that Welles look the film has that many are commenting on may be attributed to cinematographer George Barnes (who did some gorgeous work on "Spellbound," and is known for dream-like photography and interesting angles).
Here Jane has just been punished by Mr. Brocklehurst for lies she is alleged to have told. Note in this shot (figure 1) that the mise en scene, while dramatic, is not expressionistic, and conveys its narrative weight in fairly conventional ways. ??? Whether Welles created it or not (I think not), the shot reveals little of Jane as subject.3 (Campbell)
Now, by contrast, note a shot from the very next sequence, in which evening has descended and expressionism has appeared to give us Jane's "point of view" by symbolizing within the mise en scene her own agonized psychic state (figure 2). The radial lines suggest not only imprisonment but a kind of ferocious concentration, visually and psychically. Moreover, Helen Burns's radiant figure at the top middle of the frame casts a grotesque shadow at the right of the frame, a shadow that suggests both her own impending death and, in a trick of optical perspective, a shadow cast by, and symbolizing, Jane's own brooding :angry: inferiority. It is in such shots as this, I believe, that we most clearly see Welles's presence in this film, as well as his abiding interest in how the cinema, an art of surfaces, can portray the self's experience of its own subjectivity.(Campbell)
Here is another example, one which gains in power when we compare it to a shot from The Magnificent Ambersons. In the shot from Jane Eyre (figure 3), Jane has just shut the door in bewilderment and torment after the party with Blanche Ingram, and the expressionist shadow across her body communicates the emotional and psychological barriers she feels within. The Wellesian presence here is even more obvious when we compare this shot to a similar shot near the end of The Magnificent Ambersons in which Aunt Fanny has collapsed from fear, exhaustion, and despair (figure 4).9(Cambell)
Citizen Kane is justly celebrated for its deep-focus cinematography, of course, and throughout that film Welles loves to frame his shots with one figure on one side of the frame in the extreme foreground, one figure on the other side of the frame in the middle ground, and one figure in the center in the background, all in focus.
In Jane Eyre, however, several shots go even farther with this technique to suggest Jane's double authority as character and narrative creator, and I believe these shots are Welles's invention. Consider first the shot from the scene in which Jane is commanded to be present while Rochester's apparent belle, Blanche Ingram, is playing the piano and singing :0 (figure 5).
Indeed, the shot that closes this sequence (figure 6) re-emphasizes Jane's silent authority in this scene. One might go even further to argue that Jane's sewing during this scene not only contrasts her humble position with Blanche's exalted position, but also reminds us that this is Jane's story, a narrative of her weaving.
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