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Why the auteurist theory has become so important to film analysis - Essay Example

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The discussion will attempt to address the primary questions framed as follows: What are some arguments against auteurist theory? How does auteurist theory affect the way that films are marketed? How does it affect the way that films are analyzed by critics and audiences? …
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Why the auteurist theory has become so important to film analysis

Download file to see previous pages... The paper throws light on the theory of auteurism as a one of the most useful approaches to writing about films. Simply put, the auteurist theory in cinema is based on the idea that there should be identified a single creator of the film, with his own visionary approach – just as we identify an author for any work of art or literature. While within the auteurist theory film critics attempt to identify the film’s author, the theory also aims at to study the whole body of work produced by one specific author, like, for example, studies devoted to Alfred Hitchcock. While critics of the second half of the 20th century recognized the theory very useful due its librating effect – it allowed applying their initially naive suggestions about the role of authorship in a particular movie, it has acquired a more post-structural shape of late. To illustrate, within the latter the auterurist theory allows examining the work of a certain director not as the expression of his genius, but as the site where a biography encounters a historical moment, an institutional context, and, lastly, an intertext. The usefulness of this theory is also determined by its practicality since it requires focusing on just one person. One of the major arguments against the auteurist theory is that it is believed that movies have nothing in common with any other form of arts, e.g. paintings. Rather they are viewed as results of collaborative efforts by a number of artists. It is argued that one person cannot be credited with so much influence and importance that he/she is recognized the sole author of a movie. Another argument is that it is virtually impossible to identify a sole author since critics are not a part of films’ development and assess the movie’s auteur by a mere guess. Plus, the criticism of the auteurist theory deals with its suggested impact on boosting some director’s egos and reducing the role of input by other members of the crew. Therefore, the criticism may be rely too much on a personality of a director ignoring the contribution of other people. For example, in a marketing campaign of the Psycho film (1960), directed by Alfred Hitchock, it was mentioned that that was the film by Hitchcock, which was intended to make people see the movie, although the most famous scene in the film, the shower scene, has been recognized the result of creative collaborative work with Saul Bass. The Jaws is cited as a good example of the misunderstanding rooted in the auteurist approach. While the plot was conceived by Peter Benchley, an author of the related novel and a co-author of the screenplay (along with Carl Gottlieb), the film was shot by Bill Butler, edited by Verna Fidelis, and filled with compositions by Joh Williams, attributing the authorship of The Jaws to one single director seems unfair and not objective. Of course, “Steven Spielberg’s film” sounds goof for a marketing campaign, since it advertises the film by the use of the famous name, yet it is hard to disagree with Goldman who asks, “How in the world is Steven Spielberg the “author” of that? ” (Goldman, 1983, p.101). 8. After watching three of the ten movie clips listed in the Multimedia section, below, describe how they fit into a specific genre (or subgenre). What elements of the film are characteristic of that genre? How does it fulfill the expectations of that genre? How does it play against these expectations? I have watched two movie clips from ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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