The Narrative of Citizen Kane

After his success in the radio with the sci-fi drama “The War of the Worlds”, Orson Welles won a contract with RKO pictures; giving him complete creativity on the project  In 1941, he created what is considered by filmmakers as one of the best films in history, “Citizen Kane”. This film presented and developed many innovations in the world of cinema. From technical contributions, the game with lights and special effects. But we must emphasize the narrative aspect of this film.

This movie has a simple story. A reporter is assigned to decipher the last words of Charles Foster Kanes; “Rosebud.” Throughout other characters, the life of the main character is narrated. The film may have a simple plot but it is the way that Orson Welles builds the story that highlights it.

Welles explored different and new methods to create his story. He avoids linear and chronic narrative, using flashbacks to tell the story of Charles Foster Kane. He also uses the voice of multiple narrators to reconstruct the life of this individual; demonstrating it in the for interviews.This concept in literature is called an unreliable narrator since the author uses other characters to tell the life of Charles Foster Kane. Welles was able to understand this literary concept and put it into action on the big screen. In addition, through the editing, in an impressive way, he was able to tell the story of the deterioration of Kane’s first marriage in less than 3 minutes.

Orson Welles used storytelling techniques in a creative way. The uses of flashback and how the plot has a non-linear structure; leaving the traditional narrative. They use the technique of montage to give jumps of time and space in the film. “Citizen Kane” is a film that shines in all cinematographic aspects and will continue to influence the world of cinema.

Example how Orson Welles used editing to tell the story of the deterioration of a marriage in less than 3 minutes : 

[ author of the video: davidsmorgan ]

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