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

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Presentation on theme: "What is auteur? Questions of Auteurism A Case Study of Peter Weir."— Presentation transcript:


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

3 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

4 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

5 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’

6 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)

7 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

8 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 → auteurism / politique des autteurs

9 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.

10 Criticism against auteur theory Cesare Zavattini (1902- 1989) Screenwriter for Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti Shoeshines, Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D, Bellisima, etc.

11 Criticism against auteur theory Ruth Prower Jhabvala (1927 - ) Screenwriter for James Ivory Room with a View, Howard’s End, Remains of the Day

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

13 Criticism against auteur theory Miyagawa Kazuo (1908-1999) 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

14 Criticism against auteur theory David Lean (1908-1991) British film director Established the classic editing techniques Edited for film directors such as Anthony Asquith and Michael Powell Pygmalion, Major Barbara, 49th Parallel

15 Criticism against auteur theory Alexandre Trauner (1906-1993) 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

16 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

17 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

18 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

19 In the Case of Peter Weir Peter Weir (1944 - ) Australian born and now working in Hollywood Worked in ATN-7 (a TV company in Sydney) Made documentaries for CFU

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

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

22 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.

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

24 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.

25 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.

26 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.

27 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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