people who seek fame and financial success as an end to being happy. There are a number of recent movies based around the premise of wealth and success not necessarily producing happiness. I find it remarkable that Wells was the first person to present this message to audiences. Although this film was not the most entertaining movie I’ve ever viewed I believe that it does convey a message that is still appealing and holds some resonance with audiences today.

Joe Ross Citizen Kane

I've heard a lot of talk about this movie for most of my life, but going into class last Wednesday I honestly had no idea what this movie was about, much less what to expect. I particularly liked the way we learned about Kane through the stories and memories of those closest to him, but none of them knew him well enough to know what Rosebud actually meant. Kane is a tragic character, but brings the tragedy onto himself by succombing to tempatation of wealth and power, making it nearly impossible to sympathize with him.
Although the taste of moviegoers today has drastically changed since the time this movie came out, I don't agree that most people wouldn't care about the symbolism, message, etc, that this movie is based on. While the majority of us wouldn't put this movie in the top 5 list we just made, I believe most of us at least appreciate the differences between Citizen Kane and the dumb humor and redundant action movies that Hollywood wants us to watch. As a capitalist country, most people are concerned with acquiring as much wealth and power as possible, just like Kane does, but nobody really thinks about the consequences of having so much power in the palm of your hand. Therefore, this movie is still relevent in that respect, and probably will be for a long time...unless there is another communist uprising in the near future.

Citizen Kane

“If I wasn’t rich I might have been a good man.? Does wealth corrupt good people? I don't think so, but this movie brings up the idea that the quest for money and wealth has the power to turn good people bad. Kane is essentially alone when he dies. He is surrounded by material things that he has purchased in a house empty of family or friends. Sure he has a butler, but everyone in his life at this point, is paid to be in his life. I think that this movie is relevant to our society because so many people do strive for financial success, which is alright, but lose sight of more important things in the process. One problem this movie may have connecting with today's audience is that it was a little slow. Society has become more impatient over time and this could prevent it from being enjoyed by many people. Overall I found it entertaining enough with a refreshing message that money won't solve all problems and that maybe this American Dream that so many strive for is a little overrated.

Amanda Palazzo's Citizen Kane Reflections

When I read the syllabus and noted that we would be screening “Citizen Kane? in class, I had mixed feelings. I knew it was an iconic film, a masterpiece, listed as one of the best, as one of those films you just need to see. My initial hesitancy was that it would be boring, slow, cheesy, and would not live up to all the hype. I have been proven wrong when it comes to classic movies, as “Rebel without a Cause? is one of my favorites, but nonetheless, I was not expecting to like the film. I was even more surprised when I found myself quite captivated by it.

While Kane was certainly flawed, perhaps even despicable, he is also pitiable. I found myself, more than disliking his character, actually feeling bad for him. As we come to learn in the end, that the meaning behind his last utterance, “rosebud,? is a reference to his beloved sled, a relic from his childhood, it shows us how traumatic his separation from his mother, and essentially, his childhood, was. He knew a true kind of love before he was taken away, something he was never able to replicate through domineering behavior or bought affections. Kane died with wealth, but was empty and alone; the adage “money doesn’t buy happiness? certainly rings true in this case.

I do think that the idea of a less idealized depiction of the American Dream does resonate with people in this time. While this comparison is quite possibly sacrilegious, I think there are many similarities between Kane and the “starlets? and “socialites? of today, for instance Britney Spears. Her childhood was, essentially, lost to fame; she grew up quickly with the constant scrutiny of the public. Now, in her mid-twenties, she’s rich, spending some obscene amount of money monthly, and has the attention of the world, but (as we’re constantly reminded) she is in decline. Her career is all but dead, she lost her kids, and she may be battling some addiction/mental health issues. Again, “money doesn’t buy happiness;? she has everything, but nothing, as did Kane.

Citizen Kane - My Feedback

Citizen Kane is one of the best movies of all time because it has various aspects that continue to appeal to many movie goers. The most apparent evidence is observing how the students were willing to spend 10 more minutes to finish the movie. It was captivating because the “Rosebud? word mystery continued throughout the movie. It is human nature to be curious and understand the unknown. Therefore most audiences that saw the movie since the 1940s, -no matter whether the genre of Citizen Kane appealed to them or not- wanted to figure out what Charles Foster Kane was thinking when he chose “Rosebud? as his last word. Citizen Kane is also one of my “all time? list because I too demand explanation for the word.

I do not think that Citizen Kane’s depiction of the American dream resonates with today’s film goers. Not very many people would wish to use their wealth and power the way Charles did. Many people, including the audience of the movie, would probably choose to stay happy while living a regular life than trading wealth for happiness.

I do not fully agree with the statement that nobody would care if I were to show the movie to a random audience because even though the movie is very dated, it still has the curiosity aspect that will continue to captivate its viewers.

Comparing Citizen Kane to movies I see today, there isn’t much angle differences that stand out. However a few differences did show. It seems like there was always a camera zoom in one’s face in order to make one's expression really stand out. Another difference was that none of the characters seemed casual. Everyone was always uptight. The men all wore a suit and the women wore formal dresses.

I think that the portrayal of Charles was fair because it showed that no human being has power over everything no matter how rich they are. Charles was a decent man but he couldn’t use his wealth and power to make his abusive relationship workout with his partner .

Brian Andreen Citizen Cane

Citizen Cane was a thought provoking movie. The movie never came out and specifically spelled out what I the concepts the movie conveys, but instead subtly alluded to them throughout the entire movie. This caused me to inadvertently think far more about this movie and the meanings behind it than any other movie I have ever watched. This is a large part of the reason why Citizen Cane often appears on the top of the best movies of all time lists. Critics watch hundreds of movies, so a movie that does not let them stop thinking about it obviously appear high in their lists. Also although it is an old and black and white movie the acting as well as the story line was exemplary even if they do not meet up to current standards.
The first major theme was that the American Dream is not necessarily what it is made up to be. Cane as a child had everything that he wanted in his sled and his family. His parents were not able to realize this and so sent him off to a place he could live the American Dream and in so doing took away everything he really wanted. Following in his live Cane gained power and respect which are what many people strive for, yet all he wanted in the end was love and acceptance, things he was never able to buy. Cane never realized this as even when he had a woman who was willing to love him as he continued to try to buy her affection; instead of earning it by the way he acted toward her. In saying rosebud when she left I believe that he realized what he had done by treating her as he did. He had done the same thing to her in buying her everything and removing her from the life that she knew as his parents had to him when they sent him off to live with the well educated man for a better upbringing.
Another theme was how mass media is able to influence public opinion and beliefs.

Kane Review

Considered one of the greatest films of all-time, Citizen Kane certainly does many things well. First, the film exemplifies that, for some, money simply can't buy happiness. I believe this is a view that resonates with many modern film-goers. Living in a society in which they are exposed to corporate scandal, greed by professional athletes and celebrity vanity on a daily basis, I truly believe that the greater theme of Citizen Kane would ring true for many of today's film-goers. Second, I would have to disagree with the comment posted on the assignment page that no one today would appreciate the magnificence of Kane's cinematography, symbolism and its message. I would argue that while the modern trend in movies is to go bigger and better with visual effects, true film-makers and film-goers are just as concerned with a film's content (cinematography, symbolism and its message) as they are with surface-driven action sequences. Third, there is a stark contrast between Welles' shooting methods with those of today's filmmakers. In Kane, one can observe the long takes imposed by Welles. Often times, a scene will stretch the limits of dialogue or emotion before cutting to another scene. This couldn't be further from the methods of today's producers. Short, concise sequences full of visual stimuli have replaced the longer takes of older films such as Kane. Whether this is a positive or a negative is, in my opinion, still up for debate. Last, I wish to comment on the status of the film as one of the greatest of all-time. For me, Kane is a very good film. It breaks the boundaries of genre, as it could be seen as a mystery, drama or tragedy. Welles deviated from the norms of film-making, as he was among the first artists to depict the affluent lifestyle in a negative manner. In doing so, he took a risk and produced a classic film that stands the test of time. Although I wouldn't put Citizen Kane in my top five films, I can certainly see why others have.

Matt Hobbs - Citizen Kane

What first strikes you in the film Citizen Kane is just the absolute massive scope of everything. From the towering Xanadu to the close ups of the imposing characters, this is a film that really turns a critical eye on the grandeur of the object, and in so doing the American obsession with over indulgence.
While the film could have easily started with Charles Kane as a boy on the streets, it instead starts with a time line of the man's life at his death. Doing this allows Orson Welles to forefront the image, as the opening montage becomes of series of grand structures and scenes. One after the other, each of a more and more massive scale. From the towering Xanadu, to the birds eye shot of the union square as literally a sea of people, Welles puts the idea of the American dream on display from the very beginning. This effect is achieved due to the often used low angle shots to show us the buildings giving each place not only a stature to it, but also a dark, foreboding aspect to it as well. Welles’ heavy use of shadows also add to this the opening is at times very reminiscent of the early German expressionist films (the way the buildings are sculpted with the light reminds me of Cabinet of Dr. Caligari). As the film progresses and the characters are introduced, we often see them in close up, and very frequently from low angles. Again this is a technique used with success throughout the film to really situate the people as men of power. In this way Welles really turns the camera on what Americans generally equate with success. By making the standard objects of power so immense and sinister he really forces the viewer to analyze what it means to be successful and if our view isn’t itself a little warped and twisted

Melissa Colbert's thoughts on Citizen Kane

While I would not go so far as to say that Citizen Kane is one of my favorite movies of all time, I can appreciate what it brought to American cinema during the 1940’s. Welles’ message of wealth and life in the limelight causing such personal turmoil was one unfamiliar to people during that time. I feel that this message is relevant today, but it has lost the punch it once had because of the countless films since Wells' exposing the same pitfalls of trying to achieve the “American Dream?. In an age of computer graphics and high demand for bigger and better special effects and camera angles, it is no surprise that the typical American cannot appreciate what progress Citizen Kane represented in cinematography. Perhaps only those who have a deep appreciation and understanding of the art of film might consider this to be one of the greatest movies ever. Even though I was slightly let down by the film, one part of the movie that I enjoyed was when Welles is talking about how if had he stayed poor, he may have been a good man. You see his struggle throughout the course of the movie when he attempts to “buy love? and never really lets anyone in close enough to impact his life and his heart. It is sad to see his life slowly falling apart piece by piece and a part of me felt bad for him. Overall, I feel the movie is worth watching; however, I was disappointed that it did not live up to its hype.

S. Sorensen's Citizen Kane Reflections

Overall I enjoyed the film, but I believe that the film is severly overrated. I see that the film set the standard for films in which the main character is completely miserable due to his or her own actions. The acting left something to be desired, the characters in the film are very specific, but the portrayals of the characters are shallow. However, I did enjoy the film's style and how the audience learns more about Charles Foster Kane. The concept of releasing details to the viewer through detective work after the man's death in order to understand what his dying words meant was a clever way of progressing the plot and telling Kane's story. The story's development effectively built up my desire to comprehend "rosebud". I appreciated how the film came to a close with the cathartic burning of Kane's beloved possession from the only time period he was truly happy.

Citizen Kane

In the film Citizen Kane, it became evident that the American Dream was “hollow? for Charles Kane, and I do think this somewhat has resonance in today’s moviegoers. As people are still understanding of the original idea and purpose of the American Dream, it becomes almost necessary by today’s standards for some people to behave as Kane did do achieve such status, especially financially. We exist in the “me generation?—one that somewhat mirrors Kane’s desire in the film to attain everything for himself before others. It is after Kane establishes himself financially that he pursues the more real things of life, such as companionship and world travels, which also corresponds to our latest generational trends, for the most part. Even then, at the end of the day the only love Kane has is for himself.

I believe that if people were shown this film today, they would at least be understanding of its meaning, even if they didn’t care. True, this film would not be the most intriguing at first glance, or be the top seller at the box office, but the symbols and messages in Citizen Kane are still well applicable in today’s society, and I think everyone who watched it today would be appreciative. For example, the monopolization of public media and use of it to sway opinions is still an issue today (although it is not always readily evident) as it was when Kane controlled newspapers countrywide in the film. The thing that could be asked of people today after viewing Citizen Kane is at least to take a second thought at how they are being influenced in their every day lives by surrounding media.

As far as the cinematography of this film goes, it was a little too different from current films for my liking. I felt that some scenes, both significant and not, were awkwardly lingered upon during the filming, and certain visual or audio effects were too overdone for their purpose. Thankfully, these things were not a great hindrance to the plot.

Nicole Carroll: Citizen Kane

As a regular film watcher and have never seen Citizen Kane before, I found it to be rather dull and boring. I'm a person who loves the tear jerker films and this one I was just in disgust of how he used his life for very little good. He's a man of great power, especially through all his relationships he had with people, but instead of using them to create common good he only thought about himself. It disgusted me, because you can see this view of powerful people throughout society today.

Besides the story of the life of Charles Kane himself though, the film had awesome cinematography. Sure it's only in black and white, but if you take a look at it hard you can see how many shadows and lighting characteristics it has that it would only degrade the film if it were in color. When watching the film I did notice the same scowl on his aging face from the beginning to the end of the plot as if he has been trying to get at everyone that has helped him succeed. It was as if Charlie had always strived to get back to the life he had before; with Rosebud, his sled. Other than how well Orson Welles directed the movie with it's symbolism, message and cinematography I would say it's a movie that portrays how our society is today and it's horrible. I will never watch this movie again.

