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mediacitizenkane

mediacitizenkane

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Published by Christina Fox

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Published by: Christina Fox on Apr 20, 2012
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Christina FoxMagazine JournalismDr. Dillon4/4/11Orson Welles was one of the most well-known film creators of his time. Wellesmaintained his creatively throughout his filmmaking and was able to develop some of the bestfilms in American history. His dedication and devoutness assisted him in making his powerfulfilm so popular. Welles’ skills and techniques help to better the film’s mise en scene “with itsmany remarkable scenes and performances, cinematic and narrative techniques andexperimental innovations (in photography, editing, and sound)” (Dirks par. 1). At the ripe oldage of 25, Welles created a film that managed to sweep the nation to love him or to hate him.
Citizen Kane
, graced the American culture in 1941, and gave individuals a whole lot to talk about, while also causing controversies. William Randolph Hearst, is known as one of the mostinfluential men in the newspaper industry. Hearst believed Welles’ film,
Citizen Kane
, wasmodeled after his life due to the similarities to Hearst and the main character of the film.Kane’s economic status and social background play largely thorough out the film, leaving hisimage of reality semi far from the truth.While Kane inherited mountains of money, there was only one treasure in the pile thathe most desired. “I think it would be fun to run a newspaper,” Kane wrote in a letter to hisguardian Walter Thatcher. Once Kane successfully takes over the newspaper business, he believes his newspaper, The New York 
 Inquirer,
is able to control its readers. “Are we going todeclare war on Spain, or are we not?” Kane asks his colleague Leland. “The
 Inquirer 
alreadyhas,” Leland says in response. It is the idea that the newspapermen control their readers likemarionette puppets. The
 Inquirer 
is structured to the specification and likings of Kane. Heultimately has the last say as to what is published in the paper, and what is left out. “The film
 
tells the thought-provoking, tragic epic story of a ‘rags-to-riches’ child who inherited a fortune,was taken away from is humble surroundings and his father and mother, was raised by a banker, and became a fabulously wealthy, arrogant, and energetic newspaperman” (Dirks par.8). The scene in the film where a plethora of his newspapers flash over the screen all withdifferent headlines, about his second wife, Susan Alexander Kane deceive the readers into believing Susan’s opera skills are a knockout, when in reality, Susan is a whirlwind disaster onstage. It does not take long for the public to lose trust in Kane as his reputation beginsdwindling down to nothing but lies and fabrications of the truth. In an attempt to dismiss thisaccusation, Kane finishes one of Leland’s critiques of Susan to prove his honesty.“The discovery and revelation of the mystery of the life of the multi-millionaire publishing tycoon is determined through a reporter’s search for the meaning of his single,cryptic dying word: “Rosebud” – in part, the film’s plot enabling device- or McGuffin” (Dirks par. 9). The quotation signifies the irony that builds throughout the film in the search of Kane’s beloved “Rosebud.” From the very beginning, Kane creates a falsity of this larger than life persona to the individuals who read his paper, when all along he is a long lost rich mansearching for the innocence left behind with his childhood. The object of money means nothingto Kane since he spent endless amounts acquiring useless statues and building an opera house.He was so disappointed in the world, therefore he felt it was best if he built his own. In thiscase, those who said ‘money cannot buy happiness,’ were right. Kane paid people throughinconspicuous ways to “love him,” in an attempt to define who he really is, when Kane himself said, “I don’t think there’s one word that can describe a mans life.” Despite his persuasivenewspaper, expensive material goods, two failed marriages, and his crumbling reputation,“Rosebud” was realistically the only token of happiness Kane possessed in his life.
 
Throughout the entire film, Kane’s characteristics resemble and differ from mediaarchetypes of pervious characters. Kane uses his money to buy his ‘friends,’ which ultimatelyleaves him with nothing short of being an outsider himself. He creates his own rules andstandards that he believes everyone should live by while attempting to reform the public into asociety that he sees fit. Kane resembles Ed Wood on almost all of these accounts, as Wood wasthe outsider of his time, always idolizing influential people, such as Kane himself. Whendirecting his films, Wood would literally fly by the seat of his pants. He barely knew whichway was up, but believed his way of obtaining his goals was the best way possible. On theother hand, Kane is different from almost all of the other characters because of his corruptionand persuasion over innocent people. Kane ran his newspaper in attempts to have control over every situation possible. Although, he built his empire from the ground up, it would have never  been possible without his financial background. Being raised by capitalism opened new doorsfor Kane, but unfortunately, he held the wrong attitude and destroyed anything that was ever remotely important to him. “The tycoon has overextended himself and is losing control of hisempire” (Ebert par. 11). This quotation states how Kane’s emotionally complex attitudeeventually destroyed his ability to ever have anything close to actual reality.Orson Welles used many interesting directing techniques throughout his creation of 
Citizen Kane
. However, Welles created and developed the film through flashbacks from thecharacters. “The movie opens with newsreel obituary footage that briefs us on the life and timesof Charles Foster Kane; this footage, with its portentous narration, is Welles’ bemused nod inthe direction of the ‘March of Time’ newsreels then being produced by another media mogul”(Ebert par. 6). Welles’ use of the flashback scenario may be intriguing to viewers. Right fromthe beginning, Kane’s entire life story is laid out for the audience to follow along. Welles used

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