Film Analysis: 'Citizen Kane'

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There are many reasons as to why Citizen Kane has been lauded as one of the best, if not the best, film of all time. Orson Welles's Citizen Kane has had a lasting impact on cinema and continues to influence directors to this day. Visually striking, Citizen Kane helped to usher in a new era of cinema through its innovative techniques and use of mise-en-scene. From the film's onset, it is evident that it is going to be a tale of woe. The film begins very ominously, much like a horror film, and immediately begins to compare the titular character to the doomed Kubla Khan in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's eponymous poem. Even Kane's home, Xanadu, is named after Khan's "stately pleasure-dome," a wild, isolated fortress that holds everything that he acquired throughout his life, including the one thing that truly made him happy, Rosebud (Coleridge; Citizen Kane). It is evident that Welles draws much of his inspiration from German Expressionist films of the time, however, he manages to marry Expressionist style with a modern approach. Expressionism sought to transform reality through photography, lighting, artificial and stylized sets, and mise-en-scene. Additionally, the film also embraces the spirit of film noir, framing the film's central narrative as an investigation into the meaning of Charles Foster Kane's last words. Although a series of investigators undertake the task of finding out who or what Rosebud was and what it meant to Kane, the characters in the film find that

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