Thomas Campbell’s Citizen Kane Reflections

Having never watched Citizen Kane before I did not know what to expect from a Film directed in the 1940’s. Personally I would not put it at the top of my all time favorite list because I found it to slow to understand and do not like many old films. I also do not like black and white films as the lack of color makes it harder for me to follow. However that being said I do understand the greatness of this film due to the lighting and camera work for a film directed in the 1940s. If this film was directed with today’s modern techniques to move faster and become easier to understand I do believe it would be a very successful film and possibly on me all time favorite movies

Citizen Kane used the mysterious word “Rosebud? to examine the American Dream. Kane used his money and power to buy love and make others as miserable as possible. However what Rosebud really reveals to us is his lost happiness from his childhood. In his early childhood Kane was brought up poor but was still happy, when his mother sent him away he lost all his happiness, becoming rich and greedy turning Kane’s palace into his own prison, a tragedy that greed and wealth can bring to many people who do not know what to do with it all.

I agree with the following statement “Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its
cinematography, symbolism, and message, all things that do not interest most film goers
today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody
would care.? Most people today watch films for the excitement, a good story line, and great acting not for the likes of cinematography, symbolism and the message.

I do believe that the portrayal of Charles Foster Kane was fair. The director does cover Kane’s life from all aspects expressing this through several different characters that viewed his life differently to find out his true personality.

Overall I believe if I watched the film again I would understand the concepts of the film easier now that I know the meaning of “Rosebud? and can follow the importance of it throughout the film.

Citizen Kane: Reflections by Alexander Culverwell

I thought the film Citizen Kane was enjoyable and a very good story. It is not a kind of film that I would normally watch and to be honest I had never heard of it before this class.
One thing that I really enjoyed about the making of this film was the way that we got to see Charles Foster Kane's full life. From this we got to know what he went through then ultimately know what he meant by his dying word "rosebud"
The cinematography of the film was very good for a 1941 film. Compared to other films that I have seen from that era it was miles ahead of its time. This is why this film is considered one of the greatest films of all time!! I personally wouldn't class it as my greatest film of all time but from an American point of view it coincides with the American dream extremely well. When this film came out the American Dream was a huge part of people lives. This film contradicted the American Dream in a way as shows that money does not bring you happiness. The theme of "Rosebud" was very good for the movie. It almost acts as a new American dream because Rosebud represents Kane's childhood, or lack of it. It suggests that a new American Dream would be to have a good fun childhood then go on to have a good life which Kane did not have.

Chris Lewis: Citzen Kane

Continue reading "Chris Lewis: Citzen Kane" »

Chris Lewis: Citzen Kane

Continue reading "Chris Lewis: Citzen Kane" »

Citizen Kane's Story Progression

I have watched this movie several times before class and been impressed with the fantastic cinematography, the use of light and shadow to great affect, the acting, and the editing. However what struck me most this time was the way in which Welles ordered his plot. He begins the movie with the end, then uses that great newsreel footage to detail exactly what he is going to show the audience throughout the movie. As we move from viewpoint to viewpoint along with the reporter, the life of Kane is fleshed out more and more, and we get a character that is extremely complex but readily understood. It would be easy for an audience to dismiss or grow bored with the plot since it is already laid out. Instead the mystery of Kane's death only allows the viewer to become more engaged with the life he lead and the great drama and tragedy in it.

Citizen Kane


At first, I thought Citizen Kane was really boring and a waste of valuable class time. But as I watched it further, I realized that there was a deeper meaning to the movie.
First, I found it interesting that the main character, Charles Foster Kane, started as an innocent little boy with honest goals and remained a noble man for as long as he did. However, as soon as he realized the extent of his wealth and power, Kane became the person he never said he would. I predicted that Kane would become miserable with his own life, however, I was surprised that he became such a monster to the people around him. I think the theme of the movie is an important lesson opposing the American Dream.
In addition, I also liked the quote from the Blog Assignment page regarding Citizen Kane as a notable movie from it's time. I agree with the idea that today's movie-goers would not find the technical aspects of the film interesting. Most people today view movies as an easy-going activity where deep thinking is not favorable. Even as I watched the film, I was immediately bored with the plot and the acting. I had to remind myself that I was looking for symbolism and focusing on the themes. Once I got into an analytical mindset, I found the film much more interesting.
Another interesting thing I noticed was the lighting in the film. The lighting in the movie was generally dark and full of shadows; however, as the film went on, the lighting gradually got darker. I think Orson Welles did this as an interesting way to portray the character's personality transition. The more Charles Foster Kane grew miserable, and the more he dealt with inner struggles, the darker the lighting got. Lighting in today's films is much brighter regardless of the type of film; however, movies with darker meanings usually have darker lighting. I just don't think it's as obvious now.
So, overall, I would definitely not put this movie on my top five list, but it is an important movie in American history. The film has great symbolism and I think everybody should see it, but this type of film is not appealing for movie-goers today. I think Citizen Kane is more educational than anything.

Oakley Tapola CK Review

I thoroughly enjoyed Citizen Kane...though I have seen it before when I was much younger and way less capable of comprehending the granditude of its complexity. It makes an enormous amount of sense that CK would be on the best movies of all time list. The cinemetography is striking and presents the viewer with stark images that conveys the intensity of Kane's own character and his imminent doom...which is foreshadowed beautifully in the beginning Xanadu newsreel scene. That is actually one of my favorite segments of the film, when the newreel cuts out and you are suddenly caught off guard by the actual start of the film: a bunch of men sitting around in a screening room feverishly smoking cigarettes and theres a beatiful light from the projector room streaming down through the smoke. The interview scenes with the flashbacks are a brilliant way to pace the movie and as the story unravels the veiwer is allowed to grow to understand Kane's plight as a lonely, lost human being. Vs movies today Citizen Kane seems equally as thought-provoking and groundbreaking. Most films today seem to follow a prescribed outline in order to become box office hits with the occasional indie film...an even those have their own set of rules. CK is in the vein of the films of today that are equally as shocking: films that question the American Dream and the ideologies that we, as a consumer culture live by...and I dont believe there are too many of these films being made...so thats why this movie stands up to the test of time. It is equally as poignant as it was when it was first introduced...if not more considering our current state of being.

Josh Zaborowski

"Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message-all things that do not interest most film-goers today". I agree that at the time Citizen Kane was made the cinematography, symbolism, and message were great. As a movie-goer myself, I love the way movies are put together and I enjoy movies that portray a message and allow viewers to ponder a greater question. However, in todays society I feel the need to have a movie be action packed with adrenaline, mystery, and special effects. Citizen Kane simply did not satisfy that need for me. The symbolism with the sled and Kane's childhood was fantastic and unexpected. On his death bed Kane went back to a time when he was free of the burden of wealth, to a simpler time where he felt he was loved. Even amid the symbolism and the progressing story line, I sometimes felt like the progression through the movie was too slow, methodical, and even predictable. I feel like these aspects are things that disinterest movie-watchers. For these reasons I think Citizen Kane would not make the top ten of many people's lists and does not make my list either.

Citizen Kane

I believe Citizen Kane is the best film of all time. While it is not my personal favorite film of all time, I understand why it normally tops the list. Its cinematography was groundbreaking (literally) for the time. A viewer with a keen eye realizes every angle, shadow, point of view and scene transition was deliberate and thought through. Welles had a hole cut into the floor for some scenes to make the actors appear extremely tall and show their “large way of life.? Welles’ shadow in the film covers other actors to show his hold and power over them. While we may be used to seeing this today, at the time of Citizen Kane’s release this was not often employed. Even still, many recent movies are more concerned with special effects and action than symbolism through cinematography.

Ideas of the American Dream are heavy-laden throughout the film. Kane evinces what every citizen is told he or she can do; as a child he has hardly anything, but he grows up to be one of the most powerful people in the country. Kane supposedly is concerned about the working man yet is truly more concerned about himself. He wants everyone to like him and tries to accrue this through buying love. Dystopia of the American Dream was not presented to the public in the manner of a film during the ‘40s before Citizen Kane. Questions concerning post-war life and pre-Cold War times were not centered on the possibility of not realizing or achieving a good job, plenty of money and a nuclear family. I believe this is one of the reasons the film was not a commercial success at its release.

As for today’s movie audiences, the emphasis of this film may be completely lost simply because it was made in 1941. Though at the same time, watching the film today may again bring into question the truths of the American Dream, wealth and class, and the meaning of love. I believe it is important for society to see this film in hopes of possibly regaining concern for symbolism, cinematography and social messages.

Kane Review

Citizen Kane:
At first, I thought that the "flashback" aspect of the movie was going to be hard to follow. However, once the movie got going, it became apparent that this was the best way to go about filming. Since the main purpose of the movie was to figure out what the meaning is behind the word "rosebud," it makes sense to start at Kane's death and travel back in time.
Another repetitive theme of the movie i noticed was the way in which different individuals referred to Kane. First of all, his Kane's name in general is mentioned so much during the movie. Every time his name can be put into the script, it is. Also, it seems that his two main friends, Bernstein and Leland refer to him in two different ways. From what I remember, Leland almost always calls him Charlie, while Bernstein seems to usually call him Mr. Kane or Kane. I never really figured out why this is, but one idea that came to mind is that Leland might not be intimidated by Kane like everyone else is. This can be shown when he attempts to write a negative review of Kane's wife after her opera performance. Even though it is not a successful attempt, it shows that he is not afraid of the power Kane displays. While he may be jealous, he is certainly not intimidated. Overall, the movie was a good example of how power does not necessarily equal happiness. I agree that it is one of the better movies of all time (especially because it has stood the test of time) but I would probably not rank it in my number 1 slot, like I mentioned above, I am pretty partial to the Godfather.

an angry prophet denouncing the hypocrisy of our times

The film Citizen Kane is critical of American culture. The film critiques how American culture lost its democratic nature in three ways; through the media, capitalism, and individualism. Orson Welles ties these three things together in a story to act as a reflection of what's happened to America. First Orson Welles owns a newspapers company and he is ridiculing and mocking an actual event called "yellow journalism." And in particular the infamous event of newspapers in America reporting a lie that the Spanish armada had attacked the American navy in the gulf around Cuba in the late 19th century. Mr Thatcher says"'Enemy Armada Off Jersey Coast you know you haven't the slightest proof that this - this armada - is off the Jersey Coast." Mr. Kane says "Can you prove it isn't?" Mr. Berntein recieves a telegram reporting from Cuba by Mr. Wheeler "I could send you some prose poems about palm trees and sunrises...there's no war here." Mr. Kane responds "You provide the prose poems, I'll provide the war." Mr. Kane is openly engaging in ridiculous and blatant forms of yellow journalism to satirize it.
Capitalism is another avenue of deterioration of American culture reflected in the film. Kane explains to Thatcher "it is also my pleasure - to see to it that decent, hard-working people of this city are not robbed blind by a group of money-mad pirates because, God help them, they have no one to look after their interests!...If I don't defend the interests of the underprivileged, somebody else will - maybe somebody without any money or any property and that would be too bad." Here he is just mocking the idealism of rich helping the poor. It seems like a deliberate, sarcastic joke. Kane lived in the world largest estate next to Disneyworld? Film calls it Xanadu. He seemed to be a boy with too much money and not enough responsibillity. Throughout the film he wasted money on frivolous things. He commented "I can't help that i don't own every statue in Europe, they've been making statues for two thousand years," or something of the like. In the end as evidenced by the film, he was quite unhappy with all his wealth, and what he really wanted was just his happy childhood.
His happy childhood leads into the final element of Welles critique of American culture in Citizen Kane which is individualism. Kane showed an utter disregard for what his readers knew and didn't know. His wife tries to educate him about being unscrupulous. "People will think..." He finishes her sentence "What I tell them to think." He later had an affair and left the same wife and their child for another woman. He later alienated her from himself too. He showed an inability to live in a social family setting or even a long term relationship. Also in the opening montage after the screening of "news on the march" we see a reporter asking several people who knew Charles Foster Kane in his lifetime questions about him and their stories were like a pastiche, incoherent, disjuctive. And in the end, the reporter couldn't find out the answer to the question what does "rosebud" mean? It seems that everyone was just looking out for themselves and no one really gave a damn about the other from the singer who yelled at him to "get out" to the concierge who tried to sell the reporter some information. Additionally, what Kane really wanted was his happy and poor childhood back that he had been alienated from to have an oversaturated overstimulated life away from his family and parents. It seems to be the message of the film. The film seems to be a statement on the narcissicm of American culture and what it has become because of capitalism, media, and individualism.


Citizen Kane

I had never seen Citizen Kane before. I have to say that I did not like this movie very much. I often find older movies to slow and uninteresting for my personal taste. There were also several scenes throughout the movie that I thought would belong on an episode of MST3K; not in a cinema masterpiece. I do, although, understand why in its day it was considered one of the greatest movies of all time. It uses innovative camera techniques and an unusual story telling method that at the time set it apart from other films.

One thing I did enjoy about the movie was the way that the character of Kane is developed. In the beginning, we see him as a great man, fighting for the working mans rights and living the American dream. But, as each new person tells their story we see a slightly different person until we reach the end of the movie where we see him as a lonely old man. The things we learned about him earlier in the movie are put in a completely new light. His actions we not noble or kind, he was simply trying to selfishly win peoples hearts any way he could. Once he lost the election, he felt he had lost the peoples love so; he desperately clings to Susan and tries to make people love her by forcing to do something she does not want. When that doesn’t work all he does is try to keep Susan with him by spending money on her, not by actually loving and caring for her.

