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Word Count: 1,180
The classic masterpiece Citizen Kane 1941 is probably the worlds most famous and highly rated film with its many remarkable scenes cinematic and narrative techniques and innovations The director star and producer were all the same individual - Orson Welles in his film debut at age 25 who collaborated with Herman J Mankiewicz on the script and with Gregg Toland as cinematographer Within the maze of its own aesthetic Citizen Kane develops two interesting themes The first concerns the debasement of the private personality of the public figure and the second deals with the crushing weight of materialism Taken together these two themes comprise the bitter irony of an American success story that ends in futile nostalgia loneliness and death The fact that the personal theme is developed verbally through the characters while the materialistic theme is developed visually creating a distinctive stylistic counterpoint It is against the counterpoint that the theme s unfold within the structure of a mystery story Its theme is told from several perspectives by several different characters and is thought provoking The tragic story is how a millionaire newspaperman who idealistically made his reputation as the champion of the underprivileged becomes corrupted by a lust for wealth power and immortality Kanes tragedy lies in his inability to experience any real emotion in his human relationships The apparent intellectual superficiality of Citizen Kane can be traced to the shallow quality of Kane himself Even when Kane is seen as a crusading journalist battling for the lower classes overtones of self-idolatry mar his actions His clever ironies are more those of the exhibitionist than the crusader His second wife complains that Kane never gave her anything that was part of him only material possessions that he might give a dog His best friend Jedediah Leland was a detached observer functioning as a sublimated conscience remarks to the reporter that Kane never gave anything away he left you a tip In each
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