Citizen Kane vs. the Bicycle Thief

Topics: Low-angle shot, Vittorio De Sica, Sight & Sound Pages: 3 (1037 words) Published: September 21, 2012
Categorize into classical and modern groups, film have been analyzed for their themes and motifs. As a master of techniques, Citizen Kane falls into the classical category and demonstrating the Italian Neorealism, The Bicycle Thief fits the modern class. Both films use photography, mise en scene, editing, movement, and story similarly and differently to emphasize their personal themes.

In both films, photography played a huge role to depict a theme. The use of camera angles, specific shots, and lighting in Citizen Kane, help support the idea of supremacy. In the political campaign scene, there is a long shot establishing Kane’s surroundings, which is overpowered by a monstrous poster of his face. This settles an undivided attention towards Kane. Also the use of high contrast and spot lights on the poster, help set the center of attention. While Kane is on the podium giving his political speech, Orson Welles uses a low angle shot to make him (Kane) look even higher, even though he is already on a stage. This implants his power over the audience, who are shot at a high angle and forced to take a submissive role. To top it all the use of a middle shot over the audience, not only centers Kane but places him as the authority of the scene. In The Bicycle Thief, De Sica uses long shots, high key and eye-level angle to portray the importance of a job for a person after WWII in Italy. On the scene where Antonio is “trained” on his first day, the use of a long shot, establishes his environment. As he is being taught, kids begged around him and lots of people roamed the streets. Not only is one aware Amrosini 2

of the character and content, but also forced to view the struggles endured at that point in time. The use of high key allows the viewer to clearly focus on the actions and emotions around Antonio, which is important because although his job involves gluing posters, it is what places food on his table. According to the long shot and high key of the scene,...
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