While the story was shown in a very interesting way, I still found it to slow for my tastes. I understand why this is an influential movie but, I personally do not believe this is one of the greatest movies of all time.

Citizen Kane

Although the American Film Institute (AFI) lists Citizen Kane as the best American movie of all time, it did not make my top five. However, the movie does deserve recognition for its fantastic depiction of the pursuit of the “American Dream?.
The opening scene of the movie is a scenic tour of Xanadu, the private estate/monument of Charles Foster Kane. The camera then pans to a dying man (Kane) examining a snow globe. The dying man (Kane) drops the globe, which smashes on the floor and the man utters one last word, “Rosebud?, before dying alone. The movie then follows a group of reporters who are trying to investigate the meaning behind “Rosebud?. Orson Welles uses sequences of flashbacks to Kane’s early, middle and late life in order to show the events and influences that lead to his rise and fall from power.

It is the “American Dream? to achieve wealth, power and happiness, but as the movie accurately depicts, the three are not necessarily related. Kane inherits an empire at a very young age, achieving wealth beyond any little boys’ imagination. However, as the events of Kane’s life unfold (two divorces, a fall from grace in the eyes of the American people, a child who dies in an automobile accident, etc.) he realizes that the wealth and power has never made him truly happy. He alienated the only true friend he has ever had (James Gettys), he kept a personal guard up with both his wives, preventing him from ever being truly close/vulnerable with either woman and throughout his life loved only himself. The significance of the word “Rosebud? was that it represented the only time in Kane’s life when he had been truly happy. This was when he lived with both parents and had not yet inherited the money/power. The movie asks viewers to challenge the norm of the “American Dream?, the norm being that the accumulation of money brings happiness. It challenges society to look past materialistic possessions and truly find what makes them happy.

Ian R. Bell

Citizen Kane Reflection: Cameron White

I thought the movie Citizen Kane was some what of a boring movie from a viewing perspective, but I can understand why the film is considered as one of the greatest films all time because of the strong message the film sends. I think the reason why I didn't enjoy the film that much is because I am use to watching more modern films, from my generation per say. I thought Wells did a brilliant job of depicting the quote on quote "American Dream? by showing how wealth and power doesn't always bring happiness to an individual. It all starts at the beginning of the film when the famous word "Rosebud" is said and he drops the snow globe on the floor and the glass breaks. We later find out that the word "Rosebud" is his sled from his childhood, but it symbolized more then just a sled. I felt it represented the lack of love and happiness in his life. Most people would say that Kane lived a great life because he had an abundant amount of wealth and power, but really he was a lonely man.
All in all I found the movie to be somewhat boring but I thought Wells did a great job of illustrating how money doesn’t bring you happiness and love.

Kendra Elm

"Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message-all things that do not interest most film goes today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care." I agree with this statement, because Citizen Kane is a more old fashioned film that is centered around the main character's loss of childhood. The backbone of the film is reporters trying to figure out what rosebud means. We find out at the end that rosebud refers to the sled he had when he was a child. The message of the film being that childhood is very important to the way we grow and who we become. The sled is also a symbol, of innocents and joy. When he leaves his parents his innocents and joy are left behind and he is never able to recover from this loss. Messages and symbols like this are no longer looked as much in films. Now people are much more interested in special effects and violence, so I agree with the quote that now a days people really wouldn't care.

Citizen Kane

While I don't agree that Citizen Kane is "the best movie of all time" (though it is certainly quite good), I can see why many people would make that assessment. In my understanding, Citizen Kane was a film of many firsts. It was the first film to deconstruct "The American Dream" and examine it with a critical eye. Going with a general theme that money is the root of all evil (or at least despair), "Citizen Kane" used the great mystery of Rosebud to demonstrate that the man who had everything, all that money could buy, still lacked one thing: the joys that the simple life and a normal childhood bring.

"Citizen Kane" also made use of some amazing cinematography. The opening sequence stands out particularly in my mind. We are introduced to a kingdom in utter decay. The long pan on the fence shows that what should have been Kane's palace was now his prison. The unusually long amount of time devoted to the shot demonstrates the length of his self-imposed prison sentence.

After "Citizen Kane," the camera techniques and theme used in the movie have been played with and expanded upon by other filmmakers. Though I would agree that most people would not much care for "Citizen Kane" today, I suggest that this would be the case because 1)it is in black and white and 2)Other movies have effectively explored similar themes but in a style that speaks to modern audiences.

Cameron Lee

As others have said, I wouldn't rank Citizen Kane as anywhere near the top of my list. Many people say it is the embodiment of the American Dream but from someone who is already in that position, I don't think it's the same. People who have little look up to people who have everything and envy them. People already in the position of wealth and power may not think anything special of it. That is why Kane was not living a life he enjoyed. Because he did not finish his childhood he didn't know what to do with his wealth. This may also be why he said "Rosebud" as his last words, it -was- something he lost, a life he could have lived. The word Rosebud also helped trigger a whole investigation, more than I had anticipated from what the reporter was suppose to find. However each of the individuals had such a bias to their stories that it was was hard to tell who was really telling the real story. Of all of them though, I would think that the Butler had the most truth behind his tale. There was no ill will coming from him and there was no reason he should keep secrets, especially because he was being payed. All in all, this movie did not hold my interest very well nor did it impress me like I had expected.

Citizen Kane - Yu Katayama

Even though Citizen Kane was made in the 1940s, the theme and the camera work of the movie was phenomenal. A lot of films that were made before 1940s weren't nearly as good as Citizen Kane - so in that sense, I think Citizen Kane influenced a lot of film writers and directors. I thought the movie was good, but i wouldn't list it as my all time favorite movie because it is hard to compare Citizen Kane to some of the films that came out within the last decade -the plot, technology and acting would differ a lot. However, if i was living during that time, i can surely say that Citizen Kane would be my favorite movie.
I can see some people saying that Citizen Kane is one of the best films, but at the same time i can see people saying that Citizen Kane is over rated. The statement that says, "Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message-all things that do not interest most film goers today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care" is an interesting statement, but from my point of view it totally makes sense. Citizen Kane has a good theme and cinematography, but most people today, i think, go and watch the film for a thrill, surprises and a good plot - not much for symbolism etc. Citizen Kane doesn't have many surprises or a scene where it makes you thrilled. So, i don't think people today would enjoy the film as much because they are so used to the films that has more impact.

Lauren Kolsum's Kane reflection

The first time I had seen Citizen Kane, one of the most hyped of movies for nearly six decades, was early in highschool and I can't say I was too impressed. My disinterest was due to the fact that I was not used to black and white, slow paced, out dated, and old fashioned films because they were out of the norm of my viewing pleasure. It took me a few more years to appreciate the film for what it is, perhaps the most magnificent, controversial American movies of all time.
Watching the film this time around I challenged myself to look at its deeper meaning beyond the surface. The movie is much more complex then I could have ever imagined. First of all, it gives away no easy answers. There is so much hidden symbolism where every single detail is significant in the film's meaning. I can not beleive Citizen Kane came out in the early 40's, it was unlike anything around that time. The camera work was just brilliant in itself including the many low angled shots, creating powerful personas, and the extreme close ups. I remember one almost humorous close up at Kane's party. The camera was zoomed in on Leland's face for no particular reason that I could tell for quite some time. The lighting of the shots were powerful and intensional as well. There is one shot where the lighting of the characters is almost black and white. Kane is in the room with Mr. Bernstein and Leland writing up his intensions for the paper and when he's finished he stands next to the others in a dark shadow, perhaps foreshadowing what's to come of the newspaper and Kane's life. The music is also done exceptionally well as it should have been since it was picked out by the same man who does the music for Alfred Hitchcock films. Citizen Kane is such a classic, well-liked-by-the-critics film because Orson Welles dared to make a film unlike anything anyone had ever seen before and he succeeded beyond belief. People at the time were used to viewing straight forward movies with easily identifiable good guy/bad guy characters. The movie contains hidden symbolism, impeccable camera work, brilliant sound, and engaging imagery all together creating one of the most influencial films in American history.

Citizen Kane Reflection

Citizen Kane Reflection:
I wouldn’t put Citizen Kane in my best of all time film lists but I can understand why some people would put it on their list. Even thought the movie is set in 1941, the theme of the movie is timeless. It depicts the American dream of success, wealth and power. The main character Kane is successful businessman and extremely wealth but not happy. Kane uses his money for his selfish benefits without any care for others. His parents gave him up; he was deprived of a normal childhood and love from his parents in the pursuit of success and wealth. Like many Americans today who struggle and sacrifices for the American dream of owning big house, expensive car and accumulating wealth only to realize money doesn’t buy happiness. At the end of his life Kane says the word “rosebud? which is a sled he had when he was poor and living with his parents. The sled represents a time in which Kane was truly happy. The movie challenges viewers to examine at our materialistic society and find out what truly brings us happiness.

Over all I did not care for the movie. The symbolisms and the messages in the movie are not as obvious to recognize compare to the movies we see today; therefore it makes it hard to follow the movie. I also didn’t care much for the acting it was too theatrical. The fact the movie was in back in white did not help.

Citizen Kane Today

I enjoyed Citizen Kane far more than I thought I would; however, I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped. I think I didn’t really love it because students, people my age, aren’t really brought up in the mindset of “achieving the American Dream.? Today, we’re brought up to respect actors and actresses that have a great deal of money and always appear happy. We aren’t raised to equate money with happiness, but we aren’t raised to think the opposite, either. I respect and appreciate the movie for breaking the mold in a time when there was nothing else except for that mold, but to today’s youth the movie has little relevance. Given the slew of controversial movies that have existed in the last few decades, this movie is just one more—and a fairly tame one at that. Again, I enjoyed this movie, but because of the experiences of myself and my peers, it doesn’t have the great meaning it has for older generations.

Citizen Kane

It was in 11th grade in my design class that Citizen Kane is the best movie ever made. We studied how it was directed compared to how we direct movies in the present. In my opinion, it is not the best movie ever made, but if I lived in the 1940s, I can clearly understand how it may have been a favorite for many people. The story behind was very rich, it does show the rise and downfall of man in a timetable where you feel like you are the investigator searching for answers. It does depict the so-called “American Dream? where the rise of an unknown man becomes the role model for many who are pursuing this dream. But when they fall, they fall hard, just like Kane. The way money corrupts a human is very well known as it is looked as the root of all evil. It cost Kane his happiness, his child, and his two wives all in which should be treasured more then money. In the beginning when he was young, he had the drive to make a great newspaper with money not an issue as he motivated his employees to work hard, but at the end, money was the only thing holding him together. I enjoyed how they made the transition to each year very visible with their makeup effects. Kane and his entourage were aging with time, very accurately I must say. This was surprising to me as I and I may speak for others as well, did not think a movie this old can pull off these kinds of effects.

Citizen Kane Reflection by Jeff Tow Arnett

Before this class I had never seen or heard of the movie Citizen Kane. Being one of the best all time movies ever made really has a lot to live up too since there are thousands of excellent movies out there. I normally do not like black and white movies but I thought that Citizen Kane was a great movie because it had substance to its story. The American dream is something majority of Americans strive for, being wealthy and powerful. The movie Citizen Kane does actually that, it shows how this poor little boy has nothing then in his twenty’s he runs a newspaper business and even though it does not make any money he does what he enjoys. Just like the American dream you can come from nothing like Kane did and overcome your obstacles going against your oppressive environment and become wealthy and powerful. In your class readings the article “Politics and Film? talked about a Liberalism society and from that individualism is one of its main focal points. Citizen Kane does an effective job portraying the individualism characteristic in Charles Kane both good and bad. Growing up I always wanted a job that would make me lots of money so one day I would be as wealthy as Charles Kane. However the older I get the easier it is to see that the American Dream is a wonderful thing but there is balance between money and power too much is never a good thing. There are plenty of examples of wealthy people with too much money and power like Michael Jackson he own his own amusement park and would anyone want to trade their life for Michael Jackson? I certainly would not. I really like this movie because it reinforces the American Dream back to the early 1900’s which was a better life, a happy healthy life. I would like to see a modern make of this movie because I think people would really like this movie. Like Charles Kane said “If I wouldn’t have been rich I would have been a really great man?. Americans need to see this film and remember “rosebud?.

Colin McGuire: Citizen Kane Reflection

When I foun out that the movie was from the 1940's, I will admit I was not in the least bit excited for it. I have watched a fair share of older movies and was bored out of my mind. I am so use to the new age technology and special effects that these movies usually seem to have nothing to offer. But, Citizen Kane, was a pleasurable experience. The cinematography was much different and more engaging than other movies in the time period. I am not a huge movie buff so I do not know much about what was different, but the use of the camera angles was interesting. They seemed to amplify characters and create emphasis without any special effects, which was a nice change. The story line and characters kept me interested throughout. I enjoyed the movie starting at the end with Kane on his deathbed and muttering "Rosebud" and the plot jumping around containing flashbacks.

I would have to agree with the statement "Citizen Kane is cited ... nobody would care." I do not believe that the thought behind the statement is a good ting, but I do believe it to be true. The annual movie awards hand out awards for things like special effects, not for symbolism and the message the movie portrays. It seems that the movie-going audience is constantly looking for the newest, biggest, and most spectacular, not content. Compared to movies of 2008 Citizen Kane was not as "choppy" I might say. It did not constantly jump from person to person, but had more of a consistent filming.

