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Why has Citizen Kane (1941) been called the greatest film ever made (Barry Norman)?

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Why has Citizen Kane (1941) been called "the greatest film ever made" (Barry Norman)? A great film has to have a lasting influence and importance on the audience, and would definitely have to contribute to the development of the medium. There are many ways to measure this; however the most important one is influence. What achievements did the film make? And how has it affected other directors in making their new films? "A great film" needs to have its name engraved in the viewers' memory, no matter how long time passed by or how many films they have watched after. However, it would be difficult for viewers now to judge a film made in 1941, and call it a "great film", as the media develops and the ideas that might have been used for the first time in this film, are used in our everyday lives now. When viewing Citizen Kane, it is very important for the people to have watched a few other films from the same time period or earlier, in order to make a fair judgment. This is because viewers can only appreciate how good the film is, only when they see it in context of what came before. ...read more.


This was all to add to the mise en scene and make it more enigmatic to the audience. Another thing was the irony of how reporters are metaphorically in the dark, and they are also shown in the shadow in the film. Welles also used his deep focus camera shots as mentioned before to manipulate the mise-en-scene, and fill up the whole space of the frame, yet without getting the audience confused. The performances of the film were very impressive to the audience. Welles also stared in the film, playing a wide range of roles, and living each role to its fullest. The audience were very amazed to see a very convincing act of dying old man played by a 26 year old. He was very convincing, and the supporting actors were very well trained, completing the whole mise-en-scene. The opening scene of the text was very dramatic, as the camera goes past many layers of fences and then a focused lit window appears in a tower, the slow camera movement used here adds to the thrill and enigma of the text, especially when showing Kane's Xanadu. The window remains the same throughout the scene, and even when the image turns upside down showing a reflection. ...read more.


One sequence was very effective, showing Kane and his wife's relationship developing through different scenes at the same place, the dinning room. They start by showing their love; however this then develops to arguments and which then develops into silence showing the dramatic change from warmth and love to coldness and bitterness. The narrative techniques are very successful in showing Charles Foster Kane as an enigma, making the audience wonder and fill their minds with questions about the character. Citizen Kane has a truly complex narrative, complex even by today's standards Overall, with its unique editing and filming, Citizen Kane has made great success. The techniques used in there might have been used before, but they were never all put together in one film. This is what made it a truly "great film" as Barry Norman suggests. The Media develops everyday, and all the techniques used there have been used now and some of them were even altered to make it look better. However, we have to bear in mind the technological facilities they had at that time and what techniques were actually used before this film was created. Surely there might be opposition to the film and mainly due to the complex narrative. However I personally think that by analysing everything, it would be enough to say that this is one of "the greatest films ever made". ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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