Posted at 05.10.2018
This paper will attempt to describe the Auteur Theory, in relations to esteemed Hollywood film director Alfred Hitchcock. I'll discuss works like the 39 Steps, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds and Rear Screen and summarize the ideas placed by the idea. I am going to also discuss recent trends (using modern film examples) and the controversy across the Auteur Theory.
François Truffaut stated that film was a medium where directors could communicate their ideas. This might therefore lead to the assumption that the director, in film, could be regarded as the auteur (writer) or the film (as cited in Nichols, 1976). The idea shows that the director might use the film-making machines available to him as a writer would use his pen and newspaper.
The theory suggests that most good works in film will tolerate the directors' 'tag'. His / her own personality will be manifested in his work. In this manner the director has overall creative influence of an image, therefore requires credit for the task and is in charge of getting a n audience.
There has been a great deal of controversy around the idea of an auteur so there is absolutely no concise response to my question. The 1950s were the gold years of the auteur - a time when people went to see a film because of its director.
Hitchcock's has been used as an example in favour of the Auteur Theory numerous times. That said one must take note the paradox posed by such action since he had not been given the name of auteur since intellectuals in film through the 50s and 60s mentioned lots of negative reactions towards La politique des auteurs.
The definition of the Auteur Theory has evolved a lot over the years, as gets the overall way in which the audience perceives film. Its basic tenants, according to Truffaut include the following:
'cinema hasan equivalence to literature, or any other art form of profundity and interpretation'
A film, even though collectively produced, has most value when the director dominates.
The reliability of themes or templates, images and styles over the whole body of work is what grants or loans a director's auteurist position.
the truly artistic director, through the creative electricity of their individual personality, can surpass the limits of the commercial context within which the film is produced;
It is through the cinema's distinctive language that real auteurs display their understanding of cinematography.
In relation to Hitchcock, there is no question that his films are distinctive. There appears to be uniformity in theme and subject matter as well as techniques used. One might dispute the point that a film is the mixed effort of the team and not only the influence of 1 person. In fact, "One of the reasons of Hitchcock's decrease was the dispersion of his movie creation team. " (Schatz, 1988). It is an acknowledged fact that Hitchcock was meticulous when it came up to his productions. He was involved with every facet of the creation; writing, casting, outfit choices; he led the development of his production from starting to end. Regarding to Spoto, he planned every aspect of his work beforehand which led to the overall feel of every film he aimed. Truffaut records that Hitchcock "exercises such complete control over-all the elements of his films and imprints his personal ideas at each step of the way".
The Master of Mystery and Suspense, Hitchcock downplays the importance of surprise. His videos play with the audience wits and nerves. There's a persistent factor of black humor. They most often brought to light taboo issues of these times including the Oedipus Organic in Psycho and homosexuality in Strangers on a Train. German expressionism was an apparent influence. Corresponding to Spotto, Hitchcock was astonished at how they could express much meaning visually (with no sound).
His complex mastery is obvious in his pictures. Camera work, enhancing as well as music and audio were all his tools to make suspense. The dolly move found in Vertigo is becoming common place in modern movie theater. Used in films such as Scorsese's Goodfellas during the diner world with Ray Liotta and Robert DeNiro, as well as the Nazgûl appearance in Jackson's first installment of Lord IN THE Wedding rings. In Psycho there's the slash from the blood going down the drain to Marion Crane's eyeball. The importance directed at inanimate things is also visible in Hitchcock's films; the knife in Psycho and Blackmail.
His distorted eyesight of the world is taken to light through the themes offered in his films. Matching to Semiology (the study of signals) binary oppositions give signifying to the globe. That is, the word 'good' gets its meaning due to its contrary 'bad'. Hitchcock used binary oppositions such as appearance vs. simple fact in Vertigo to keep his audience at the border of their seat. Furthermore there is guilt vs. innocence in The 39 Steps and The Man Who Knew too Much.
His topics were predominant. We see a fascination with wrongful accusation and imprisonment. It really is a significant part of Hitchcock's tag. One of the basic topics: the mistaken individuality, the police accuse the wrong man who must find the true person in charge of the crime in order to prove his innocence. That is observed in The Lodger, The 39 Steps and North By Northwest.
Hitchcock's touch was apparent: `in the structure and content of the screenplay. . . in the development of plot and theme and images; in selecting cast and setting; in the style of lighting and positioning and motion of the camera; in the moods created, suffered, and shifted; in the delicate manipulation of your audience's fears and desires; in the economy and wit of the narrative; in the pacing; and in the rhythms of the film's final clipping" (Spoto, 1983). Therefore in Hitchcock's case, his work could be associated right to him rather than to the particular studio room where it was produced as was the norm during the times. These were more personal and had his approved seal on them.
Caughie states that for a director to be an auteur s/he would need eccentricity and obsessiveness. If he is right than Hitchcock has a good discussion in his favour. He previously what Leitch called a 'genius for self-advertising, '. This trait, often found a way into the movies themselves. His cameo appearances in his motion pictures were an outstanding example of this.