I believe the portrayal of Charles Foster Kane is a fair and proper one. The point of view the director has you see Kane from really helps the viewer understand the kind of man Kane was. It was easy to realize that he only loved himself and the power he had. Money and possessions were the center of his life and he used them to create and manipulate the power he had. The portrayal emphasized how horrible of a man he really was, but also might not have showed a softer side, if he even had one.

Jordan Heighway's Citizen Cane Reflections: Movie Rating: A

1. I believe that Citizen Kane should be up there with any top movie lists because of how well it was "put together". The cinematic aspects of the film were revolutionary. My favorite shot was when Kane was a young boy playing with "Rosebud" through the window while his mother was signing his papers away. He was the focus of the shot, yet he was clearly in the background. It's pretty impressive cinematography. I really enjoyed the story as well. A man who has, or is collecting everything, only truly loved one thing: Rosebud, his sled. Interesting concept, and one that scholars have broken down into prevailing themes on life, greed and American culture.

2. I believe that as long as we live in a capitalistic society, that greed will always influence the American Culture and landscape. That being said, this movie translate very well to every generation post-great depression.

3. I truly think that this statement hit the "new generation's" view of movies to a "T". Its pretty sad, that almost all people refuse to watch this movie because of slow moving scenes, little to no action, and no true romanticism. People today tend to go to movies to get away from the everyday life. Citizen Kane lacks the "hollywood" luster of today's movies, but generations need a reminder of the old school movies that shaped American culture.

4. Orsen Welles, in my opinion, is underrated by the general public for his cinematic efforts in Citizen Kane. Avid movie fans and critics agree that this movie was an epic movie for its time, but the general public ceases to accept this. I spoke earlier about how Kane was always the center of attention. I think of the scene where he is playing with his sled while his mother is bartering him away. My favorite shot of the movie has to be when they are celebrating and the camera cuts away from Kane for one of the few times during the movie, yet his reflection is still clearly visible in the window. Its awe-inspiring to think of how Welles directed this movie. The angles that Kane used are still used in some TV or artistic movies likely because of Kane, but they aren't used all that often because the general public doesn't understand the basis or underlying meanings for creating such angles, such as the triangle, where Kane was generally the center of.

5. Welles liked to transition the scenes with Kane still being the focus of the shot. Instead of conversations that we are used to such as one person talking directly to the camera, and then a cut to the other person talking to the camera, Welles preferred to keep everyone in the shot. It's interesting and rarely down these days.

6. I'm not sure the portrayal of Charles Foster Kane is fair or not. He is said to be formatted after the newspaper tycoon of the 20th century. I cannot honestly asses the fairness of his character, if he is truly based on this character, without further details about the guy. It must have been pretty accurate or damning because the his reaction/response to the film, by blackballing both welles and the film. It's a shame this movie did so poorly in it's debut, because it truly is a cinematic masterpiece for its respective time.

Citizen Kane Reflections

Although it did not turn out to be one of my all-time favorite movies, I recognize the historical value of Citizen Kane that has continually placed it at the top of “the best of all time? film list. Since the time the United States first became an independent nation, the ideal of the American dream has transcended every generation from the Pilgrims to present day. As the overriding ideal of Citizen Kane relates to the American Dream of fame and fortune, it is clear to see the reasons this movie has stood the test of time. The principles of a man lonely and miserable despite great wealth and fame are as true today as a century ago. This is apparent in the gossip columns of celebrities today
who find themselves in drug or alcohol rehabilitation or recovering from an attempted suicide after realizing that a life in front of the cameras and sparkling jewels was not necessarily what they expected. The difference is that today’s actors have perfect lives on screen with happiness and prosperity while their personal lives may not match with the characters they portray. In the case of Citizen Kane, Orson Welles was miserable in the movie but may have been satisfied and happy off of the camera. With this in mind, it may be difficult for today’s American movie-goers to relate as they still view the American dream as a goal to which they will aspire.

As Citizen Kane was made in the 1940’s, many question its validity in today’s society. One author summed it up when he or she said “Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism and message-all things that do not interest most film-goers today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care.? This statement holds many truths. First, the movie held amazing cinematography for its time as the camera caught different angles of each character and scene, allowing the viewer to see the distorted ideals of Charles Kane. Shadows were used to symbolize the shadows and darkness Kane felt over his life. Both of these filming strategies are still used in today’s movie industry, except that shadows tend to mean that something lurking or scary is approaching. In relation to the quote, “a random bunch of people today? would most likely find this movie dull and old. They may argue that is lacks the fast-paced, action-filled scenes that are currently driving the filmmaking world.

Overall, the film for me was enjoyable as it granted me greater insight into the corruption of the American dream. I hope it remains an American classic and learning tool for many years to come.


Week 1 Assignment

Citizen Kane is viewed as an extremely significant and poignant film for its time. It is understood that it depicts the typical “rags-to-riches American Dream,? however a number of disturbing events take place, as well. One main disturbance is that Charles Foster Kane’s parents were so poor that they essentially sold their child to Mr. Thatcher for an incredible price of $50,000 per year. It seemed that Charles’ mother made this decision to better her son’s future – both financially and to distance him from his abusive father. In the brief encounter that was seen between Charles and his parents, it was quite obvious that he was very loved and that his parents were making choices about Charles’ future that were what they thought to be in his best interest. Growing up poor, his parents had a first-hand experience of the difficulties that are accompanied by an inability to get ahead economically in a money-driven society. In their eyes, they were making the ultimate sacrifice, losing a son, in an effort to give him the opportunity to excel economically and to save him from the difficulties of living poor. Their gravest mistake, however, was not allowing their child to choose his fate for himself. Had they have known how Charles truly felt, they would have understood that love meant more to him than money ever would. The only real love Charles had ever experienced in his life was that of his parents’, who were more concerned with his future than with his heart. Although this movie depicts the rags-to-riches American dream, in which once a person becomes rich and powerful, they will live a happy, blissful life full of material things, this could not have been further from the truth for Charles. I believe that this film is very eye-opening and possibly even controversial for its time because it is questioning the “everyone wants fame and fortune? ideal of the American dream. In the case of Charles Kane, it seems as though being loved and loving in return is a much greater fortune than any amount of money. Citizen Kane shows us that it really does not matter how much money one has because true love and happiness is not a commodity that can be bought.
-HF

Merin Coats

It's easy to see why Citizen Kane triumphs so heavily in the critical realm of film. There are clearly powerful forces at work here. Orson Welles revolutionized the technical aspects of film-making with deep-focus, the use of the "wipe", as well as the way the story is told as flashbacks from a series of people, to name only a few. I confess that my rube-ish, uncultivated eye didn't pick up on all the nuances nor realize what I was seeing until after I did a little research. However, I did pick up on a few things right away, particularly how many shots were done at a low angle. This made the subjects loom in comparison with the viewer's eye. I found the low angle shot particularly prominent in the scene where Susan leaves Kane and he tears apart the room. He stumbles about savagely, more monster than man, so that the room seems fragile and delicate next to him. It's almost as if the room can barely contain him. The fact that Kane appears so un-human (not to be confused here with inhuman) is particularly juxtaposed against the fact that we are seeing him at a moment where his behavior is so vulnerable, personal and genuine.

Because Citizen Kane was the first of its kind in so many ways, I find myself wondering how much of the movie influenced popular opinion and how much the reverse was true, a concept discussed at length in our readings. Was the disillusionment of the American Dream a wake-up call for the public at the movie's dissemination or a merely a reflection of an already growing concern? Most likely, I suspect it was a combination of the two. Movies questioning the possible corruption in the government were already starting to appear. It would follow that some of the basic American ideals might come under the same scrutiny. Either way, Welles has more than twice over earned the honors regularly bestowed upon the film. But by the same token, one might say that the people who loved the film and love it still have earned those honors as well.

My thoughts on Citizen Kane

Like a few others before me have already stated, I wouldn't put Citizen Kane on my list of the top movies of all time, simply because there are many other more modern movies (1990-present) that I would prefer watching over it. However, given the technical achievements, solid acting, and a tragic storyline illustrating the dangers of money and power which I think will "stand the test of time" (I think it can be applied to any time period), I can see why many people consider Citizen Kane as one of the best movies of all time. It became obvious that the film was ahead of its time after watching just the first five minutes of the movie. The rain pattering down, the camera's jerky movements as it approached Zanadu, and the ominous music instantly set the mood for the rest of the movie, and showed some of the "special effects" that Welle's was capable of during that time. It was amazing to me how real Zanadu looked, and how big it was for not being an actual house. As for the storyline, it is interesting that the character of Kane is modeled after William Randolph Hearst, a real newspaper tycoon who basically monopolized the entire business in the late 19th and early 20th centuries (I visited "Hearst Castle" [the real-life version of Zanadu] this summer with my dad, and it is just as big as the movie depicts it.) I wonder what he thought of the movie, given he was still alive when it was released. The message of the movie was clear and important: money cannot buy love, or true happiness. Kane thought he had everything, until he realized that all the money in the world couldn't get his wives to love him. I think many people could listen to his advice as they pursue their own "American Dream". All in All I think Citizen Kane was a great technical achievement, and has a message which will ring true for the rest of time, which is probably why Citizen Kane can still be found at the top of many people's list of the best movies ever made.

Reflection: Citizen Kane -- Chris Hansen

While I had not seen Citizen Kane before, I had a lot of presumptions already made about the movie. Last year I did a research project on William Randolph Hearst, and part of the project included Citizen Kane and its connection to Hearst. I did not find the movie particularly interesting, and had trouble even staying awake. I have admittedly become jaded by modern special effects and cinematography, so I had trouble picking out what would be considered "revolutionary" for a movie made in the 1940's. Luckily, I had done the research project and knew to look for things such as camera placement, angles, and how the camera pans across the screen. Apparently Citizen Kane was one of the first, if not the first, movie to use sets with actual roofs. This allows for more dynamic shots, as the camera can now be aimed in any direction without having to worry about a roofless room. This technique was used several times on Charles Kane, and had the effect of making him appear much larger than he actually was. I think this type of camera work has been lost over the years, and now if a director wants to make something larger, you use special effects instead of nifty camera placements.

The story itself was entirely original in the 1940's. While today it is borderline impossible to create anything that could be considered completely original, Orson Welles was able to create a unique masterpiece that has stood the test of time for 60 years. The setup of the story itself is somewhat interesting, as the main character, Kane, is not a conventional protagonist. I did not find myself rooting for him, and I don't think that was the intention of the movie. The ending reinforces this, as Kane never got what he wanted, which would leave most viewers angry, confused, and dejected if he were a normal, lovable main character. The director for the movie Dodgeball (not exactly an epic classic such as Citizen Kane) shot the original ending for the movie with the "good guys" losing the final match. The early screening for the movie caused such a bad reaction among viewers, that the director was forced to bring in the actors again and re-shoot, with a victorious outcome. This is a great example of what makes Citizen Kane special, as Welles was able to pull off this sad ending while keeping the viewer from becoming outraged.

Citizen Kane - Monica Weir

While this wasn't the first time I'd ever seen Citizen Kane, it was probably the first time I really appreciated it for its genius. Seeing it in high school was more of a chore than something I was able to respect for all the clever camera usage and contrasting points of view. My favorite aspect of this movie was what everyone believed "rosebud" might have represented. Characters who were interviewed believed that "rosebud" might be something impressive that Charles Foster Kane had won or a woman with whom he may have been involved. In Thompson's attempts, the interviewed character sometimes manages to allude to "rosebud" without any knowledge of it. From Thatcher's library, he reads about Kane's childhood. This scene shows him sledding by his house and he strikes Thatcher in the stomach with his sled. For his first Christmas with Thatcher, Kane receives a fancy new sled. Then, during the interview with Susan Alexander, we see a conversation between the two of them in which Kane talks about going to a warehouse to search for his youth where his mothers things are in storage. At the end of the movie, the disgusting amount of property is panned over and we see the extent of his wealth. Men are burning things and one yells "throw that junk." This is when we see "rosebud" for the last time and it wraps up the movie very well because the meaning will forever be a mystery. Another feature of this movie I really liked was the usage of jigsaw puzzles. While everyone is trying to piece together the life of Charles Foster Kane, his lonely wife Susan does jigsaw puzzles to pass the time in the gigantic mansion they live in. The camera angles and uses of shadows always depict the alienation Susan feels. When she is shown in conversations with her husband, his shadow covers her and makes her look very small and overpowered as the movie becomes darker and more unhappy. I definitely agree that this movie is among the best of all time, mostly because it is impossible to take everything in upon watching it only once.

Citizen Kane Write-up

This was my first time viewing Citizen Kane. The closest thing I have experienced to it was the Simpson's episode parodying it. As I read other people's writeups, I can agree with them when I say I'm sort of biased against black-and-white movies. I've only seen them in educational contexts, so I have this innate reaction to label them boring. Although, compared to other B & W movies, I'd say Citizen Kane was one of the better ones. I can understand why it was so big at the time of its release, with the notion that the American dream isn't all it's cracked up to be. The one thing that I noticed that was constantly utilized was the long fades between scenes.

The effect of the long fades is to blend each scene with the next. It gives a feeling of flow, which is appropriate since much of the movie consists of people telling the story of Charles Kane. Since everything only happens as fast as people tell them through anecdotes, the fade effect is useful to show that each story is interrelated. There are no fast cuts like you'd see in many movies today. The fast cuts seem to invoke feelings of unexpectedness and confusion, while a fade establishes a new scene while allowing reflection on the previous. It lets the movie clearly designate what are 'flashbacks' and what is occuring in 'normal time'.

