Class Notes (836,580)
Canada (509,856)
Film Studies (238)

Authorship and the.docx

8 Pages
Unlock Document

Film Studies
Film Studies 1020E
Janelle Blankenship

Authorship and the “Auteur” Theory 2/5/2013 12:29:00 PM Black History Month:  Segregation in Canadian Movie Theaters: o In 1946 Viola Desmond refused to sit in the balcony designated exclusively for Blacks in New Glasgon, Nova Scotia o Viola was removed from the theatre, thrown in jail overnight, tried without legal representation, convicted and fined. No one stated during the trial that Viola Desmond was Black. The fact that the theatre maintained a racist seating policy was never addressed in the trial. She was brought to trial on charges of race-neutral ta evasion. All efforts to have the conviction overturned at higher levels of court failed. Her lawyer returned her fee which she used to set up a fund that was eventually used to support activities of the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement (NCAASP) Genre and Authorship as Film Theories  “Realism” and “Formalism” are theories of cinematic specificity. They try to answer the question “What is cinema?”  Film Authorship: Looks for an individual who is responsible for the style and meaning of a film, usually the director  Film genre: Classifies films according to certain recurring elements and patterns  “Genre” = type or category  Whereas the auteur approach privileges personal intention and creative intention, the study of genre focuses on pre-existing conventions and collective meaning o Auterism: uniqueness of a group of films o Genre theory: similarities between a group of films; about how films fit together  The concept of film authorship is often referred to as “auteur theory.” (Auteur in French means author)  Questions of film authorship were first prominently raised by French film critics in the 1950s Marshall McLuhan: The Media is the message  Authorship is linked to issues of meaning, interpretation and “author-ity” Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)  Self-reflexive  Talking to the camera/audience about itself  Director in the scene (directly addressing the audience)  Breaking the fourth wall What is an Auteur?  The principle creator of a film  A filmmaker who demonstrates technical excellence  A filmmaker who makes films of artistic merit  A filmmaker who makes films with an individual style  A filmmaker who adopts a “jack of all trades” approach to filmmaking  A filmmaker who makes films with similar themes  The principal source of meaning in a film The Artist as a Romantic Concept  The idea that an artist is a visionary individual and that art should th be “original” is a modern invention. It emerged in the 19 century.  Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer Above the Mists (1817/18) The Auteur Theory  Emerged in the 1950s in France  Attempt to liberate the director from the restrictions of the studio system and to redefine film as art  Was first formulated by film critic and director Francois Truffaut in a 1954 essay “A Certain Tendency in the French Cinema”  Truffaut also interviewed Hitchcock – writes that Hitchcock is an “all-round specialist, who excels at every image, each shot, and every scene… He exercises complete control/imprints his personal concepts at each step of the way”  Truffaut argued against the “tradition of quality” which saw the writer as central to the creative process  Screenplays for “quality” films were often adapted from famous novels  Against this literary tradition Truffaut emphasized the visual qualities of films  Emphasis on visual quality helped to portray the director as the principal creative force  Truffaut made a key distinction between o The Auteur: A director who has a visual style characteristic of his or her own o Matteur en Scène: A director who simply translates a screenplay into a film (literally, a “scene setter”)  Truffaut against “scene setter”, similar to the “plastics” of cinema The “Auteur Policy”  The “auteur” theory was linked to a polemical debate about how films should be made  “Auteur” critics favored the emerging French New Wave and European “art” cinema  “Auteur” critics shared a deep love for movies (“cinephilia”) Hollywood “Auteurs”  An auteur in Hollywood is a director who transcends the script by imposing on it his/her own style or vision  Script only as pretext for filmmaking  Hollywood directors become auteurs through their manipulation of mise-en-scène or by intensifying parts of the script British and American Au
More Less

Related notes for Film Studies 1020E

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.