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Citizen Kane Research Papers

Film Noir research papers that focus on films such as Citizen Kane are specialties of Paper Masters. Understanding the complexities of a film such as Citizen Kane in a research paper requires a vast amount of study and expertise in film theory. Have our writers compose your paper and explain this complex, dark film by Orson Welles.

Citizen Kane research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?

Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane (1941) continues to rank as one of the most popular and respected films to come out of Hollywood. In this paper, it will be shown that this film noir is a nearly perfect expression of its theme and motifs which include:

  1. Ambition
  2. Disenchantment
  3. Moral poverty

Films that fall into the category of film noir are those that show the dark side of human nature; certainly Charles Foster Kane revealed the depths of his dark side in the film. Through repetitive the following film techniques, Wells conveys his motif of darkness:

  • Still images
  • Mood music
  • Short, foreboding phrases
  • The conjuring of sinister ideas
  • And objects that represent darkness 

Film techniques that create this exquisite film include flashbacks, deep-focus photography, expressionist lighting, long takes, symbolic angles, sweeping camera movements, and dialog that overlaps in confusion and frenzy.

Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane and Darkness

In addition to the motif of darkness and moral poverty, another motif of superimposed images reveals a darker truth about Kane who was sent away from his mother at a young age in order to grow up away from his abusive father and impoverished lifestyle. The sudden departure of his mother from his life left Kane with a need to keep hold of a part of his childhood. This is symbolized by the sled named “Rosebud.” The super imposition of images appears at the beginning when the imposing and dark mansion called Xanadu hovers behind many superimposed images of affluence. As the camera moves closer and closer, the mansion becomes even more foreboding, and by association the images of affluence appear frightening and dark. The message of the film regarding the futility of accumulating wealth and property is stated subtly through these superimposed images. Two different images on the screen coalescing into one another represent the double life of Kane—the lost boy and the all-powerful man.

During his lifetime Kane “collected everything—the loot of the world” as one character described it. This is an explicit meaning, as Kane indeed sent treasures back to Xanadu from all over the world. This theme of accumulated wealth and the uselessness of it was revealed throughout the film and culminated at the end with the cataloging of hundreds of thousands of things, large and small, that Kane had collected. As the smoke rose from the chimneys after the death of Kane, it was no mistake that it brought forth images of the German prison camps and their dark smoky skies resulting from the atrocities going on in the camps. In some ways, Welles as director showed that one could perpetrate an atrocity against the self, too, by killing your own soul.

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