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  • 15.2 : 2006 : PDF: “The People Will Think...What I Tell Them to Think”: Orson Welles and the Trailer for Citizen Kane by Paul Salmon
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    “The People Will Think...What I Tell Them to Think”: Orson Welles and the Trailer for Citizen Kane

    by Paul Salmon

    Abstract: The trailer for Citizen Kane is now impossible to appreciate outside of a context shaped by decades of Welles scholarship and by the entrenched canonical status of Citizen Kane itself. Yet, it warrants sustained attention in its own right. The highly manipulative nature of its rhetorical strategies suggest the importance that Welles placed on courting a wide, popular audience on the eve of unveiling the most technically and formally advanced film in Hollywood history. A close analysis of the trailer suggests that Welles was deeply ambivalent about how far to risk alienating a mass audience, and equally ambivalent about the role of collaboration in the artistic enterprise.

    Résumé: Bien qu’il soit devenu presque impossible de considérer la bande annonce de Citizen Kane hors du discours critique qui entoure le film et de son statut de chef-d’œuvre ultime du cinéma américain, il demeure important de l’examiner en détail pour comprendre ses stratégies rhétoriques manipulatrices. Une lecture attentive de la bande annonce démontre que Welles souhaitait rejoindre un large public, qu’il ne voulait pas risquer d’aliéner les foules et était ambivalent au sujet du caractère collectif de cette entreprise artistique.

    PDF: cj-film-studies152_Salmon_Welles_g.pdf