How Does the Film's (Citizen Kane) Cinematography and Soundtrack Affect Emotional Reactions to Characters and the Situations They Face, Using Specific Scenes from the Film.

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  • Topic: Citizen Kane, Orson Welles, Bernard Herrmann
  • Pages : 2 (473 words )
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  • Published : April 5, 2006
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In the film Citizen Kane directed by Orson Welles, the soundtrack, composed by Bernard Herrmann, is implemented precisely to work concordantly with the cinematography in order to evoke specific emotions. Hermann uses the rise, fall, and build up of his music in order to arouse a sense of drama, tension, and peace in the viewer. By doing this, Welles and Herrmann further promote many overlying themes they attempt to convey throughout the movie.

Towards the beginning of the film there is a scene of a young Charles Foster Kane sledding down a knoll of snow, exclaiming carelessly and playing with himself. The music that accompanies this scene is one of a light-hearted nature. The fluttering sounds implemented by Hermann seem to arouse a sense of freedom, security, and worry-free mentality that comes along with being a child. The young Kane then stands and throws a snowball at a sign which reads, "Mrs. Kane's Boarding House." At the exact instance when the snowball hits the sign, the music abruptly stops, and then turns to a heavier and darker feel. Welles cuts to Kane's parents talking to Walter Parks Thatcher, Kane's childhood guardian, and they are discussing Kane's separation from his parents. The change in music is appropriate as the topics being discussed between the parents and Thatcher are extremely significant to the development of Kane's character. The grave and worrisome feeling elicited by Hermann's music makes the viewer focus more on the particular scene through various strings, and discordant tones. Through the precipitous transition of music from a pleasant tone to a more serves as a symbol for the drastic change Kane's life is about to undergo. The final scene of the movie, which shows Kane's childhood sled with "Rosebud" engraved on it, is practically brought to life with the music of Herrmann. The slow build up of the music is paired accordingly with the constant rise of the fire. The music's grandiose feeling gives more weight to...
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