Citizen Kane

Topics: Dystopia, Totalitarianism, George Orwell, Morality, Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury / Pages: 5 (1191 words) / Published: Jul 5th, 2016
Art in the form of a film allows composers to express some of the universal ideas which are quintessential to the society. Orson Welles’ 1941 film noir Citizen Kane is still relevant today mainly due to the valuable ideas it presents, along with the cinematography. He extends the life story of William Randolph Hearst, a newspaper mogul during his time to a fictional character, Charles Foster Kane. The universal ideas that resonates with the audience of 21st century include corrupting nature of power and wealth, emptiness of wealth and unreliability of memory.
Individuals in the society have faith in media thus they delegate their power so that they ACCURATELY inform them about events, incidents and news. Ironically, the people society believes
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Welles represents Kane as a home-bred American fascist who wields power over the masses through his media empire by using spectacular performances, public displays and propaganda to shape public opinion. He achieves this through the non-chronological structure of the film along with analepsis flashbacks where each analepsis flashback has a different genre. Each where each genre represents a different version of Kane. By achieving this, the audience is able to understand the multifaceted nature of humans, something which is still relevant in today’s society. The different impressions that Kane has created on people who are interviewed throughout the film and their memory causes different perspective about Kane as an individual. Furthermore, the symbolism of jigsaw puzzle is a central aspect of the film which suggests that the notion of memory is unreliable. The Dutch angle shot of jigsaw puzzle, is symbolic of the unreliability of memory. A puzzle is incomplete if one piece is missing. Similarly, as Thompson interviews individuals, Welles positions his audience to (I don’t know how to word the following: “put together similar perceptions of Kane – a public man’s private life and deduce what Rosebud really is.”) According to the critic Roger Ebert, “the film’s construction shows how our lives, after we are gone, survive only in the memories of others.” To achieve this, Tolland uses dissolve shots throughout the film to highlight the unreliability of memory as it has the potential to decay as individuals are ravaged by old age. These dissolve shots also enhance textual integrity as it assists in the flow of the film. Thus, the unreliability of memory is an important aspect which resonates with audiences of all eras, hence this film is still relevant

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