Three famous films had etched an indelible mark of how the directors had approached the various themes.These films are Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane,Jean Renoir’s Rules of the Game and Roberto Rosellini’s Rome-Open City.Citizen Kane is deemed to be the best American film ever made. Its main theme is the corruption of the American dream. It asks us to question the very premise of the American dream. The movie is a dream in itself, depicting prosperity and influence inevitably linked to the downfall of relationships and personal values.As "an archetype of film noir with an enormous influence on the development of that genre" (Carringer, p. 86), it is riddled with various film techniques reminiscent of other art forms such as realism, impressionism, expressionism, Baroque and realism.The film reminds visually of a newsprint which is especially appropriate in a film depicting semi-autobiography of a newspaper tycoon, using high-contrast black and white. The conflict-indicating quality of this film is often emulated in the choices of costumes. For instance, an older troubled Kane is always seen dressed in plain white shirts and black suits while those around him are clad in less contrasting grey clothes. This shows the way Kane’s internal power struggle of the public versus the private man is fiercely pictured.With regards to lighting, Citizen Kane also bears the immensity of the film-serving a variety of functions such as setting the tone of scenes, foreshadowing the dying of idealism, delineating the effect of it to Kane’s personality on a variety of characters. This quality of the film reminds us fully of Baroque art where light brings forth the drama in the scene. Comparing the depictions of Kane’s early life, the quality of the light used was natural.
"The crisp daylight style predominates in the parts dealing with Kane’s rise to prominence, Here Kane is seen as a self-starter, an idealist, a reformer, a traditional type-the hope of the future embodied in a genuine American titan. By contrast, most of the harshly expressionistic scenes, compared to those filmed in low levels of illumination, involve the later part of Kane’s story after he has become a petty and ruthless tyrant " (Carringer, p. 84)
Xanadu, Kane’s castle, is filmed at night time in the opening scene of the film. A lighted window and fog’s illuminating effect provide the only means of articulating the structure of Xanadu. An impressionistic scene, it presents an eerie vista which depicts loneliness and isolation, prompting the audience a mood of uneasiness or sadness.
In a rally scene in Citizen Kane, Charles Foster Kane is filmed in long-shot some distance and thus he is dwarfed-though standing in front of a vast poster reproduction of himself. The immense contrast between the actual man and the image once again illustrates the public man’s emergence and the private man’s demise. Kane’s power over others is often underscored in scenes where he dominates the foreground while other characters are relegated to the middleground.
Citizen Kane’s occasional interplay of light and shadow builds the character of the film. An example of this occurs when Kane’s face is shadowed as he signs his "Declaration of Principles" prior to printing it in his newly-organized newspaper. The film maker often depicted other characters literally in Kane’s shadow so as to illustrate the enormous influence of Kane’s personality-and the destructive quality of his presence (Sobochack, p. 73).
Subject movements in Citizen Kane has to do with the use of the wide-angle lens, when Kane is filmed from a distance and yet is allowed to traverse that distance with a minimum of steps.
Camera is often tilted in order to show entire scenes at a certain angle. A glaring symbolism that illustrates a world gone askew. When Kane takes over The Enquirer, the newspaper office is depicted at an angle in order to foreshadow Kane’s subsequent loss of dignity and integrity. Susan’s cluttered room is also shot at an