All said and done, Citizen Kane isn't half bad of a flick. I can see how it was so big back in the day, and I can see where it has some merit even today. The American dream, while often glorified, was depicted as shallow and unfulfilling. It's a nice change from how movies usually go (granted, 'nice' might not be the best word to use there), but it's an interesting look at how power corrupts, and blinds people to their weaknesses. Those messages are just as true today as they were in 1941.

Jeff Batts

Citizen Kane: Reflections - Alec Charais

I think Charles Foster Kane acted like a lost little boy from the time he was separated from his parents until the day he died. Everything he did in his life was to excess including the way he reported news in the Inquirer to the construction of Xanadu. Kane spent his life tring to feel excepted and loved, and yet was unable to keep his inner core of friends and relatives close. He died alone, longing for the innocence of his childhood years with the echo of his last word, "Rosebud."

This story is not unlike what we have been told our whole lives, that money "can't buy you happiness." Kane had many opportunities for happiness in his life including a successful business, many friends, and a happy marriage. Unfortunately for Kane, his instincts for indulgence and control ruined all that around him. This ironically left him alone and abandoned, which was what he feared the most.

I think this movie would play well in today's era if produced with modern filmmaking techniques. The storyline as told in 1941 moves much too slowly to make the big screen today. However, there is enough of a plot to this movie that many of the untold parts of the original film could be included in a remake, such as what happens in Kane's earlier years that shape his personality.

I came to class with no expectations for this film. I wasn't aware that Citizen Kane was considered one of the "best movies of all time", but after seeing it I can understand why. This movie depicts the desire of the "American Dream", yet shows us that not all are capable of holding onto that success. The struggle for that dream is timeless.

Citizen Kane Reflection

This is not the first time that I have seen Citizen Kane. I do not really care much for the movie. I would not put this movie in my top favorite movies; however I understand why so many people would. The story behind Citizen Kane is one that anyone can understand. Fifty years ago they got it and one-hundred years from now they will still get it. The story is timeless; it is something that we have all seen and heard of. We get it. He was a poor kid who was made into a wealthy and powerful man, which turned him into a heartless, empty and cold being. Along with such a classic story, this film had some groundbreaking cinematograph. Welles’s use of camera angles, lighting and shadowing techniques and camera positioning, really added to the overall strength of his movie. When watching the movie his camera positions and angles made you feel as though you were in the story watching it, and you were a player in what was happening. The symbolism behind the cinematography also made the movie a masterpiece. For instance looking at the breakfast scene with Kane’s first wife, when the scene starts they are sitting next each other and by the end they are sitting across from one another at a large table. It showed the distance that grew between them. It was an amazing scene. A second scene that I enjoyed was with his second wife in their large living room. She is sitting by the fire putting a puzzle together while he sits across this giant, lifeless room from her and they have to shout to one another. The room represents Kane, bitter and empty.
Regardless of these strengths, viewers today would not care about the movie. I think the reason behind this is that many viewers now go to the movies for just entertainment value. It is a way for them to escape the really world and not be forced to think or analyze their own lives. But it is not only the viewer to blame for not caring, the industry has also changed. It has gone from producing movies like Citizen Kane, those with meaning and thought, to movies like The Fast and The Furious, where it is pure crap. Today so many movies are made just to make money; we have lost the ability to really look at a movie.
The portrayal of Welles’s character, Charles Foster Kane was a fair one. The character was seen from many different vantage points. We saw what Kane was like from the point of view of 2 of his wives, his best friend, his business manager, his youth care taker and briefly his butler. From all these viewpoints, they helped show Kane’s true character. He was selfish and although he cared about those around him; that did not stop him from getting what he wanted in life. Although fair, his story was never understood from his point of view. Only very few glimpses into how Kane felt were shown. He never let anyone understand who he was.

Cizten Kane reflection - Meghan Frank

This was the first time watching Citizen Kane and I liked it. It was not my favorite movie but I think it was beautifully made and had a good message. The thing that struck me the most was how different the accounts of Charles Kane from each person were. I think that shows a truth that is still relevant today. Everyone has different sides to themselves that they reveal to different people and sometimes no one knows the real person. We could see who Charles Foster Kane was only through others' eyes. I do not believe we ever saw the real or whole Charles Kane because he never let anyone see.

The movie is still relevant today. No, most people would not care about the shadows or camera angles but the message is still true in our celebrity obsessed culture. People watch these celebrities and want to know everything about them and are glued to the tv when their idols fail. The truth is the public does not know these people at all and know nothing of their personal struggles. Charles Kane had personal demons and issues that he never conquered. I do not think anyone really knew his true dreams or pain. Orson Wells showed a man who, I believe, had good intentions and ideas but was blinded by wealth and power.

Tom Lulic - Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane - A good movie but not one of the best. However, I can certainly relate to anyone who believes that this movie is atop an all time list. The main reason why is because this movie contains camera usage that is ahead of its time. It is not necessarily the difficulty in various "shots" that I immediately notice but it is the cleverness in the usage of the camera. The first that I saw was in the first scene of the movie when Kane drops the snow globe and the nurse/maid runs into the room. This view of her suddenly entering the room is shown by a floor level refelction off of the shattered glass. You must appreciate the talent one has in order to subtly incorporate this into a film. More examples of impressive film making are shown throughout the movie with the usage of unique vantage points for the viewer, such as the scene of Kane and his first wife at the breakfast table. Kane initially tells his wife how much he loves her and seems so enthralled with her presence but as time and scene moves on the two become bored and have only bickering comments for one another morning after morning. In the last morning or cut of that scene Kane is reading from his very own newspaper while his wife reads from the rival newspaper, The Chronicle, no comments are made to each other, only subtle glances and I thought this scene was entertaining and depicted a long time frame in only a few minutes. Another thing about this movie I was impressed with was the usage of the set to portray an underlying notion. One example of this is at Xanadu when Kane is sitting in a giant chair talking to his wife who is sitting at the fireplace with a giant jigsaw puzzle. The huge, dark room they are in portrays how lonely Kane has made both of their lives and even though everything around them is perfect, expensive and breath taking, together in this mansion they are miserable.

I would certainly watch this movie again and I enjoyed watching it the first time.

Citizen Kane: Reflections by Justin Kaplan

I had never seen Citizen Kane before we watched it in class. I had heard some people talk about the movie but had never been able to see it. I have a couple different beliefs about the movie. I think that the reason why it is in many peoples top 5 movies list is because they can understand and appreciate the quality of the movie for its time period. The lighting and camera work was astonishing for its time period. I really believe that this was an amazing movie in its era and the characters did a good job playing their role. Kane was perceived as a man of great wealth and power, when really all he wanted was love. Kane never received this from his parents because of being taken away from them at such a young age. I feel sympathy for Kane because I know that deep down inside he really was a good man and just never knew what "love" or real love actually felt like because he didn't receive it from his parents. This story shows you a different side of a rich and wealthy American. Most people believe that they live these amazingly happy lives and have no problems, when in reality this was the exact opposite of how Kane felt. Kane was a very lonely and dark man. Kane's second wife did not know who Kane was and had no clue what he was worth. I think that Kane was intrigued by the fact that she did not know who he was and he felt like he could start from scratch with her. He ends up making her sing when he knows along with everyone else that she is not meant to do it. Kane was a man that was infatuated by his power and wanted to prove the news papers wrong for calling his wife a "singer" and not believing that she could actually sing. He knew that the opera was not right for her but wanted to be the one that was responsible for everything with her. He wanted all of the power because this is what made him happiest. I think that this was a sad story because it just shows that because of the lack of love in his childhood, Kane grew up to be a very lonely and unhappy man. At the end of the movie, Kane's last words were "Rosebud." I believe he said this to show that all he ever wanted was a good family and a normal child hood. Overall I actually kind of enjoyed this movie and thought it was very interesting to see the ups and down's that Kane went through throughout his life.

Jordan's thought on Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane is at the top of best movie lists in my opinion because of the attention to detail that is shown by the direction to show each character as vulnerable and real. The characters could easily be seen as over the top but each one seems believable. The story allows them the ability to be seen as reasonable in their extremes; the attachment to a childhood toy makes even Kane decadent lifestyle in Xanadu seem reasonable. The camera work of the piece uses the light given and the extreme and decadent settings to make the characters look small and identifiable. I have enjoyed this film for years and the would say that it is very well done, however the content of the film left me feeling a bit let down so I would say that this is not in my top best films ever.

Nyssa's Reflections on the "Best of All Time" Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane is frequently on “Top? movie lists. It was a revolutionary film when it came out with its open questioning of the American dream, advanced cinematography, and over the top scenery. There was intense dialogue and social criticism that was very relevant then and now. The controversy surrounding its potentially libelous portrayal of William Randolph Hearst further adds to its prestige.

That being said, it certainly would not even make my top one hundred list. I must admit a certain anti-black and white movie bias. The lack of color really detracts from my viewing experience. It makes it that much harder to tell the characters apart and fully absorb the scenery.

The acting was overdone. The only believable characters in the movie were his two wives, who had very few scenes when you consider the extent the termination of the relationships influenced Kane. All the main characters seemed like incomplete sketches, raising no emotional connection with their life struggles.

The messages in the film were not obvious like you see in movies today. I am not sure how I feel about that. When I first watched Citizen Kane it was for a film studies class and we were really only meant to pay attention to the filming techniques. Jotting down notes on camera angles and panning, I managed to miss the meaning of the movie. I barely even figured out the plot. I thought it was a horrible movie and was dreading watching it again for this course.

Actually watching it as a movie I found myself following the story and absorbing the messages against selfish pursuits and meaningless acquisitions. It still struck me as more criticism against individual motives than a round condemnation of materialism. Kane was not bad for wanting to be wealthy or politically influential. It was bad because he had no altruistic motives; he merely wanted the love that he never received from his parents. It begs the question of responsibility when using todays standards. He needed therapy, not scorn.

Reflection of Citizen Kane, Chris Remy

The Illustrated Oxford Dictionary defines a citizen as a civilian who is part of a city or a commonwealth. This description does no justice to a mister Kane in the 1944 Orson Welles movie Citizen Kane. Not only is mister Kane one of the wealthiest man in the world in this movie, the only city that he takes apart of is a city one to his own. Some go to say that this city and its mansion of great monstrosity was a waste; his late wife was to call them an empty space. She goes on to tell us the story of mister Kane as the man who could only love himself.
Citizen Kane ranks on many all time movie list throughout the world. Something considered great at its release it is still viewed today. It was only a few days ago it was placed on the television station Turner Classic Movies. It seems that it might rest as a great movie because it portrayed what many people desire. They desire to be rich, to have anything you want and to someone to share it with. What it does an even better job doing is show us how these things can prove to hurt us more than they can help us. So in a reverse psychology way this movie became popular.
Orson Welles as a filmmaker received a lot of criticism for some of his movies, including this one. Not only was he criticized he eventually was sued for this movie in its portrayal of a man of great distinction at the time. In the end, he grew to be one of the best filmmakers of all times. As far as his cinematic go, his use of the camera would not appeal too much to movie makers today. The use of shadows and lighting angels are not as popular as the extended use of special effects that goes to be told in today’s film industry.
All in all, this movie did dwell on the not so glamorous life of luxury. Even today that still is a desire for most people. Given money, it rests on an individual to choose what to do with it. In Mister Kane’s choose, of buying love, life would have been all the much better without money. He started his life of wealth as a child holding onto to a sled known as RoseBud and he ended his life with the words RoseBud. This goes to show the viewer that money cannot pay love; love is earned, just like the sled his poor parents gifted to him as a citizen of their love.

Derek Peltier

After watching "Citizen Kane" I come to realize why it was put to the top of movie lists. It was one of the first movies in the black-and-white era to present fame and wealth in a negative way. It protrayed Mr. Kane as a powerful man who had everything going for him such as wealth, fame and love. However, all of his fortune quickly faded when his second wife left him for making her do against her will. He always wanted her to be an Opera singer, though she was not very good. When she was up on stage it seemed as if Mr. Kane was extremeley happy while his wife was not happy at all. It also seemed as if the audience was not very fond of her singing. She put up with a lot from Mr. Kane which was extremely surprising to me. However at the very end of the movie she did finally leave him and after that Mr. Kane dies where he utters his last word, "rosebud."

I personally found this movie interesting, I had never heard of it before even though it is a very popular movie to date. I like movies that have a unique twist or irony to them and "Citizen Kane" did that at the end. I was unaware of what "rosebud" meant until they explained it at the end of the movie. It added a nice twist to the movie because I think they were protraying that Kane wished he had led a simple, quite life. I think, like most people, Kane thought if he had money and fame he would be happy, but that was not the truth in this case. However, as a viewer we did not know he secretly felt this way until the very end.

Mr. Kane was seemed as if he was always trying to take control of any situation possible. He really enjoyed power and it showed throughout the movie. One part of the movie that I found very interesting was when his bid for governor came to a burning crash because of his rival Jim Getty. Getty exposed his affair with Susan which led to Mr. Kane divorcing his first wife and marrying Susan.

After Kane's death a reporter from the Inquirer newspaper searches and digs into his past by interviewing five eyewitnesses. This was probably my most favorite part of the movie, because you got to see a lot more about Mr. Kane and some sides of him you did not get to see throughout the whole movie.

