Citizen Kane Film Analysis

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Kylie Mawn Professor Rodais CINE 121 Midterm 4 March 2018 Question 1: Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) is a film that is well known for pushing cinematic boundaries in many ways. One commonly recognized technique in Welles’ film is deep focus photography. Deep focus photography is used in films to allow everything in a shot to be in focus at once. Typical, only specific characters or objects are in focus in any given frame in order to guide the audience’s attention in a scene, but deep focus can bring a new level of sophistication to a shot. While using deep focus photography, a cinematographer may have to rely on framing, lighting, or composition to guide an audience in a way that typically would be done by focusing on objects or characters in the foreground of a shot. Many of these techniques are found in the scene which shows young Charles playing in the snow while his mother completes the transaction to have him taken from his home. Throughout the scene, Charles can still clearly be seen through the brightly-lit window, even while the adults are talking in the foreground of the shot. The ability to see Charles at all times emphasizes that although he is not directly involved in the conversation, he is still the topic of interest. This deep-focus aids in the mise-en-scéne of this scene by allowing the cinematographer to strategically include Charles as a focus of the scene without directly involving him in the dialogue. This is the first of many times where Charles
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