Auteur Theory (150-word blog post)

In “Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962,” Andrew Sarris stresses three areas of directorial achievement for all legitimate film “auteurs”: 1) technical competence, 2) individual style, and 3) interior meaning.  He explains that the most difficult of these to define (and the most important overall) is the last.  Think back through your own history of watching movies.  Find an example within one of your favorite films that illustrates what Sarris means by “interior meaning.”  Explain why you think it fits.  Was your choice purely subjective, or were you guided by something great within the film itself?

41 thoughts on “Auteur Theory (150-word blog post)

  1. One of my favorite films, The Devil Wears Prada, directed by David Frankel has various sections that identify interior meaning. According to the reading interior meaning is “explorated from the tension between a director’s personality and his material” (Sarris, 562). While researching the director, I came across a statement that said after reading the book, Frankel saw the film come about along the same lines as Sex In The City. Whatever that meant to him, I believe that his materials including the lighting, setting, and costumes assisted him in this vision. To make it complete, having Meryl Streep as the one of the leading roles made the movie complete for me. While the actors receive lines, cues, and emotions to play, the way the actor becomes the character is solely up to them. If Meryl Streep did not play the editor in chief in this movie, I do not believe that it would have the same impact or make the audience feel the way Frankel wanted us to.

  2. In the reading, Andrew Sarris talks about the areas of directorial achievement for film auteurs. The most important one to focus on according to Sarris is the interior meaning. As explained in the reading, the focus is on the tension between the personality and material of the director. One film that has always been a favorite of mine is Coach Carter, directed by Thomas Carter. I chose this film because I believe when creating a movie on real life events, a sense of pressure is overcome by the director. He has to ensure that the film is as true and accurate as can be and also must have the say of any of the people who lived through that specific event. Thomas Carter had the assistance of the real life players to help envision the film. This would help visualize anything that he may have had questions with. Also, having a star cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Channing Tatum, Ashanti, and Octavia Spencer would also bring in a certain audience. These actors each have their own fans, creating a larger scale of success for the film. Thomas Carter understood this and used it to create this film.

  3. The auteur theory, as defined by Sarris, has a lot to do with personal style but also the director and how he relates to the material. The director is essentially the author of their own film and put themselves into it. One director who does this is one that we have previously looked at: Darren Aronofsky. He is the director of both mother! and Black Swan. Aronofsky has said in interviews that he puts himself in his films. He has said he has been the ballet dancer in Black Swan and both Him and Mother in mother!. He puts his own emotion and experience in his movies, which gives them a unique perspective. He is able to create a unique feeling, especially in mother!, with mise en scene and cinematography. The house in mother! feels like a maze making the audience lost and anxious. Invasive camera angles give the audience claustrophobia. Aronofsky gives us insight to his head through his filmmaking.

  4. One of my favorite films, Clockers (1995), directed by Spike Lee has a strong correlation of interior meaning. Lee sets up of the film to strike the notion of reconciling the tensions between the personality of himself as a director, and the materials he used. This film highlights the story of a New York City drug dealer getting caught up as the prime suspect in a murder investigation. This crime drama embraces Lee’s style of showing the true reality of young African American males growing up in the inner city of New York. The opening credits of this film starts out by showing pictures of young black men being violently murdered. Being that the films setting was New York City, Lee saw firsthand the need to express the black- on-black crime that was spreading rapidly throughout the city’s housing projects. Lee wanted the viewer to feel and witness the destruction of young black men, most importantly see that guns and drugs were the infection. One could say, director Spike Lee is a realist when it comes to social issues and racial implications

  5. Andrew Sarris defines interior meaning as the director’s personal style and unique techniques that are carried throughout each film. He states “[i]nterior meaning is extrapolated from the tension between a director’s personality and his material” (Sarris 562). Director Tim Burton’s style gives wacky and unusual personalities to his characters. He combines the characters’ odd traits with extremely heavy-laden makeup and colorful, wild costumes that give them a bizarre, even haunting, persona. One of my favorite movies is Alice in Wonderland (2010) in which the Mad Hatter (portrayed by Johnny Depp) has a quirky personality with a trademark laugh. As the plot progresses, the Mad Matter struggles between the personality given by Burton and serious emotions such as when he diverts from his generally funny character as he tells Alice (portrayed by Mia Wasikowska) about the war between the Red and White Queens. Johnny Depp is used in a lot of his movies because he is skilled at embodying Burton’s style.

  6. One of my favorite movies is the 1946 film The Best Years of Our Lives, directed by William Wyler. Wyler is often described as a great director but not an auteur; an assessment which in my opinion underestimates his technical skill, personal connection with his films, and glamorous, meticulous, sensitive style evidenced in The Best Years of Our Lives, as well as his other films such as The Children’s Hour and Mrs. Miniver. The Best Years of Our Lives in particular strongly fits Sarris’ concept of interior meaning due to the personal passion and experiences of the director which come across in the film. William Wyler became deaf while serving in WW2, and one of the main characters in the film is a veteran, Homer, who lost his arm during the war. Wyler’s direction sensitively conveys Homer’s struggles as he adjusts to deal with social discomfort and prejudice surrounding his disability. Homer is frequently framed through windows or door frames, or shown in long, deep-focus shots which emphasize his distance and isolation from the people around him. Wyler’s direction in this film feels uniquely personal and intense, and this film would not have been as excellent as it is if it were made by any other director.

