Citizen Kane: Classic Hollywood Film

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Citizen Kane challenged the traditional narrative and technical elements of classic Hollywood cinema mainly in the area of sound. Orson Welles was ahead of his time when he created his works of manipulating sound to transfer meaning in the film Citizen Kane. Welles used concealed hanging microphones to obtain different levels of sound throughout the film. The manner, in which the story was told, from Kane’s death flashbacked to his life of success and ultimate failure, was also a new style of storytelling for films. Welles also used symbolism with his last mumbling word “Rosebud.” As I read more the full synopsis of the movie, I learned that his last word “Rosebud” was actually the sled that he played with as a boy prior to his mother sending…show more content…
Welles utilized sound to make the audience feel the mood of the scenes, the soul of the characters, and the meaning of the film. During happy times in Kane’s memory, the music and sounds were of quick and light as in business implying a mood of success and forward motion in life. The sounds used in the movie assisted viewers in many ways; 1) guided attention to certain parts of the scene, 2) helped define the dimensions of where the characters were positioned in the scene, 3) conveyed the mood of the scene and the character’s states of minds, 4) helped to represent time, 5) created rhythm not provided by music, 6) revealed the main characters aspects, 7) aroused expectations about what was going to happen in the scene, and 8) enhanced the overall dramatic effect of the sequence of the movie. These are just a few of the benefits that the newly introduced sounds in the movie Citizen Kane provided. This film was truly ahead of its time and Orson Welles was well aware of that. He took great pride in his radio success and ultimate film success. Welles was pleased to be the cutting edge creator of Hollywood film sound. The outstanding sound works displayed in the film Citizen Kane would not be challenged until the

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