By Randy Rasmussen
Orson Welles, a self-conscious storyteller who frequently invited his viewers to question the equipment and veracity of what they see and listen to. He was once that infrequent magician who either pulled the wool over our eyes, for our pride, and unravelled the wool before our eyes, encouraging us to reflect on the character of the magic itself. some of the characters in Welles’s videos is usually noticeable as magicians of a kind, growing impressions meant to control different characters, or perhaps themselves, in a single course or one other. yet not like Welles, few of them voluntarily reveal their tips to the scrutiny in their sufferers. Six significant Welles films—Citizen Kane, The great Ambersons, the woman from Shanghai, contact of Evil, The Trial, and Chimes at Midnight—receive a scene by means of scene research during this serious examine. From a viewer’s point of view it illuminates the dramatic rhythms of every movie as they spread on monitor and from the soundtrack. common analogies to different video clips and pertinent quotations from the impressions of different commentators expand the textual content, yet consistently in the scene by way of scene development dictated by means of the movie less than dialogue.
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Extra resources for Orson Welles : six films analyzed, scene by scene
Now he stands closer to the o‡ce door. And as an excuse for appropriating Carter’s o‡ce, Kane reveals his plan to transform the Inquirer from just a morning newspaper to a twenty four hour a day news gathering dynamo. Quite ambitious for a man who only moments earlier claimed to have no plan at all. Obviously Kane lied — a fact easy to overlook in the dramatic context of his amusing takeover of the Inquirer from his befuddled, overmatched foe. Herr-mann’s playful dance music accompaniment highlights the fun and conceals the darker undertones of this early consolidation of power by the protagonist.
Kane’s informal, shy manner as he hands a written announcement to the newspaper’s society editor adds to his egalitarian charm. He interrupts Bernstein’s formal presentation of the “Welcome Home” trophy to rush back out of the o‡ce. But in a wonderfully comic touch he returns briefly to retrieve his prize, which after all represents to him the a›ection and respect of his employees. Even in the midst of his first romance such a thing is important to him. He is a collector of symbols. But the fact that the trophy is worth a momentary delay in his departure while Bernstein’s speech is not hints that symbols are more important to Kane than are people.
Of Susan’s mother? Or Susan herself as a young girl? The point of showing them is to give us a powerful sense of Susan’s life — its mysterious past and accumulated emotional baggage — prior to and separate from Kane’s. Among her possessions is the glass paperweight that Kane held, then dropped and broke, in the film’s opening scene. By the end of Citizen Kane we have some idea of what that paperweight signified to the protagonist. But lost to time and obscurity is what, if anything, it meant to its previous owner, Susan Alexander.
Orson Welles : six films analyzed, scene by scene by Randy Rasmussen