Citizen Kane Greatest?? by Chris Hovel

I do not agree with the notion that Citizen Kane is the greatest movie of all time. I can understand why people and critics put this movie on such a high pedestal. The film tells a great story of Charles Foster Kane who is born extremely poor, strikes it rich through an old gold mine and ends up becoming one of the most powerful men in the country. However all of the money and fame never gave Kane the happiness we all assume you would have with that kind of wealth. The technical aspects of the film were also beautifully mastered by a very young Orson Welles. Orson Welles was only 24 when he made this film and I believe this is another reason for why Citizen Kane gets the praise that it does. I also feel that Citizen Kane receives the greatest movie of all time stigma is because this movie represents the old Hollywood. I have noticed that a lot of the movies on the greatest of all time lists are usually from around the era of Citizen Kane. I think that this nostalgia for classic cinema is another reason for why so many people love this movie. If you were to show Citizen Kane to people in my generation or any in the future would enjoy this movie. There is no way the majority would say that Citizen Kane is a good movie, let alone the greatest of all time.

Citizen Kane: Reflections by David Belair

I had seen Citizen Kane previously and thought it a very good film. Not one of my all time favorites, but I can see why it is considered that by critics. The cinematography was groundbreaking at the time. From the shadowing and lighting, to the camera angles and camera positioning. The cinematography definitely added to my enjoyment of the film. I enjoyed how he would use a set camera and let a scene play out. This was especially noticable when he would use a low camera angle that panned the whole room. In one scene of note, filmed at the newspaper offices, you could only see Kane's legs in the foreground and his best friend Leland in the background, while they went through the whole scene wothout the camera moving. The scene was given added depth by the camera angle. Another way he used a still camera and let the scene play out was when he shot a scene in a large room. An example was at Xanadu, in the scenes with the gigantic fireplace and his wife doing her puzzles. He shot the scene from a corner of the room and just kept it there. The sound echoing of the walls. This just helped show how grandiose Kane's life was.

The story shows the misery and loneliness of a rich american, which contradicts the beliefs of most. Money buys happiness, not loneliness, or so it is believed. I enjoyed how it started out as a biography of Kane's life and gave you a quick synopsis of his life before it delved into the main story. Kane appeared to be the life of the party, and a man everyone wanted to be, it was clear however, that he was unhappy. His best friend always resented him, and his homelife was secluded and lonely, his life ending with a flashback to his youth when he saw his wife's snow globe. The globe reminding him of his lost happiness and his favorite memory of riding his sled, Rosebud. Its a story of how even money doesn't buy happiness, that your youth is lost as grow older, and that its easy to lose track of the things that bring enjoyment to your life. I think the main story would interest todays film-goers (youth lost, money doesn't necesarily buy happiness, the greater-than-life main character), however I think the pacing of the film would be lost on today's film-goers. Today, people want action, action, action. I think critics would still love it, but the average film-goer would find it boring.

Overall I think the movie is very good. I didn't see that Kane's life was in anyway portrayed in an unfair way. It showed his youth, how he was taken from his parents at an early age, and how that loneliness transferred to his adult life. Kane always made a point of saying he was trying to make a difference for those less fortunate. He was trying to help those that he related to from his poor upbringing. The loneliness that must have ensued when he was taken from his family was bound to stay with him throughout his life. I think Wells did a good job of keeping the story on track and Kane's life seemed to be reasonably depicted.

January 26, 2008

Reflections on Citizen Kane. By Thanh Diep Truong

The movie Citizen Kane at first didn't seem any appealing to me at all through its poster. I thought this would be an old boring movie featuring some rich powerful man in it. But then throught out the movie, I was proved wrong. It was able to keep me interesting and curious to know more about this Mr. Kane. He was the man who had everything: money, power, fame, love; everything a man at that time could possibly wished for. As the film proceeded, I found myself hating the man. I thought he over used his power. I felt strongly upset when it came to the point where he got married with his second wife, whom the press called a "singer" on a newspaper. I did't get upset because he got divorced with his first wife, or because he didn't care about his son. I hated him for forcing his second wife go on stage and perform, when he obviously knew it wasn't the right thing for her. She was miserable from all of that. I asked myself why would a man do that to his wife? I saw the situation as the man was trying to prove how wrong the press was calling his wife a "singer". He wanted to prove he was the one with power; he can turn things as he wished. He totally ignored how exhauted his wife felt, and keep on forcing her. Then he told her how sorry he was when she was about to leave him. I don't think it was because he still loved her. He was just trying to keep his power. He would look like a powerless man losing his woman. Power can not control love. I believe the movie spoke out this statement in the scene when she was leaving and said something like " oh yes, i can do this to you..I am leaving you.." (i can't really remember what she actually said), and walked out throught the doors without looking back once. He had all the power and money, but he couldn't keep his wife with him. Then he went crazy and destructed the room right after she had left. I looked at him as a furious king going wild because he just lost his crown. Then he saw the snow globe with the little house in it. He said the mysterious word for the first time: "Rosebud". He was brought back to his memory from childhood, when he lived with his parents in a little house and playing with all the snow outside. "Rosebud" turned out to be a word on his sled back when he was a little boy. It symbolizes his childhood, before he had been taken away from his parents, when he was playful and happy. It was the last word he said before his death. That was what a man who had all the money, fame, power wanted before he died. He only wanted his "Rosebud". It is not something expensive or fancy as people were expecting. It was just a simple thing, which was happiness, his childhood, who he was. Always remember where you came from, your root, so you won't lose yourself and your way in life. I think this was a great message "Rosebud" gave out to wrap up the film.

Sukhpal Dhillon-Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane

Though I will readily admit that I am not a fan of black and white films whatsoever (excluding American History X), I was surely not looking forward to watching such an “old? film. Though just watching it for the first five minutes I knew this film was going to be special no doubt. In the beginning one sees the glass dome with snowflakes it’s was so clear! I know the audience was thinking what I was thinking how did they do it? In 1941 how were they able to produce such amazing special effects? Though I must say the acting was all right, it was indeed more of a film that is valued for its special affects and how the movie was shot. I love how Citizen Kane goes against the grain and tries to show the affects of materialism and how it rots even the strongest of individual. The story line is also quite rich. Charles Foster Kane as a character is also not a one-dimension character. He’s a man who at one point has morals (in the beginning) however the audience can see his slow demise into materialism. A decade earlier the Great Depression had occurred and I believe this film can be seen as a great reference point to the harder times in America’s history. Overall this film was absolutely BRILLIANT, a definite classic.

Marc Dunham - Citizen Kane

After watching Citizen Kane, I can understand why it is so commonly placed in poll-takers' top movie lists. One of the first movies to present the pursuit of wealth and prosperity in a negative light, Citizen Kane was most likely a shocking and somewhat puzzling movie for the people of the 1940s when it was released. I enjoyed the message behind the film and I think that everyone can learn from the portrayal of Kane.

I prefer to watch films with a twist or irony, and I thoroughly enjoyed the way Welles chose to end the film, with a sense of dramatic irony by revealing the meaning behind Rosebud to the audience as the hope of discovering the truth for the other characters in the movie is destroyed.

Although I very much enjoyed the film, I can see how it wouldn't appeal to many of today's movie-goers. In an age where high ratings often correspond to gratuitous sex, violence, and language, and viewers' interest has to be kept by millions of dollars in special effects (or so producers seem to think), it is difficult to imagine that a black-and-white, dialog-dominated, message-oriented film would receive much appreciation. I think it's sad that movie producers are forced to cater to the shortened attention spans of the MTV generation, when a simple movie like Citizen Kane can be very enjoyable and thought-provoking if the viewer were to decide to put the effort into understanding it.

Claypool- Citizen Kane

I think that Citizen Kane is always on “the best of all time? film list because it was a movie that was shot a lot different than other films at that time. Also, unlike other films at that time, it presented an atypical character. The character Charles Foster Kane was a man who conquered the American Dream (became very rich), but unlike what most people would have thought Kane to be like, he was a very miserable man. Personally I wouldn’t put this movie on my “all time? list, because I thought that it was very hard to follow. I found myself lost throughout most of the movie, until probably the last half hour or so. Another reason why I didn’t like it is because it is a very old movie and it didn’t really grab my attention. The acting and story lines today are so much more exciting and action packed, which is what this film lacked.
I think that the idea of the American Dream being less than desirable would resonate with today’s film-goers more than it would have with the people that saw it when it first came out. Today the rich and the famous are publicized more than they use to be and a long with the good publicity comes the bad. Their unhappiness and problems are shown in magazines and on the television for everyone to see, so in general the only reason that we would resonate with this idea more is because of our exposure to it.

Citizen Kane

Although this film is revered highly as one of the best ever, I did not necessarily agree. I hear many classmates mention the groundbreaking cinematography. However, personally, I have very limited knowledge of the technical aspects of filmmaking and thus cannot truly appreciate this aspect of film. When I go to the movie, I pay attention to the actors, characters, plot, scenery, etc not the angles and cuts.

Speaking of those things, I felt that the movie had a lot of good things going for it. For one, the actors portrayed the characters very well. The plot moved a little slower than I like, but it was still captivating and pulled me in. At the end of the movie when class was almost over and people were leaving, I could not make myself leave without finding out the significance of "Rosebud". I found the last scene in Xanadu when they were carrying the puzzle out and the reporter was speaking to be one of the best scenes in the movie. It kinda brought it all together for me. Essentially, he was saying that it didn't really matter if he found out or not, there were many pieces of the puzzle that were missing to Mr. Kane's life. Even with all his wealth, he was still not happy, as the huge, lonely rooms only emphasized. Another thing I found inrtiguing was the way that the story was told from different perspectives, unlike many films today, the storyline isn't just handed to you in a basket, you have to go through and think about the deeper themes and the viewer must piece the story together. As mentioned above, that is part of what drew me into the movie, throughout, I had to think about different scenes and their significance. That mental stimulation caused me to have a personal investment in the film, since the story started from the end and worked its way backwards, small revelations and "oh, i get it!" moments are part of what kept me glued to the screen at the end.

Overall, I believe the underlying theme is quite important however the presentation of this movie did not excatly do it for me. After being conditioned to color movies with all dorts of special effects and humorous lines, had I watched it outside of class and not been forced to analyze it any further, it really would not have resonated with me as it would have with the viewers of its day.

Citizen Kane- Liz Eisler

Although Orsen Welles’ film, “Citizen Kane,? overwhelmingly appears on the top of “the best of all time? film lists, it didn’t make it to mine. This is the second time in which I’ve watched this film for a class at the U, and although the film is an innovative piece of work, mainly through Orsen’s technical use of deep focus and low-angle shots, the piece seems to have lost its affect on present-day audiences. Perhaps this film was as popular as it was during the 1940’s for it may have been the first film to shed a negative light on the American dream and it seemed to have been a film way ahead of its time. However, with today’s generation constantly being bombarded with negative messages and images concerning people who are supposedly living the American dream, it tends to just become a broken record, repeating the same message over and over again that “money doesn’t buy happiness.? Just from reading a few of my fellow classmates’ posts on the blog, and from a past discussion in another class regarding this film, I don’t believe that this film would have much resonance with film-goers today. It seems as if this generation craves action and drama in movies, and although Citizen Kane does contain a good amount of drama, I don’t believe the pace of the movie is fast enough to keep people interested.

Katherine Rivard

Citizen Kane brings to light for the first time the fact that the “American Dream? is never as picture-perfect as it seems, and that material wealth and affluence actually made him less happy. He tried to gain love and power through his money, which only made him more hollow as the years went by. Today’s American dream does not stray far from that of Kane’s, emotions aside. The more money and material goods we have, the better and easier we think life will be. However, the film portrays just the opposite, and I think more people today feel this empty, dark connection with Kane. The fast-pace American lifestyle is a product of the need to materially improve our quality of life; which, in turn, leaves many people feeling neglected by themselves and others, trying to regain that empty love with money only perpetuating the problem.

Citizen Kane - Tammy Woehler

From the perspective of a young adult in 2008, I did not see the big deal about this movie. I do not have an answer as to why it is included in so many top lists of movies. To me, it's nothing special. In fact, I did not like this movie. I thought it was boring. I didn't appeal to me and keep me interested. I had a hard time trying to stay focused to follow this movie. There was nothing in the movie that related to me to keep me interested.

I guess if I was living in the 1940's I might have liked the movie. Back then there was no special effects and everything else that Hollywood can produce in today's world. I might have been impressed with it if I was in the 1940's, but I'm not.

Public Citizen Kane

I think the most interesting thing about Citizen Kane is the split personalities of the title character. First implied when Kane buys the Inquirer, he seems to take on completely separate public and private personalities. He says,
"As Charles Foster Kane who owns eighty-two thousand, six hundred and thirty-four shares of public transit - you see, I do have a general idea of my holdings - I sympathize with you. Charles Foster Kane is a scoundrel. His paper should be run out of town. A committee should be formed to boycott him. You may, if you can form such a committee, put me down for a contribution of one thousand dollars."
At that point in the film, he is just beginning his media empire. However, later in the film, especially concerning his reactions to Jim Gettys' blackmail, it appears as though these two personalities have merged. He cannot sacrifice either one or the other, he must risk both of them.
While Kane himself never narrates or gives too much about himself away, it is clear that he never allows anything to distract him from what is on his mind; he focuses like a lazer beam. When his friend Jed fails to finish the review of Kane's singer wife's performance, Kane himself works to finish it. This obsessive behavior leads him to care more about his business than his wife, more about his popularity than his family. This perspective of himself as a public figure detracts from his relationships to those closest to him.

Citizen Kane in 2008- Liz V.

