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Questions of Auteurism A Case Study of Peter Weir

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1 Questions of Auteurism A Case Study of Peter Weir
What is auteur? Questions of Auteurism A Case Study of Peter Weir

2 What is auteur? 1 A director who make films which reflect
his/her personal vision and preoccupations. 2 A director who has a distinct style and consistent themes. François Truffaut, ‘Une Certaine tendence du cinéma française’ (A Certain Tendency in the French Cinema) 1954

3 What is auteur? Directors (auteurs) oversee all narrative, visual and audio elements of motion pictures. SIGNATURE THEME AND STYLE “The filmmaker/author writes with his camera as a writer writes with his pen.” ‘Caméra Stylo’ (camera-pen) Alexander Astruc, Naissance d’une nouvelle avant-garde, L’Ecran Français, 30th March, 1948

4 What is auteur? Auteur or metteur-en-scène
Auteur - a director who expresses his/her unique preoccupation and holds on to signature style Metteur-en-scène (one who puts it in the scene - theatre director) - a (highly) competent filmmaker but lacks ‘the consistency that betrayed the profound involvement of personality’

5 Who Are Auteurs? Directors who have a distinct visual style … Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Wells …Stanley Kubrick, Wang Kar-wai Directors Directors who have a consistent theme … Jean Renoir (humanism), Douglas Sirk (melodrama) … Theo Angelopoulos (modern Greek history), Ken Loach (socialist conscience)

6 Auteur Theory (Politique des auteurs)
Auteur theory - a critical attitude to consider a film as a product of a single person - director - auteur Andrew Sarris, ‘Notes on the Auteur Theory’, 1964

7 Auteur Theory (Politique des auteurs)
To analyse a film as a work of a single author (auteur) → auteurism / politique des autteurs To identify the characteristics of a director’s work which makes him a auteur

8 Criticism against auteur theory
Filmmaking as collaborative and collective actions. Making a film involves many other creative talents than director. Scriptwriter, photographer, editor, art director, actor, etc.

9 Criticism against auteur theory
Cesare Zavattini ( ) Screenwriter for Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti Shoeshines, Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D, Bellisima, etc.

10 Criticism against auteur theory
Ruth Prower Jhabvala ( ) Screenwriter for James Ivory Room with a View, Howard’s End, Remains of the Day

11 Criticism against auteur theory
Gordon Wills Most important cinematographer in the 70s and 80s The Godfather, Annie Hall, Manhattan, All the President’s Men

12 Criticism against auteur theory
Miyagawa Kazuo ( ) Greatest Japanese photographer, operated the camera and shot for Mizoguchi Kenji, Kurosawa Akira, Ichikawa Kon and Shinoda Masahiro Rashomon, Ugetsu, Yojinbo, Tokyo Olympiad, McArthur’s Children

13 Criticism against auteur theory
David Lean ( ) British film director Established the classic editing techniques Edited for film directors such as Anthony Asquith and Michael Powell Pygmalion, Major Barbara, 49th Parallel

14 Criticism against auteur theory
Alexandre Trauner ( ) French art and production designer Le Jour se léve, Les Enfants du paradis, Le Portes de la nuit, Kiss Me Stupid, Don Giovanni, Round Midnight, Subway

15 Criticism against auteur theory
Credit for Round Midnight (1986) Producer: Irwin Winkler Director: Bertrand Tavernier Writer: David Rayfiel, Bertrand Tavernier Music: Harbie Hancock Editor: Harmand Psenny Production Design: Alexandre Trauner

16 Criticism against auteur theory
Positif, founded one year after Cahiers du cinema in 1952 Firm opposition to author theory A signed article naming the most overrated directors: Fritz Lang, Nicholas Ray, Howard Hawkes and Alfred Hitchcock

17 Criticism against Auteur Theory
Legitimacy of privileging a director - can a director be more important than his film? ‘There are no good or bad films, but there are only good or bad directors.’ François Truffaut

18 In the Case of Peter Weir
Australian born and now working in Hollywood Worked in ATN-7 (a TV company in Sydney) Made documentaries for CFU

19 In the Case of Peter Weir
Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) A tale of private-school girls who mysteriously disappear in the Australian outback.

20 In the Case of Peter Weir
Gallipoli (1981) Rural Australian boys are caught in the slaughter of WWI in Turkey.

21 In the Case of Peter Weir
The Year of Living Dangerously (1983), An Australian journalist is assisted by a local Indonesian cameraman while the third-world capital collapses.

22 In the Case of Peter Weir
Witness (1985) It brings a city detective into the unfamiliar world of Pennsylvania’s Amish community.

23 In the Case of Peter Weir
The Mosquito Coast (1986) An American with his family tries to establish civilization in a remote jungle and ending in a disaster.

24 In the Case of Peter Weir
Green Card (1990) A comedy in which a Frenchman tries to obtain a green card on bogus marriage with an American woman.

25 In the Case of Peter Weir
Truman Show (1998) A story of one man’s life not knowing that he is a star of a 24 hour TV series.

26 Weir as an auteur Juxtaposition of :
civilization and ‘primitiveness’; the knowable and the unknowable; culture and nature ‘Clashes’ of civilizations and cultures Erosion of humanity by civilization

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