Citizen Kane begins with an audacious touch that suits the outsized egos of both its creator and its subject. The opening title bills the film as a “Mercury Production by Orson Welles.” 1941 was more than a decade before François Truffaut began to advocate the “auteur theory,” the notion of the director as the primary “author” of a film, but it clearly conformed to (and, in part, inspired) Truffaut’s ideas. Orson Welles’ hand is on every frame of this film, along with the revolutionary touch of his cinematographer, Gregg Toland.
Kane is a clean break with the Hollywood conventions of the time in terms of both structure and style. This is truly modern film in the way we currently understand the term. Continue reading