Essay about Film Auterism


Auter is defined as a French term for the film director who places a personal style on his or her films. It was first coined by Francois Truffaut to describe the mark of a film director on his films. A director can be considered an auteur if about five of his films depict a certain style that is definitely his own. In other words, much like one can look at a painting and tell if it is a Monet, a Renoir, or a Degas, if a film director is an auteur, one can look at his film and tell by style and recurring themes that it was made by a certain director. In auteur films, the director is many times what brings an audience to the theater, instead of the actors or storyline. Often famous directors are more highly billed in advertisements than the actors that the film stars. To further prove the importance of director’s styles on films three directors and their films will be analyzed. Three such auteurs are Frederico Fellini, Satyajit Ray, and Alfred Hitchcock, and it will be effective to discuss these particular directors work. The “Master of Suspense,” Hitchcock, blends the traditional thriller with comedy and a dreamlike aspect. Nearly all of Hitchcock’s movies contain several themes and aspects which enrich the viewer’s enjoyment of the film. It appears that emotion is the most important feeling he is trying to get across. His mise-en-scene is perhaps the most recognizable of his contemporaries. They all include a very tense feeling throughout most of the film which is strengthened through his camera angles, zooms, and the soundtrack. Take for example the dream sequence in Vertigo. The colors and music during his dream keep the audience on the edge of their seat and it finally culminates in a long close up of a very frightened Scotty played by Jimmy Stewart. The score is deathly haunting, the type of music perfect for a Hitchcock thriller. Most of his films also include terror inflicted upon the unknowing, and sometimes innocent victim, guilt, both real and the appearance of it; and fear and redemption. A major theme in many movies is a feeling of sympathy for the main character. Finally, one can not discuss Alfred Hitchcock’s recurring themes without mentioning his numerous cameos in his movies. Hitchcock’s narrative style also normally has a theme. It usually adheres to a constant ascending/descending, uphill/downhil…

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…hown. When one hears the phrase “artistic cinematography” the work of Satyajit Ray should come to mind. He uses a wonderful blend of light and shadow, which I liked the most, in the river-bathing scene in Aparajito. These beautiful scenes serve to seemingly idealize the environment, which stands in stark contrast to reality. This dissidence creates an interesting feeling to the viewer. Ray pays a great deal of attention to detail. His camera moves with the situation in this story, not with any particular style. This style adds a very personal tone and a feeling of being involved in the movie. His way of shooting, his real life approach, and his natural settings forms the ultimate suspension of disbelief for any person who falls under the spell of a Satyajit Ray picture. As with these three directors and all auters, there influence on the movie is undeniable. When a movie of theirs begins, there is no doubt from the very beginning as to who may have directed it. Auteurism is a very important aspect to analyzing film. When a director is an auteur, he not only has films that are easily recognized as his, but also he has left his mark on film history.


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