Citizen Kane, though deservedly noted for its cinematography and symbolism, contains a relevant message to modern Americans but is presented in a difficult manner for them to understand the message. The criticism of overconsumption and consumerism is certainly applicable to a popular culture that defines itself by commodities. Ironically, however, the proliferation of cheap technological products has led to the stylistic disinterest of modern audiences about films like Citizen Kane has waned. Entertainment is literally available at the fingertips of modern americans who can watch films on their ipods or cell phones has led to a devaluation of the slow cut style that Citizen Kane employs. A culture which can now use DVR's to speed through commercials does not have the patience to sift through the phased narrative of Citizen Kane. The message is therefore relevant, but underappreciated and therefore appears to be less relevant than it should be.

Amanda Kennedy

I would like to comment on the statement, “Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message–all things that do not interest most film-goers today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care.?

Speaking as someone who doesn't like older movies and has never seen this movie before, at first I thought that the movie was very confusing and the purpose was very scattered. As the movie progresses, the point becomes more clear. I supposed this corolates to how the reporter trying to figure out his life story feels as well; at first everything is a jumbled mess, but things get a bit more clear as people add to the story. I didn’t really care for the movie. Everyone seemed to yell their lines and I wasn’t pulled into the life of Charles Kane. I actually felt more for the side characters, especially his second wife, than I did for him. I thought the ending message in the last ten minutes of the movie was the redeeming factor for the piece. It really brought everything together in symbolizing that the simple pleasures in life, such as riding a sled, are the ones that really matter.

It is this ending symbolism that i think modern audiences would care about and can be seen in today's movies and tv shows. I remember a specific episode of the Simpsons that shows the life of Mr. Burns, the richest man in springfield, and his quest for his long lost teddy bear, bobo. This was the same concept that money doesn't make you happy, the little things in life do. The message of Citizen Kane is what makes it a classic and not the way that is was filmed. Shows like the Simpsons take that message and make it more relatable to the modern audience.

bobo_bear3.jpg

This image is of young Mr. Burns with bobo the bear. Taken from www.tvacres.com

Citizen Kane - Colleen May

“Citizen Kane is cited as a great film for its cinematography, symbolism, and message–all things that do not interest most film-goers today. If you were to show Citizen Kane to a random bunch of people today, nobody would care.?
I would agree that CK is a great film because it was so innovative with regards to its cinematography, cinematography that today would not be necessarily noteworthy, but I think today’s audience is still receptive to the symbolism and message of the film. That’s why the film continues to be on the “best of all time? lists; not only was it ground-breaking in the industry (for which it should be remember and acknowledged), but its message and symbolism are still aspects of a good movie. The antithesis to the American dream still resonates deeply, perhaps even more deeply, in this day and age when materialism is all around us. People long for an escape from it to remember the “important things in life.?
While people might not be as impressed as they once were with the cinematography, with the knowledge of the film’s history, I think “a random bunch of people? would care and would understand why it’s one of the greats.

January 25, 2008

Citizen Kane

Like many of the previous posters, I hadn't seen this movie until we viewed it in class. I was well aware that it is often considered to be one of the best films of all time, and for that reason I had always been curious to watch it and see what all the fuss was about. It really was a great movie that seems to be way ahead of its' time. The camera angles and shots in Citizen Kane are not seen in other movies of the time (at least in what I have seen). What's more is that the story of the movie shows the perils of money and fame.

The themes of celebrity and the "American Dream" resonate powerfully with today's audiences. One can't help but think of all the celebrities who have everything they could ever want materially, but still are lonely, addicted to drugs, etc. Just look at Brittney Spears. She was America's "pop princess" for many years, and earned a TON of money and fame. She still has the money, but is apparently going through some very difficult times. The cliche' "Money can't buy you happiness/love" is so true in her case.

Additionally, our society preys on negativity. Every time I am checking out at the grocery store, I am confronted by magazines that let me know: 1) who is getting fatter, 2) who is addicted to drugs, 3) who is pregnant (hopefully illegitimately!!!), and/or 4) who is in or going to jail. Just look at the recent and very sad death of Heath Ledger. It's all over the news, but instead of mourning his death and paying respect to him, all we see is what pills were found on his dresser, and how long it took for one of the Olson sisters and the masseuse to call 911. It is hardly anyone's business but Ledger's family and also to the authorities, but it all over the news for the public to see. This parallels Kane's death. The public didn't care about what good he had done in his life. All that was sought out was what he meant by his last word: "Rosebud". Rosebud was his sled as a child, and the scene of him holding it is the last we see of him as an innocent and uncorrupted human being, before being brought into the public eye. I felt sorry for Kane. He was dragged into the life he lived, and ended up dying alone and miserable, but with plenty of cash and treasures that gave him no comfort. It was a great movie and I can see why it is so highly regarded.


On a side note...did anyone who has seen "Superbad" think the scene when Michael Cera's character told Jonah Hill's character that he was like Orson Wells, because he peaked in his "ass-getting" career at an early age, was hilarious? Good stuff.

Citizen Kane: Mariam Elrashidi

I must say I really enjoyed watching the film Citizen Kane. I have never seen the film before so I was very glad to have gotten the opportunity to watch it. Watching the film I can see why this makes most people’s top five list. It has a lot of creativity, unique setups, angle shots, and lighting that intrigues people to the movie. Even though this film may not have been one of my top five choices, I still thought it was a good movie that portrayed a good example of how films have changed since the 1940s till now. One example of this is how Orson Welles portrayed Charles Kane as a famous moneymaker man who had everything, but truthfully was disliked and was not the people’s definition of living the American Dream.
Another thing I really liked about the film was how Orson Welles setup a creative, innovated and well scripted plot. Not only did it make watching the film that more entertaining but interesting to compare his film technique to present film makers. For example, the film didn’t start off like your typical movies. It first started off somewhat like a documentary, where the narrator briefly introduced Charles Kane’s life, to setup the story line. However, it eventually ended up being the reporters who were watching and analyzing Charles Kane life’s story to find out what his last dying word “Rosebud? meant. In my opinion I thought this was a creative way to setup the start of the film because you don’t know what to expect or how it will turn out, since it doesn’t really start off like your typical movies. Speaking of that same scene I also noticed how Orson Welles didn’t direct any light or much angle shots on the reporters. Rather it was more focused on the main characters and hints throughout the film. Like at the beginning of the film when the scene was first focused on Kane’s mansion. Immediately you saw the change in the lights, angles and music and how it prepared you for something sad or tragic that was soon to come. The originality and creativity of this film is what made Charles Kane a popular classic movie today and is why it is on most people’s top five list.

Jessica Doll's Citizen Kane Reflection

Citizen Kane is a classic "rags to riches" story of the 1940's, a time in which our country was emerging as a powerhouse both in the military and economically. The powerful and rich Charles Foster Kane symbolizes the economic success of the United States at that time. Much like the United States Kane always wanted more, from his extravagant estates and Inquirer business to running for Governor.

Daniel P. Franklin, author of Politics and Film, also recognizes the movie Citizen Kane as a "metaphor for our country's history." He points out that Citizen Kane falls under the category of "American Tales" lying beside classic westerns and individual achievement stories. He goes on to say how these tales support our biases and beliefs in this country.

Citizen Kane is always on the "greatest ever" film lists because it not only epitomizes our country's history but also some of our current elected officials. For example, after Charles becomes board with his wife, his estate, and his business he decides to run for governor, despite his lack of experience. Many Americans can identify with celebrities going into politics (i.e. Jesse Ventura, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jerry Springer). In many cases, it seems as though pop culture is lowering the expectations of our elected officials when we put celebrities lacking experience in office.

Despite all of Kane's success, in the end of the film he dies unhappy and alone, thus reinforcing the belief that money cannot but happiness.


Citizen Kane- Mikhail Karpich

After watching the movie "Citizen Kane" i could easily see why it can be on "the best of all time" film lists. This movie has a lot of important messages, symbolism, and lessons that could be learned directly through Kane's actions or mistakes, if you will. The lessons offered are for both the elderly and the young people and we can all learn from them. Even though the movie lacks explosive action, breath taking scenes, even color, and etc. the story line itself makes up for it. The movie keeps one in suspense as one searches for the meaning of Kane's last words "Rosebud." The beginning of the movie shows a lonely man dying in a castle in the middle of the night, paints a scary and a depressing image of the last moments of one's life and one thing no one looks forward too. Anyhow, this movie would make it on my "all time" list because of the important lessons it offers for living one's life including loving and the fact that love is a one way road and that in order for someone to love you you must love them back. Also having everything in the world does not guarantee one happiness. Kane had everything, but no one and at the end the everything did not matter. His sled "Rosebud" was his remembrance of his childhood and the moment that got him where he was now. As his sled and his belongings burned up in the furnace only black smoke could be seen escaping the chimney and his life with it, symbolically.

"Citizen Kane"


Before I saw this movie on Wednesday evening in class I had only hear one or two things about the movie from friends. So I honestly did not know what to think about. I was pleasantly surprised. I ended up really liking the film and for many different reasons. A couple of those reasons have to do with how the film was shot. And the other couple of reasons for my appreciation for the film are for the way that the story was told.
The first thing that I noticed in regards to how this film was shot was the use of reflections in either mirrors or windows. The two instances that I remember most was the scene when Kane just started out in the newspaper business and was having a party at the office. And the other scene was that of when his second wife had just left him and he was walking down a hall in his huge house and he walked in front of mirrors that reflected each other. I don't know if these shots were meant for a certain reason or hidden meaning I just thought they were interesting. I thought that the film was shot from very interesting angles. I have not seen that in awhile.
The other thing that struck me while I watched the film was the use of music, especially in the beginning of the film. In the beginning of the film I sensed that the music was more dark and gloomy and that is how some of the scene that was shot seemed. But when the film started to talk about Kane’s life the music got more upbeat and seemingly happier. I thought that it was a nice way to set the mood.
I really enjoyed how this story was told. I like the way that they used different people from Kane's life to tell different parts of his life. It brought an interesting dynamic to the film. I also really liked how the question about what or who "Rosebud" was was the theme throughout the film. When it was finally revealed that it was the sled from his childhood I thought that was really interesting. It almost seemed as though they were trying to say that he missed his childhood and missed out on it because of his fame and fortune. The other thing that struck me about this film that was odd, in my mind, was how straightforward, blunt, and controlling Kane's mother was in the film. For that time period it seems like her actions were not suited but for the story being told it did. It added a nice dynamic and made me think if that was the source of many of his actions, thoughts, or feelings throughout his life.
In all I really liked this film

Jenny Metzer

Sarah Osborne's thoughts on Citizen Kane

I had never seen Citizen Kane before class on Wednesday, nor did I know much about it. The only black and white movies that I am remotely familiar with are musicals, thanks to my wonderful Grandma. Why this movie is considered one of the best of all time wasn’t hard for me to see. It has everything America loves – a celebrity living the glamorous, dream life, and all the dirty, gossip details that go with it. Think about all of the books, shows, and magazines revolving around the lives of celebrities. And what receives the most press is the negative things such as drug abuse, jail time, or even death. It’s almost like we enjoy watching these people fail, probably out of jealously. Citizen Kane was the first movie to really expose this lavish American dream. But even better, it exposed the negative consequences of having everything one could dream of.

The story of Charles Foster Kane is also given all second-hand. It’s structured in the way that most gossip magazines are written by taking information from people close to the actual celebrity. The movie is first narrated by an actual news show which has a man with an exaggerating voice giving an obituary-like talk, but almost making a joke of Kane. It is also narrated by William Thatcher, Mr. Bernstein, Leland, and Susan Alexander. None of these people really understood Kane, nor did they really like him. The good things about Kane were never emphasized, and every story ended in a negative way as he betrayed someone or got betrayed. If I ever have a movie written about me I hope that they wouldn’t ask my enemies and ex-spouses to tell stories about me!

I think another reason why this movie is so poplar is the way it is written as a mystery. The audience slowly learns more and more about Charles Kane as the reporters search for the meaning behind his dying word, “rosebud?. One clue leads to the next until finally the end of the movie, when Kane is in misery, it is discovered that the last thing on his mind is his simple childhood where it all began, before the fame and fortune. Just another reassurance to the celebrity-crazed society we live in that we are just so lucky that we never have to live in a Xanadu mansion with all the money we could ever want! ;-)

Rob Skogen

“…a riddle wrapped inside a mystery inside an enigma.?-Winston Churchill

Although he was not commenting on the film Citizen Kane at the time he made the statement, his words are a perfect fit for the puzzle that Orson Welles dropped into the popular consciousness of pre-war America – a masterpiece that we are still trying to figure out some 60 years after its release.

A riddle…

Much has been written about the character of Charles Foster Kane. We find out through recollections of his “closest? friends and associates that he had everything, but yet nothing in the end. He did leave one thing behind though – Rosebud…

Wrapped inside a mystery…

Was there a message behind a dying man’s last word, or was it just gibberish? What was the legacy he left behind? The entire storyline is devoted to searching for the answers to these questions, but we are left asking more. Perhaps the newspaper reporter’s quest for meaning is a metaphor for something larger? What did Charles Foster Kane represent? Wasn’t the working title of this film American?

Inside an enigma…

Citizen Kane has been the consensus number one in critical circles for decades. What caused it to resonate with the mass public the way it has? Can a film impact the course of history? Daniel Franklin’s discussion of American political culture, the feedback loop and traditional movie themes (from this week’s assigned reading) is particularly useful for analyzing these particular questions.

