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Intro to Cinema

by: Kay Patel

Intro to Cinema FILM 2120

Kay Patel

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About this Document

Continuation of the auteur theory
Introduction to Cinema
Dr. Seiving
75 ?




Popular in Introduction to Cinema

Popular in Fine arts

This 4 page Bundle was uploaded by Kay Patel on Sunday April 3, 2016. The Bundle belongs to FILM 2120 at University of Georgia taught by Dr. Seiving in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Cinema in Fine arts at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 04/03/16
03/28 I. Authorship: industrial context  The notion of authorship has been super influential for a director  The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson, 2014 A. Definition of Authorship/Auterism  Authorship criticism proposes that a single person usually the director, may be primarily responsible for important features of the films. Furthermore, by comparing a number of films by the same director, one may find significant similarities among them —and those similarities point to something like an artistic vision  Problem: there is not a case where a single person is working alone B. Hollywood mode of production (Studio system)  Director is under contract with some studio  Hierarchy of labor  Top: head of production: responsible for yearly planning, the budgets, how many films to be released, who would be the producers/the cast  Next: Unit producers: assigned by the head of production. They organizing the various personnel: cinematographers, directors etc… final say over the cut  Last: departments: costumes, music, make-up, set design. Coordinated the work of everyone; technical work; over seen by the unit producers  It is a collective process involving multiple people  The wizard of OZ (Fleming, MGM, 1939)  Making of this film typifies the classical Hollywood mode of production  Head of production: Louis B Mayer  Unit Producer: Mervyn LeRoy  Associate Producer: Arthur Freed  German expressionist painting: represent emerald city  Directors: Richard Thorpe, George Cukor, king Vidor, victor Fleming  Each made multiple distinctions and changes  One could say that the authors were the screenwriters who worked on the script or the same definition could be used to describe the producers  The art cinema directors have more control over the movie than the Hollywood cinema directors C. Why the director?  Studios did not really care that much about the directors  They were not as big as the starts  Seen as contract workers  Made numerous localized on the set decisions  Orson Welles:  Given more control  Citizen Kane  Alfred Hitchcock: more control over screen writing  Howard Hawks: more control over the departments  A lot liked the idea of this sort of authorship  The basic principle: some directors are lucky enough to avoid the studio interference  The more attention the studio paid to the process, the more attention the director received II. Evolution of authorship criticism  Caught on early – mid 1950s A. France: Cahiers du cinema  French new wave directors began as film critiques who wrote for this journal  “Tradition of Quality” vs. “politique des auteurs”  Tradition of Quality: stylistically uninteresting, high prestige, polished look, focused on the art, respectable literature, author did not have to be the main character  The hunch back of Notre dame  Polituque des auteur  Francois Truffaut  Director had full control  No distinctive style  Considered to be trashy, distasteful  Bicycle Thieves—Vittorio De Sitta  The Rules of the Game—Jean Renoir  Movie—Sternberg B. USA: Andrew Sarris (The American Cinema, 1968)  Popularized authorship in films  Played the central role in how the directors were thought about in America  Film Culture, “American Directors” issue—spring 1963  Devoted to Sarris’ essay  The American Cinema: Director and Directions—1968: one of the most influential film in the US for films  Sarris’ premises/criteria of value 1. Technical competence— “technician” 2. Evidence of distinguishable personality— “stylist” 3. Core of “interior meaning”— “auteur” conflict between style and content  A good director must have all three values  Many opponents of this idea  Says the strongest personality should be the director  A true auteur must fight against the studio systems; he should be crafty C. Benefits and drawbacks of the “auteur theory”  Benefits:  Led to greater acceptance of film as an art form  Led to the reevaluation of American films and directors  Put emphasis on visual style  Had an impact on film practice 03/30 I. The case for and against the “auteur theory”  Pauline Kael “Circles and Squares”  Had problems with the auteur theory 1. Technical competence problem: poor directors for not having the same techniques as someone else 2. Distinguishable style problem: sometimes the style used is not always good even if it is different 3. Core of “interior meaning” problem  Authorship criticism: drawbacks  Privileges consistency over quality  Privileges directors who operate under studio constraints  Champions director’s contributions at expense of collaborators  Problem of intentionality—sometimes the directors lied in order to avoid these drawbacks II. Elements of authorship across films—Orson Wells  Written on the wind—Douglas Sirk, 1956  Known for its stylistic traits and the meaning behind them  Wells was given an unprecedented amount of control after Citizen Kane, but not a lot of control over what would actually be displayed  The other side of the wind: 1970-76; still has not been released A. Plots and narrative patterns  Mr. Arkadin—1955  Wells plays the title character in this film  Larger than life corrupt tragic hero, trait he seems to have in his film  Citizen Kane: strong central character  Othello:  Tragic hero B. Narrational strategies  Wells was known for this  Known for unrestricted narration  Omniscient unrestricted narration C. Stylistic strategies  Hawks known for continuity style  The shining, mission impossible—known for their camera work  Touch of evil: Wells announced his creativity  The magnificent blah: a lot of deep focus  Macbeth:  The murder scene: 10-minute take  Deep focus  Fluid moving camera and action  Chaotic editing  The lady from Shanghai  Deep shot  Deep editing  The mirrors like Citizen Kane  Sarris vs. Kale: somewhere in the middle


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