Framing the story

Cinematographer Gregg Toland pioneered the use of deep focus to compose a scene, allowing him to frame distant elements with the nearby. This scene is a powerful example. The young Charles Foster Kane remains in the center of the frame, seen through the window, while he is being signed away. He is very small, indicating his lack of influence as his mother signs him away to the banker Thatcher. Watch it with no sound and concentrate on how the frame is composed.