Analysis Project #1

 Breakfast Montage

Shot-By-Shot Breakdown Post:

. Scene Analysis: from Citizen Kane (dir. Orson Welles, RKO, 1941)

. 27 shots of the flashback scene were we see Kane’s relationship with his first wife, Emily.

. Time Frame: (49:45) – (51:50)

Shot 1:

  • Scene fades into deep focus
  • Long shot of Emily sitting at in the middle of a table in the dining room
  • The room is relatively dark aside from a single light pointed at Emily as it reflects off of her white dress
  • Kane enters from the right wearing a black suit, kisses Emily and sits down while complimenting her beauty
  •  As he enters, the camera begins to close up on Kane and his wife until the only things present in the scene are the two at the table
  • Table has nothing more than a small tea set and their breakfast
  • Soothing violin music plays in the background

Shot 2:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Kane’s perspective toward Emily at the table
  • She says that even newspapermen have to sleep

Shot 3: 

  • Cuts to a shot of Kane at the table from Emily’s perspective
  • He claims to have his morning appointments canceled
  • We see a few plants in the background

Shot 4:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Kane’s perspective toward Emily at the table  
  • Emily’s smiling

 Shot 5:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Emily’s perspective toward Kane at the table
  • Kane asks what time it is

Shot 6: 

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Kane’s perspective toward Emily at the table
  • Emily claims its late

Shot 7:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Emily’s perspective toward Kane at the table
  • Kane smiling claiming its early
  • Shot ends with a fast forwarding effect.

Shot 8:

  • Shot opens with fast forwarding effect implying some sort of time skip
  • We see the shot of Emily sitting at the far end of the table (as suppose to the middle) and complains to Kane about how he kept her waiting last night
  • She is wearing another, much larger and frillier, white dress
  • The table now has a large centerpiece on it and there appears to be a much larger tea set hanging in her background
  • Faster paced violin music plays in the background

Shot 9:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Emily’s perspective toward Kane at the table
  • Kane is sitting in a black rob smocking a pipe in the middle of Emily’s complaints
  • It appears that the number of plants in  his background increase

Shot 10:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Kane’s perspective toward Emily at the table
  • Emily finishes her complaint

Shot 11: 

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Emily’s perspective toward Kane at the table
  • Kane assures her that the only rival for him that he has is the newspaper
  • Shot ends with a fast forwarding effect

Shot 12:

  • Shot opens with fast forwarding effect implying some sort of time skip
  • We see a shot of Emily wearing a darker, more proper outfit as she complains that she would rather have a living rival
  • The objects on the table and in the background haven’t changed from shot 8
  • Even faster violin music plays in the background

Shot 13:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Emily’s perspective toward Kane at the table
  • Kane is at the table wearing a black and white rob claims that he doesn’t spend that much time on the newspaper

Shot 14:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Kane’s perspective toward Emily at the table
  • Emily claims it’s not the time he puts in but rather what he prints about the president in the newspaper

Shot 15:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Emily’s perspective toward Kane at the table
  • Kane claims that she’s referring to her uncle John

Shot 16:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Kane’s perspective toward Emily at the table
  • Emily says he’s still the president

Shot 17:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Emily’s perspective toward Kane at the table
  • Kane says he’s still Uncle John
  • Kane continues by saying how corrupt he his

Shot 18:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Kane’s perspective toward Emily at the table
  • Emily claims that he’s the president and not Kane

Shot 19:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Emily’s perspective toward Kane at the table
  • Kane smiles as he says that it’s a mistake that will be corrected someday
  • Shot ends with a fast forwarding effect

Shot 20:

  • Shot opens with fast forwarding effect implying some sort of time skip
  • We see Emily discussing Kane’s associate visiting a nursery
  • She’s wearing a dark and seeming expensive robe
  • The large centerpiece is absent from the table and is instead replaced with a large assortment of dinning ware, some of which seem unnecessary for breakfast
  • Background music has no become more serious and suspensefull

Shot 21:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Emily’s perspective toward Kane at the table
  • Kane eats his breakfast in a black suit with a rather serious expression on his face as he responds to his wife

Shot 22:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Kane’s perspective toward Emily at the table
  • Emily asks if he has to

Shot 23:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Emily’s perspective toward Kane at the table
  • Kane says rather adamantly that he does
  • Scene ends with a fast forwarding effect 

Shot 24:

  • Shot opens with fast forwarding effect implying some sort of time skip
  • We see Emily wearing another expensive, and this time white, dress
  • In the background and on the table we see a different assortment of materials such as large candles and tea sets
  • Emily is commenting on what people will think
  • Slow violin music begins to play in the background ( similarly to shot 8)

Shot 25:

  • Cuts to a shot were the camera is pointed from Emily’s perspective toward Kane at the table
  • After cut, music quickly changes to suit a more dominating tone
  • Kane interrupts her saying that people will think what he tells them to think
  • He is wearing another black suit
  • Scene ends with a fast forwarding effect

Shot 26:

  • Shot opens with fast forwarding effect implying some sort of time skip
  • We see Emily in another type of expensive dress reading the paper
  • In the background and on the table we see a different assortment of materials such as large candles and tea sets
  • She doesn’t speak but just looks at her husband across the table
  • Music in the background is similar to that of shot 1

Shot 27:

  • Cuts to Kane who returns her look as he reads the paper
  • The camera shot slowly widens as we see the entire dining room in comparison to the beginning of the scene
  • The number of materials in the room appears to have increased since the first scene and the table seems to have increased in length
  • The distance between the two, which was close at the beginning of the scene, has now been extended and jagged
  • Scene fades out

One pattern that is present in this scene is the use of black and white. Within almost every shot, Kane is wearing something black or dark while his wife wears something light. This could be used to emphasize the difference between him and Emily’s character. It could also be used to show Kane’s “dark” and lonely character.

Another reoccurring pattern in this scene and the film is the use of objects. Throughout the film, Kane was known by people as a collector of “things”. It should be noted that after every couple of shots, more and more object began taking up space in the room while the conversations between Emily and Kane kept getting shorter until the last shot were they don’t say anything at all. Finally in the last shot we see that the room had a great deal of objects in it compared to the first shot. Plus the distance between Kane and his wife is emphasized by the length of the table increasing.

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