If we think about 1941, France had already fallen to Germany and Britain was the next to go. Authoritarian rule had a stranglehold on the world. America had unlimited wealth and material resources, yet retained an isolationist position. Sound kind of like somebody we saw in the film? The natural rights so deeply woven into the fabric of our national culture were at risk. Did our grandfathers want to end up like Kane, or did they want to rise to the occasion and make a difference? The stage was set.

Maybe Welles did not consciously set out to make such grand political statements with his project. Neither did Jimi Hendrix, when playing his radical version of the national anthem at Woodstock, as Anthony described to us our first day in class. However, a chord was struck that the audience could feel. The rest was left to history. That is why this film is revered to this day and will top lists for years to come. Just when we think we have it all figured out though, we find that it is but a piece to an even larger puzzle – one that we will be working on together for the duration of this course.

Matt Morosky's Citizen Kane Review

It is my opinion that Citizen Kane is at the top of may lists of great films not because of its structured narrative on the American dream, but rather because of Orson Welles use of lighting, sets, camera shots, makeup, etc... The film was made in the early 1940's and Welles used the camera in ways that were groundbreaking at the time. There are two camera shots that really stick out to me: The first is his use of a window as a reflective shot. While Jed is commenting on his distrust for the newly hired men from the chronicle, we see Kane in the reflection on the window as he dances. It is a shot that would still be tough to get today. The most powerful use of camera angles was done during Kane's campaign for governer as Welles positions the camera at a low angle and shows Kane to be very powerful and almost giant. This gives us the illusion that he is this dominating tycoon. Also, his use of hollowed sets creats echos while Kane speaks in Xanadu. This tells the viewer that there is more emptiness in his life with all of the money.
Not to take away from the narrative, because it does play a role in making it a true American tragedy, I just feel these other attributes make it the great film that it is. As far as having resonance with film-goers today, I'd say it holds up. All one needs to do is go to the theatres today and see There Will Be Blood which is infact quite similar to Kane in narrative structure and character tragedy surrounding the idea of financial succes bringing more agony and hollowness than anything.
I disagree that nobody would care, because like Romeo & Juliet is for hopeless romantics, Citizen Kane is for anyone with the so-called American dream. Not to say it will be timeless like R & J, but it definitely stands the test of time as of right now.
I feel that the portrayal of Kane is fair, becuase it shows him as human and not pure business tycoon. He suffers loss just like everyone and his way of treating his lack of love is what ultimately brings him down. Even Leland says in the interview that

He did brutal things, but wasn't a brutal man.
This is imperative for all cbelieveable modern characters. All are human and all are flawed. Just look at Rosebud, as the man dies, he yearns for the youth that he couldn't seem to buy.

Jackie Robak

Citizen Kane...

I don’t think that this could ever make it on my top five movie list since I almost fell asleep. On a more positive note I can see how people named this the best movie of all times; the only thing is, you can only say that in the 40’s. It’s 2008 and it was really hard to watch a movie that old. I think that the plot and story line was interesting. But I grew up with special effects, so to go back that far was hard. Plus it was hard to listen to, the actors practically yelled during every conversation.
But I don’t think they could make an updated re-make that would be better than the original. I think that the fact that movies weren’t developed during that time, made the movie a big hit. So to make a new version of the movie would take away part of the reason for why it was such a great success. So if you take back the loud voices and it was a little up-dated then yes I would say that it’s a good movie. I think it carries an important message. Kane had anything and everything he could have wished for, yet his last dieing words were the name of his childhood sled.

Sydney Liles

I have always thought of this movie on the same lines as Dr. Stranglove. They both top seem to be one top of lists, Stangelove for comdedy, and I have yet to find out why. Both of them seem to deal with concepts that have not been said quite as explicitly in film before. I think for these to appeal to a younger crowd, it would be important to know what was going on in the world/America at the time. I feel like trying to disect this film the best approach would be the Socio-cultural theory.
As for the overall theme of the film, I just got the message that money does not always equally happiness. Charles Kane just wanted to be loved be everyone and looking at his relationship with his second wife, he wanted to be loved not for his name and what he has done, but for himself. Once she said that she did not know his name, but thought he was funny is when he decided to stay with her. Her wanting to spend the night with him for just him, it is no wonder that he kept going back to spend time with her, he wanted to be with someone who just liked his company.

Citizen Kane - Kim Hanlon

I would not put this movie on my all-time favorites list as of right now. I can see why it would be at the top. The idea behind the film is brillant and the shots and film trips used in the movie were very creative. The angles and lighting choices made the movie that more intriguing. I think I would need to watch the movie a few more times so that I could look for more of the secretive hints in the film. I liked how the writer showed the 'american dream' as not so dreamy. I believe that more films these days are trying to be more realistic in showing that money does not always buy happiness.
I really appreciated Welles' use of long scenes and cuts. These days it seems that everything is done in short little takes and I believe that it really hurts the movies' flow if the whole thing is shot in little takes rather than long ones like Citizen Kane.

Kyle Cross' Reflections

I believe this movie is considered great for a lot of reasons, but after viewing I've tried to narrow it down to a couple. The story line was created to be pretty complex and was carried out by great actors and great camera work. I thought there were a few scenes that helped move along and create such a vivid story line. First, the shot of Kane on his death bed when he utters his last word and the snow globe falls and shatters, which I might add was shot in a very detailed, dramatic way. These all symbolized things that we don't understand until the end of the movie, but nonetheless make us curious right off the bat. Second, the shot of a young Kane playing outside in the snow introduced us to the the real Kane, a young, carefree and charismatic boy.Third, the montage of Kane and his first wife at the breakfast table showed us an unpleasant change in Kane in a quick time elapsed way.
I feel most young movie viewers, like myself, expect to see dramatic camera angles or complicated camera movements and might think nothing of the camera work in this film, but this film was the first to do a lot of these things and that is why it is considered great. So if a group of kids sat around and watched this they probably wouldn't think anything of what was put into the cinematography because they expect above and beyond how films were shot in the past. The first scene of the film I thought was very interesting. It was made up of still shots of ominous things around this dark, gloomy castle, but still brought you on this journey from the grounds of Kane's estate, up the walls of the castle and into his bedroom where you find Kane on his deathbed. I felt this castle represented Kane's life. It was big, showy and intimidating, but the castle lacked happiness and substance.
One other things I liked about the way the film was shot was the lack of closeups for some characters, like the reporter. It was shot in a way that put us face to face with those who knew Kane the best, almost as if the viewer was in that seat asking the questions instead of the reporter.

January 24, 2008

Allison Veire's Citizen Kane Reflections

I feel that Citizen Kane is always named one of the best movies of all time because it’s very original and innovative in its time, the style in which its characters are portrayed, and the seemingly un-dramatic nature of the narrative. The representation of the American dream, I think, is perfectly portrayed by the estate that Kane builds for himself. It appears to be this great structure of grandeur and excitement on the outside but once you take a closer look you realize it is filled with nothing but emptiness and anguish. What I really noticed as lacking in this movie is that fact that we never see what really makes Kane tick. Kane’s controlling nature is never explained, is it because he inherited this money at a young age, or because he could do with it whatever he pleased, and coincidently he chose to go against the norm? This controlling nature was also Kane’s downfall; he wanted to control everyone by gaining their love but what he ended up with was loneliness. I feel all the characters except Kane portray emotion making them seem real, but the only emotion we see from Kane is anger.

In perspective of the today’s movie-goers, this movie is lacking. There seems to be no “grab your attention drama? that appears in every “good? movie made today. It’s not until the very end when the mystery is nearly solved that the plot of the story evolves into something that captivates the viewer’s attention. Also today’s movie-goers are used to crazy special effects that add to the awe of the movie and without that the movie lacks excitement.

To answer the question about the fairness of Kane’s portrayal, I think that his character is not portrayed fairly because we never see who Kane really is. Why does he push away his wife but attempt to bring her closer to him by buy giving her gifts she doesn’t want? We never see any emotion out of Kane and that’s what should embody a good representation of his character.

Cole Storer Citizen Kane Reflection.

Citizen Kane is at the top of "the best of all time" film list because it captivates people. The whole idea of living the American Dream is crushed. The average person, who might dream of having enough money to fill a swimming pool with, double-takes their dream. The film causes people to seriously rethink their life goals.

I'm the type of person who does not need a whole lot of money to be happy. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to have to struggle to pay my bills or anything,, but I'm just not very materialistic. However, if this films causes me to rethink whether or not I want to have money, then I'm sure it is having the same effect on my classmates and the general public.

Orson Welles's use of light to represent good and bad in this movie was incredible. I loved it. He would figure out how to completely black out Kane's face at some times when he is being particularly unjust or evil. It was also really interesting to see how he would fade in and out of scenes. For instance, he would use an angle from the top and slowly lower it through a window into his mistresses house. The film would fade as the camera was passing through it. As a movie viewer today I think his use special effects are relatively simple, so they aren't interesting to me.

The general movie goer wants to see explosions and laugh, maybe cry. Citizen Kane is a movie for someone who doesn't mind having to think deep into themselves as well as the movie to get anything out of it. The statement suggests that a random bunch of people wouldn't care about this movie, and I think it is a pretty accurate statement.

Like I said before, the average movie goer today probably doesn't have the attention span to watch a long take in a scene without becoming bored. Today, most directors use several different angles to cut up a scene and make it more interesting.

Charles Foster Kane is represented as a man with little to no moral values, running a newspaper full of white lies, who puts his family second to his work. He is portrayed to be doing all of these things for himself, as being selfish. However, the writers left out one huge detail. We never see anything from his point of view. We never hear from him what he is thinking, just the narrator and other characters in the movie bashing him, making us view him as this awful man.

I am Charles Foster Kane! and these are my reactions

This was the third or fourth time I have watched Citizen Kane and my initial reactions were generally the same. My favorite moments of the film are as follows, in order of appearance:

-- Seeing Kane with Hitler is always a fun poke at the war before the notion of the Holocaust was brought up, and the News on the March sequence as a whole is fairly clever and a neat homage.

-- I love when the young Kane is playing outside in the background while his parents argue over his future and he is yelling random things like "The Union Forever!" and just crazy stuff like that. The child actor who plays him is also surprisingly good both for his age and the times.

--The political rally, obviously a famous scene, is just so epic. When we finally see the shot which shows the sheer scale of the poster, the stage, and the whole deal, the grandness of it all is undeniable. This directly leads into my next favorite scene, involving the love triangle and Gettys.

--The scene where Kane worriedly asks his wife about his son and the taxi, is probably my second favorite of the movie. The way it's lit, acted, and just generally carried out, is perfect, and that perfection carries on into the ill happenings at Susan’s apartment. The showdown between Kane and Gettys is wonderfully epic, as well as the one between Emily and Susan. It feels as if it's left completely to the actors, and they all hold their own. And when Kane utters the line, "I am Charles Foster Kane!" you just know it's the turning point of the movie and also probably the most famous line of all time.

--On a quick note, Susan is played best by Dorothy Comingore after her dual introductions, or in other words, when Thompson comes back to visit her and her visually explained times with Kane after the marriage. In my opinion she's just really good where as in the beginning she's not exactly believable.

--But my most favorite scene of them all comes with the character of Raymond, the butler, played famously by Paul Stewart. He is first introduced late in the movie, which is cool in itself, and then his famous little sequence where he lights the cigarette and barters with Thompson as to the meaning of "Rosebud." He's just so ridiculously cool and what's better is that he knows it, as well as Welles. Not only does he have that cool scene, but he also gets the last lines of the movie, telling the workers to "Throw that junk in," pertaining obviously to Rosebud. It's probably one of the greatest 'character' parts ever created.

I personally do not think Citizen Kane is the greatest movie of all time but it surely makes sense that it's considered as such. The film was originally going to be called "The American" and it pretty much turns the American, rags-to-riches dream on its head. It's tougher than other classics like Casablanca and has an independent feel to it from the assemblage of theater actors led fearlessly by Mr. Welles. It's innovative, artful, entertaining, a critical success, and, among other things, an epic film. The more I watch it, it's really hard to disagree with the claim of it being the best, but I will always have my personal favorites and as great as Citizen Kane is, it simply won't (probably) break into that bubble.

January 23, 2008

Citizen Kane Reflection for Katie Kunik

I enjoyed the movie, Citizen Kane. I had never had the desire to watch it before, but now that I have I’m glad I was forced to watch it. It made me think, not only about politics and complicated issues, but of Charles Kane’s character and how it evolves throughout the movie. I was also very impressed with Orson Wells as a filmmaker. I noticed that he never shined any light on reporter, Thompson’s face until the end of the movie. I thought this might be because he was following in the same footsteps as Kane as far as yellow journalism goes and trying to get all the juicy gossip on Kane. Then in the end, Thompson overcomes this when he realizes how complex the personality of Charles Foster Kane really was, and this is when his face is finally illuminated.

To think that people in today’s society would not care about Citizen Kane may be true. My friend told me once that she didn’t want to watch the movie because she thought it was boring. I think too many young people in today’s youth culture wouldn’t care about Citizen Kane, but that is not to say that it is not relevant in today’s society. The theme of the movie of wanting happiness over money and power is a very common theme in many other movies and television shows today, so to say that it is not relevant is not true. I think that a good portion of today’s youth are just ignorant, and would rather watch a movie with a much more simplistic plot. However, my mom loves Citizen Kane. So I think it is a generational thing to whether or not people would care to watch this movie. I think it may be because people from the younger generation just aren’t brought up to appreciate “older? movies like Citizen Kane.