Tag Archives: Citizen Kane

Homework #6: The Flashback in Film

Classic example of deep focus in childhood scene from Orson Welles, Citizen Kane (1941).
Classic example of deep focus in childhood scene from Orson Welles, Citizen Kane (1941).

In Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941), most of the narrative structure relies of flashbacks. Viewers see Kane’s death at the start of the film and the “March of Time” newsreel provides an overview of the life and death of Charles Foster Kane. The life of Kane is communicated through the flashbacks of various sources, including his close friends and ex-wife. Orson Welles lets the audience know at the very beginning of the film what happens to Kane and tells Kane’s story through a succession of flashbacks. What other films to you know make use of the flashback device? In an earlier homework, Brygetee discussed the big-budget film, Titanic (1997) by James Cameron. You may recall that the audience learns what happens in the beginning of Titanic, and the first 20 minutes are devoted to exploring the sunken ship, ending with an older Rose who takes the audience on her flashback to that fateful voyage. Explore your textbook, the internet, or your own collection of films and share with your classmates a memorable flashback scene.

Click here to watch a flashback to Kane’s childhood as recalled in the diary of his legal guardian Thatcher in Citizen Kane (take note of the deep focus technique).

Watch Old Rose in Titanic begin her flashback.

Homework #6 is DUE by Friday October 30th (ONE DAY AFTER THE MIDTERM). Diamonds and Spades Post, Clubs and Hearts Comment, note your blog group! Email me if you forget.

Homework #5: The Animated Sequence

Newspapers journalists in Citizen Kane
Newspapers journalists in Citizen Kane

Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941) is known for the use of many innovative techniques, especially the use of deep focus. In addition, there is a scene in which a photograph comes to life. The scene comes during Kane’s announcement that his has hired the group of star journalists from a rival newspaper to write for his own paper, The Inquirer. This sequence recalls the increasing popularity of animation in this period.

As we learned in class, Snow White and the Seven Dwarf (1937) was the first feature-length animated film. Watch a clip from Disney’s  Snow White, and post your thoughts on early animation.

Watch the photograph come to life in Citizen Kane here.

Watch a clip from Snow White  here

To complete this homework assignment, note whether you Post or Comment. For Homework #5, Clubs and Hearts will submit a Post and Diamonds and Spades will Comment (choose any of your classmates’ posts to comment on).

Homework #5 is DUE by Thursday October 22nd.
 Clubs and Hearts Post, Diamonds and Spades Comment, note your blog group! Email me if you forget.