  7. In Sarris’ article he states that there are three specific premises of the auteur theory. These include; technique, personal style, and interior meaning. Often times it will be obvious to the audience that the film is in correspondence to a deeper meaning of the director, and other times not so much. This makes sense, though. Similarly, authors do the same thing. They create content, even if it is fiction, and a little bit of it has to be true because they are pulling from their own experience to create something for a specific audience. In one of my favorite films, My Fair Lady, it was directed by George Cukor. It is said that Cukor was a “woman’s director” because of his ability to persuade excellent performances from actresses, specifically. With star actress, Audrey Hepburn being the main character in the film, this makes sense. Cukor gives off his own technique and personal style and these correlate to deeper meanings behind the films that he directs. He also directed Little Women and Gone With The Wind. Knowing this, it makes even more sense that he would direct the films in the way that he did as well as choose the actresses that he did for his films.

  8. I think what Sarris meant by the “interior meaning” of a film was what in a film allows its viewers to connect and enjoy it. I think the movies that most people say are their favorite are films that they on some level or another relate to. They either see themselves or what they aspire to be. One of my favorite films The Breakfast Club directed by John Hughes really reflects this idea. The film has five teen characters from the stereotypical groups that one associates with high school. Despite their superficial differences, they, on this one Saturday, bond over how they are actually very similar in their struggles. I think these characters made the film relatable to its audience and strikes a chord with those problems that come with trying to figure out who you really are. My choice may have been subjective, but it is widely considered to be an iconic 80s film for a reason.

  9. Together, film techniques and the directors personal style portrayed in a film come together to form the movies “interior meaning.” In one of my recent favorite movies, “Wonder Woman”, the director, Patty Jenkins, includes personal opinions and views which relate to her personal style. Jenkins supports women in Hollywood and has taken a stance against sexual assault in the film industry. We can see these views in “Wonder Woman”, as she makes the main character Diana a strong, independent woman who can stand up for herself. She is also beautiful without being sexualized. There is also a romantic scene in “Wonder Woman” where the director chooses to simply have the door shut and lights turn off and let viewers assume what is happening, instead of showing a sex scene. The director also chooses specific film techniques such as lighting, camera angles, costumes and more to relay a specific message that contributes to the interior meaning. Throughout Jenkins personal style and chosen film techniques, we can get a sense of the director through the movies interior meaning. My choice may be subjective because I agree with this director’s views and appreciate the movie, but I also do believe there is a greater meaning within the film.

  10. From the definition taken from the reading, interior meaning is a method that draws a conclusion from the tension between a director’s personality and his materials. One of my favorite movies was Transformers, directed by Michael Bay and he is known for the visuals, not so much the story line. Examples of expressing his visuals in the film was the exotic cars, detailing of the robots, scenery of the environment, and famously, the explosions. When identifying the interior meaning in Michael Bay, he creates films using his expertise in special effects and stylistic visuals; however, he lacks imagination in storyline. This is where the tension is between his personality and materials when making a film; however, I think that his field in special effects enhances the movie and it does a well job hiding the lack in plot. My choice in picking this movie was purely subjective because not only do I find this movie a perfect example of interior meaning; however, it has been my favorite movie to watch in my childhood.

  11. From reviewing the article I believe that Sarris’ defines the auteur theory of being a balance between the director’s personality and the technique used. These two together define what the interior meaning is. A favorite movie of mine would include When Harry Met Sally, which is directed by Rob Reiner. After doing some research on Reiner I found that the origins of the film were based off his divorce and his transition to single life, which occurs in the movie. I believe that the setting and the costuming were a huge part of what makes this film what is while putting together Reiner’s experiences. When the two main characters meet each other at different times of their life, it shows their progression of their relationship and what point they are at their lives but the setting and by the costuming. The actors of this movie really brought the humor but the theme of going through every day’s ups and downs.

  12. Andrew Sarris stresses the importance of interior meaning in films. Interior meaning in a film is the underlying meaning in the way the film was created in relation to the director. In one of my favorite movies, “The Best of Me” by Nicholas Sparks, Sparks portrays this quite well. Nicholas Sparks is a well known author and director known for his romantic genre/style. Sparks has stated that when creating the film “The Best of Me”, he wanted to incorporate a funeral that would bring old friends back together which is an idea he used as a large part of the plot in the film. In “The Best of Me”, the two main characters, Amanda and Dawson are brought back together by the death of a close friend they had. From the funeral their relationship replenishes and grows again throughout the movie. Nicholas Sparks’ idea of creating a romance film based on a funeral of bringing friends back together was portrayed well in this film.

