Camera Techniques In Orson Welles's Film Citizen Kane

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Photography is the key element of mise en scene that determines how an audience will interpret the visual information in film. Orson Welles used the photography of his 1941 film Citizen Kane to emphasize aspects of the film he wanted viewers to focus on, and to remove non-essential information from the frame. This was accomplished through various camera techniques including manipulation of angles and proxemic patterns. Approaching the end of the film, there is a scene just after Susan (played by Dorothy Comingmore) has left her husband, Charles Foster Kane (played by Orson Welles), where he proceeds to trash her bedroom in a fit of anger. As Kane stumbles around the room, sweeping items onto the floor and throwing things into walls, (Welles…show more content…
The camera panned away from Kane for the first time since the sequence had begun, revealing a shift in power on screen. Placing the snowglobe in the foreground and center of the frame provided a visual example of the snowglobes' significance to Kane. As stated by Gianetta and Leach: “The central portions of the screen are generally reserved for the most important visual elements” (101). Kane's placement on the left of the screen where only his legs were visible suggested he was strongly influenced by the central image: “The left and right edges of the frame tend to suggest insignificance because they are the areas farthest from the center of the screen” (Gianneti an Leach, 103). The influence the snowglobe had over Kane was demonstrated as his destruction was brought to an immediate halt when the snowglobe lay in his path. Orson Welles used the sequence to set up and ultimatley define the significance the snowglobe had to Kane, as it played a key part in the mystery plot of the films plot. The photographic manipulation of angles and proximity composed visual information that would prepare the audiece for the resolution of the
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