"Citizen Kane": A Story of One Man's Inability to Love.

Essay by riguy25University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2005

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Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane" is a cleverly crafted movie told in a series of flashbacks telling the story of a man who manages to distance himself from everyone he comes into contact with. Throughout the film Welles uses mise-en-scene and cinematography both deliberately and subconsciously to point things out and foreshadow things to come to the audience. Specifically the relationship of Susan and Kane can be used as an example. In the scenes involving Susan and Kane many cinematic effects are used. Among them are Kane's dominance and control over Susan, and the way Kane exhibits love as power. Specifically, however we can point to the series of events in which Susan and Kane are at Xandu prior to their breakup. Beginning with the scene immediately following Susan's suicide attempt and concluding with the scene of Susan slapping Kane we see a masterfully crafted sequence that sharply depicts their relationship and Kane's personality.

Here we have a perfect example of how deliberately yet discreetly we are given the signal of things to come; the slow yet steady decline of their marriage.

The duration and decline of Susan and Kane's relationship is depicted in a series of scenes in a sequence that begins immediately following Susan's suicide attempt with a fade into exterior shot of the massive, ominous, evil looking, fog shadowed Xanadu followed by the interior of the parlor inside Xanadu and then the close up shot of Susan's hand working a jigsaw puzzle. In these simple shots, we are told rapidly and concisely that the marriage is failing. The massive Xanadu represents the incompleteness of the relationship between Susan and Kane; it's followed by the luxurious inside, perhaps representing the potential passion or love. The close up of the enormous jigsaw puzzle with Susan's hand putting in...