Shot by Shot analysis

Scene analysis: Citizen Kane (dir.Orson Welles, RKO,1941)

Final Scene of the film where Charles Kane’s belongings are being burned and we then find out the meaning behind Kane’s last words “Rosebud.”

1.LS,Straight Angle, Long Take. A man is talking to a group of people about his thoughts on the word “Rosebud” and as he is talking the camera is backing up further and further and the man and the group of people are becoming more distant in the shot. As the camera’s angle becomes higher we get a better view of the background in sharp focus of the scene which is a vast room full of antiques and objects of great value, Fade out.

2.LS, High Angle, Long Take. Fade in, we see a big room with hundreds of boxes and objects and the camera is moving the whole time as it is taking us across the whole room to survey all the objects in the room and we are able to see the whole room. Soft, calm music is playing as we are crossing the room and then when we reach a sled at the other side of the room, a hand appears and takes the sled, Straight cut into the next shot.

3. LS,Straight on,Short Take. We see a dark room with a furnace and a man ordering people to throw away objects into the furnace and as the sled is being thrown into the furnace the camera is zooming in and the music intensifies as the sled is shown being burned,Fade out.

4.Close up,Straight on,Short Take.Dramatic music is being played as we see the image of the word “Rosebud” on the sled signifying that the sled was the “Rosebud”that Kane had mentioned and as the word Rosebud is melting away from the heat the camera is moving closer and closer and then the screen turns black and then it fades out.

5.LS, Low Angle,Short Take. The music is still being played as we see a castle from a low angle looking up and as the camera takes us higher and higher we are able to see smoke coming out of a chimney and that signifies the smoke of the burning of Kane’s most precious memory which was the sled Rosebud,Fade out.

6.Close up,Straight on,Short Take.Fade in, the music appears to slow down a bit as we see a fence and as the camera is moving lower and lower we see a sign which reads “No Trespassing” Fade out.

7.LS,Straight on, Short Take.Fade in, the music intensifies again as we see a gate and far off into the distance we are able to see the castle where Kane lived and ironically died and as the music is reaching its end we see the words “The End” fading into the screen which marks the end of the film.

This scene uses many fade ins and fade outs which can be found throughout the film as well as many low angled shots which can also be found throughout the film. The director also uses a Baroque style in this scene which can also be found throughout the film. And the use of low lighting can also be found in the scene as well as throughout the entire film as well as sharp focus when showing the backgrounds.

I think the use of fade ins and fade outs helped add effect to the transitions of the scene into he next one and it also allowed the scenes to run more smoothly because there are no interruptions to the scene. The low angled shots are also used throughout the scene to signify a sense of importance because when we are shown an object from a low angle that usually signifies the importance of the object we are being shown. The Baroque style is used throughout the scene to indicate the wealth that Kane was gaining and as he got wealthier the use of the Baroque style became stronger as entire scenes were drowned with antiques and fancy adornments. The use of the low lighting in the scene signified the end of Kane’s life as well as his last great childhood memory which was his sled Rosebud.






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1 Comment so far

  1.   Raaj Mangroo on October 14th, 2011

    I was happy to see that you used the angle shots to refer to importance of a character. It made me happy seeing that you wrote that, because i said the same thing in my post

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