Citizen Kane

SEQ CHAPTER h r 1Answer #1–

“Lighting in Citizen Kane is great! Orsen Welless was a wonderful director and controlled the lighting in the film. One scene, for example, is the opening of the movie where the scene starts off very dark with a dark camera shot of the outside of the Kane home. The camera pans outward to reveal the warning sign for trespassers to keep out. Then a light suddenly comes on in the upstairs bedroom. It is really, really bright. You are shocked when you see it. This gives an eearie type of feel to the shot and then the camera looks at a man dying on a huge bed. The light shines on the snow globe that he holds in his hand. That’s why lighting is so great.”

This is a very poor answer. It does not use accurate, technical terms to describe lighting. There are grammatical and spelling mistakes. The writer fails to italicize or underline the film title. The entire answer describes rather than explains.

Answer #2–

“Lighting in Citizen Kane is mostly low key in the opening death scene. There are lots of shadows and the mood of the scene is very dismal. When the snow globe falls from Kane’s hand and rolls across the floor, it is the only bright spot in the darkened room. This attracts our attention and we watch the globe rolling.”

This is a somewhat better answer because there are fewer grammatical, spelling, and other errors. Even though the answer is short, it shows that the writer understands the basic concept of low key lighting. There is some attempt to explain the effects of this lighting design.

Answer #3–

“The low key lighting design of the opening scene in Citizen Kane underscores the lonely death of the main character. Shadows dominate the huge bedroom, suggesting that much of Kane’s life remains unilluminated. Soft overhead light leads our eyes to the bed and as the camera pushes in on the snow globe Kane holds, the globe reflects more concentrated light. When Kane says “Rosebud” as he drops the globe and it rolls across the floor of the dimly lit room, it draws our attention because of the high contrast created by the low key lighting design. This seemingly inconsequential event begins the search for the meaning of “Rosebud” whose meaning remains hidden in the shadows of Kane’s life.

This is the best of the three answers because it has few grammatical, spelling, and other errors. It uses technical concepts such as “low key lighting design” and “high contrast” correctly to help the reader understand how the aesthetic element of lighting reinforces the message of the film.

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