Citizen Kane (Analysis)


Citizen Kane : Analysis on Happiness and Money

If Charles Foster Kane is in itself an impressive well of treasures, the film that depicts him has a very valuable intelligence and talents. The extent of the ingenuity shown by the film Citizen Kane by Orson Welles is so vast that one cannot draw an exhaustive analysis. We only address the most challenging issues.

Firstly, Citizen Kane has revolutionized aesthetics in cinema. The visual appearance is beautifully filled with mystery scenario of this work. Early in the film, for example, plans ghostly leading the viewer to a place both strange and prohibited, that the palace of Xanadu, graphics are a marvel. The interior of the mansion is equally surprising, the depth of internal plans, the distortion of perspective, the effect of mirror that reflects the image of Kane to infinity gives an incredible sense of grandeur to the whole.

The film is also punctuated with trompe l’oeil: exterior painting including Xanadu. I also love the shot of the photo printed in the newspaper, then, when you zoom above, shows the time it was taken.

In addition, a technical standpoint, Orson Welles used many snorkeling and diving cons, processes still rare for films of that time. Another remarkable point, the lighting! The play of shadow and light reflected wonderfully well with the black and white film. Orson will be able to get the most out of what might appear at the time as a constraint.

The physical changes of Kane is also a strong point of the film. Difficult to be convinced that Orson was only 25 years old when he plays a Kane.

Finally on the visual side of Citizen Kane, my favorite image is that of the ball containing the snowy cottage held by the hand of old Kane, for me, it represents the dying is finally being master of his life, his past. Then he let her go, she falls to the ground (in slow motion, we should note): it no longer controls anything and dies.

The scenario now. It all starts with the death of an elderly man. We know nothing about him but we will soon find out: first by the newsreel that summarizes the life of the late Charles Foster Kane, then through multiple flashbacks. The newsreel serves as a “canvas” to the film and allows flash-back to break naturally to present details of given periods of Kane’s life. Everything is very consistent in that the entire life of Kane has already been presented. Furthermore, it always returns the current period (that is to say 1940, after the death of Kane) before starting a new flashback. The viewer keeps a constant theme that the film is not linear.

This series of flashbacks from five different people is a kind of puzzle. The journalist’s task is all the more labyrinthine. And also this quest: what is Rosebud? … It is only there to make us into Kane’s life after death. The viewer is left to take but in no way serves the story, presenting it instead as an antithesis of the American dream: the power and money do not bring the serenity and happiness to Kane ; Kane, by the destruction of his personal effects by fire, its existence seems to have removed from this Earth.

Regarding the actors, Orson overlooks all others. It is needed both by its physically by her voice that carries, especially during his campaign.

In conclusion, Citizen Kane’s reputation is totally diserved. A true masterpiece from many point of views. I close by saying that last important aspect of this film is its ability to be still current today. The problem of power of the press always arises, as the eternal conflict between money and happiness … This make Citizen Kane one of the most philosophical movie ever.


Cite this article as: Tim, "Citizen Kane (Analysis), May 20, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, May 20, 2012,

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