Citizen Kane, 1941

Citizen Kane is a 1941 American drama film by Orson Welles, its producer, co-author, director and star.



This forth week we will look at the ways the image is shaped by the camera’s controls and lens. In particular we will explore the way that lens selection and lens settings affect the sense of pictorial depth of the moving image.

  • How can we isolate a subject within the frame through use of aperture and/or focal length?
  • What can something that is “out of focus” reveal?
  • How can we manipulate space through the use of selective focus?
  • How do we slowly reveal a subject through use of focus? How does this alter the way we understand and relate to the image?

Phantom Ride, 1898

Phantom rides or panoramas were an early genre of film popular in Britain and the US at the end of the 19th century. Pre-dating true narrative, the films simply show the progress of a vehicle moving forwards, usually shot by strapping a cameraman to the front. The term phantom ride was applied because the position of the camera meant that only the track and scenery could be seen and the movement appeared to be coming from an invisible force. Though many early films showed local tracks the demand for new footage led to more exotic locations being filmed. This brought a new dimension to the genre, showing foreign lands to those who would otherwise never see them. The genre is also significant, despite its short-lived popularity, due to the role it played in the development of the tracking shot, longer films and film editing, as well as its re-emergence in 4D film and simulation.

An Embroidery of Voids, 2016

Daniel Crooks’ Phantom Ride alludes to cinema history to create a seamless journey through a composite reality. By manipulating digital footage as though it were a physical material, the artist has constructed a collaged landscape that takes us through multiple worlds and shifts our perception of space and time.