Citizen Kane RKO Studios, 1941

Citizen Kane RKO Studios, 1941 B&W, 119 minutes Director/Producer: Orson Welles Cinematographer: Gregg Toland Screenplay: Herman K. Mankiewicz Composer: Bernard Herrmann Cast: Charles Kane……………………Orson Welles Susan Alexander……………….Dorothy Comingore Jed Leland……………………….Joseph Cotton Mr. Bernstein……………………Everett Sloane Kane’ s Mother………………….Agnes Moorehead Walter Thatcher…………………George Coulouris Emily Norton……………………..Ruth Warrick Herbert Carter………………….Erskine Sanford Thompson ……………………….William Alland 1. Describe the opening sequence as best you can. How do the camera movements, transitions, and mise-en-scène set up the narrative? 2. How does the newsreel about Kane’s life and death function in the narrative? What is the effect of telling the story this way at the outset of the film? 3. Kane utilizes the dissolve quite a bit. Give an example of a dissolve from one shot to the next that caught your eye – what is the effect of this dissolve? 4. Choose one scene in which the lighting design is particularly “low-key” or expressionistic (low light, strong contrasts between light and dark, sharp shadows, etc). Describe the lighting and discuss how it helps to define the scene in question. 5. Kane’s story is told in flashback from the perspectives of several different people. Pick one character and briefly discuss what we learn about Kane through that character.