Unconventional lighting that focuses on shadows and illustration of the themes of human depravity and failures are particular to film noir style, also called “black film” (Luhr 1995, p.8). The first era of film noir is called classic film noir and emerged during the early 1940s…
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Urban modernism also affects the stylistic elements of film noir, as it focuses on contemporary urban landscape and the social influences of urban settings on human attitudes and behaviours (Luhr 2012, p.63; Grant 2007, p.24). Film scholars, however, cannot agree on any single definition of film noir. Selby believes that film noir is “perhaps the most slippery of all film categories” (Schwartz 2001, p.16). Despite doubts in defining film noir, critics agree that film noir is not an ordinary thriller because it provides quality characterisation, stylistics, and narratives (Berry-Flint 2004, p.35; Krutnik 1991, p.16). Citizen Kane (1941) is frequently described as the first or pre-noir film, due to its film noir darkness in terms of characters and plot (Krutnik 1991, p.16). Film noir has distinguishing characteristics in narrative pattern, structure, themes, and stylistic elements that are present in Citizen Kane (1941). The narrative pattern of film noir is distinguished with convoluted plots that are obsessed with flashbacks and flashforwards. Directors of film noir use flashbacks to provide a complex story to their audience (Schickel 2007, p.38). Citizen Kane (1941) is a particularly multifaceted film because reporter Thompson (William Alland) can only understand the personality and life of newspaper mogul Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) from the perspectives of different people in the latter’s life. ...
Memory is an important aspect of the narrative of film noir, because it relates to the “subjectivity of consciousness” (Menegaldo 2004, p.157). The entire story of the film is similar to the newsreel. It can only say something about Kane, but the audience understands that all of them are mere opinions of the man. In the end, no one truly knows who Kane is, which is why nobody discovered what Rosebud means to him. The reason why Kane is so difficult to understand is because he does not want to open up to other people in the first place. The “No Trespassing” sign in Kane’s Xanadu estate, which launches and ends the film, expresses how Kane felt about people. He never trusted anyone because his childhood experience taught him that to love is to be vulnerable and to be vulnerable is to experience pain and misery. He may have never understood why his mother sent him away, even if he somehow knows that she did it for his best interest. Susan Alexander Kane (Dorothy Comingore) wants her son to have the finest education and upbringing in the city that she, as a provincial mother, cannot provide him. Still, she might not have considered what Kane wanted as a child. He only wanted his mother’s love and presence, for it seems that without it, he became a cold, calculating and ruthless man- the ideal hero of classic film noir. The structure of film noir does not follow the normal three-act arrangement of many films, and instead, it showcases an intricate plot with elaborate flashbacks. Citizen Kane (1941) has patterns of repetitions through its flashbacks that create anxiety and tension that is typical of film noir (Oliver 2003, p.171). On the one hand, flashbacks are disorienting, especially
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It was widely considered to be the greatest film that ever created in the sphere of Hollywood. In this paper, a critique on the entirety of the film is discussed. Critique Every movie has its own story to tell and scenes to display. The movie Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles and written by Herman J.
Often still regarded by critics as one of, or the greatest movie of all time, it garnered a large amount of Academy Award Nominations of which it won the “Best Writing” award (Mulvey, 1992). Set amidst the newspaper publishing world of the US at the time, the movie tells the life story of the character Charles Kane, a publishing tycoon based on a real life individual.
Film Noir “Film Noir” is a French term, which literally means ‘Black Film’. It encompassed classic Hollywood crime dramas that were made during the 40’s and 50’s. These movies had a major element of cynicism in them and character drives often were sexual in nature.
When it was released in 1941, the film revolutionized and revitalized the art of filmmaking in Hollywood, which was languishing at the time in its own aura of complacency. The precocious genius of Orson Welles is stamped in all aspects of filmmaking – the direction, screenplay, storyline, camerawork, editing, casting, and even in the political messages contained therein.
The Cinematic narrative form enhances plot development in this art piece to accumulate to tragic significance. The concepts of the image as presence (image as presentation) and image as text (image representation) have been employed in the ensemble to achieve significant tragic meaning dissemination.
characters are also almost generic, the dangerously alluring deadly female (femme fatale), the hard boiled police detective and the anti-hero constantly surrounded by gun wielding thugs. Even with all these, it is the underlying visual styles that employ the creative use of
It received a lot of critical appraisals; although it did not realize commercial success, due to delayed release by RKO and limited distribution. The delayed release was because of the pressure exerted by W. R. Hearst, the famous megalomaniac publisher. The
The music is slow and sad with the lighting deem only focusing on the man (Wells, 1941). The editor did an excellent job in bringing close the dying man after showing us his mansion and the bed he was lying in while taking his last breath.
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