  13. In the article “Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962” by Sarris he states that there are three areas of directorial achievement for all legitimate film auteurs. These achievements are technical competence, individual style and the most important, interior meaning. Sarris defines interior meaning as, “explorated from the tension between a director’s personality and his material”. One of my favorite directors is Guillermo del Toro. He directed one of my favorite comic book movies “Hellboy”. Del Toro is very big in the genre of Science fiction. He has written and/or directed many well-known films such as: Mimic, Pan’s Labyrinth, Blade II, Pacific Rim and most recently, The Shape of Water. His film style revolves around horrifying yet visually striking creatures with noticeably unhuman appearances. One or more of his protagonists are often strongly and pivotally influenced by their father figures. He also likes using Archangels and other symbols of religion, particularly those of Christianity. His movies seem to have been heavily influenced by the fact that he was raised by his Catholic grandmother. All these motifs can be seen in the movie “Hellboy” including his love for amber (the presence of God) as a dominant color. Add in the fact that actor Ron Pearlman as “Hellboy” made the movie even better. It takes a very creative mind to write, design, and direct science fiction movies. Though the characters are imaginary, the audience is able to relate to the characters no matter how unhuman they may appear to be. For instance, the character Hellboy, who was raised by Dr. Bruttenholm (John Hurt), just wants to live an ordinary life. To simply be noticed and respected like any other person. His softer sensitive side shines when he is shown in his room petting all the cats he had rescued or when he saves a box of kittens from an attacking monster. A very relatable human characteristic.

  14. In Sarris’ article, he defines ‘interior meaning’ as the directors own personal style that is carried throughout the film. He states that “interior meaning is extrapolated from the tension between a directors personality and his material” (Sarris 562). One film that is my all-time favorite is Goodfellas, directed by Martin Scorsese. I do believe when a director is making a movie on real-life events they have to relate to it in some sort of way to make it realistic. He has to make sure it is as accurate as it can be to satisfy the audiences wants. As this movie goes on the plot moves into a world of greed, violence, and drugs. Scorsese continuously creates a realistic view of the gritty experiences in Goodfellas from his own life on the streets of New York. Scorsese finds a meaning in every on-screen action and reflects on his own struggles with cocaine. In all the movies he has directed, he brings in his own personal memories which influence his direction, this creates a unique personal style in each of his films.

  15. After reading Sarris’ article, specifically about the third part of his theory, “interior meaning”, I immediately thought of Requiem for a Dream, which is Darren Aronofsky second film that eventually launched his career. It’s one of my favorites for being both visually stunning and disturbing. Aronofsky mentioned in an interview that it’s hard to “create images and ideas people remember more than right in the moment so you want to create an experience that lasts”. He therefore decided to create a movie that was dramatic enough so its message and themes will be remembered long term but not be over the top that it’s not believable. I think that’s an incredible challenge that he was successful in completing. I believe how he filmed each character’s journey as they succumb to drug addiction accurately portrayed their mental and emotional state, what they felt and experienced, as well as show the realistic effects of drug addiction, which created a unique cinematic experience that also brought more attention to the struggles of those suffering from drug addiction.
    Source: http://the-talks.com/interview/darren-aronofsky/

  16. I think interior meaning is so hard to define because it is just like never knowing what the inside of someone else’s mind is like. This someone else’s mind is the auteur. One of my favorite movies is “E.T the Extra-Terrestrial” by Steven Spielberg. In this movie, a young boy befriends an alien stranded on Earth. It is said that Spielberg was inspired by an imaginary friend he created when his parents divorced. In addition, in the movie Elliott’s (the little boy’s) parents are divorced. Another example that this movie may provide, is Speilberg’s fascination with things of the unknown, such as extraterrestrial life. Spielberg has made multiple movies about extra-terrestrial life, but what is more interesting is that they’re not all about making the aliens evil and natural human enemies (even though there are movies such as “War of the Worlds”). In this movie, Elliott has childlike wonder where he is not afraid to make friends with an alien, and he doesn’t take what he can get from the alien. In return, the alien doesn’t have deep pitted hatred towards humans, he is just scared and curious. I think anyone can see and appreciate these auteur choices even if they do not necessarily enjoy the movie.

  17. Interior meaning from the reading is a method that draws a conclusion from the tension between a director’s personality and his materials. It refers to the deeper themes that the filmmaker is trying to explore. One of my favorite movies is “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” by Donald Petrie, this film shows a lot of examples of Interior meaning. I think that the story of this film is stereotypical in a way because Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) is a “ladies’ man” who bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) covers the “How To” beat for “Composure” magazine and is assigned to write an article on “How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.” Petrie actually changed the script in regards to the “sex scene” because he wanted it to be appropriate for his 12-year-old daughter.

  18. In my opinion what Sarris meant by the “interior meaning” of a film is what in a film allows its viewers to connect/relate and get pleasure from it. The movies that most people deem as their favorite are the ones that they relate to the most and can aspire to be the most like. One of my favorite movies is ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ directed by David O. Russell. The film follows two adult characters who struggle with their own mental illnesses and deeper family issues, but still aspire to channel themselves into doing something greater. Watching these characters who struggle so much pave their own paths and get out of their respective slumps is so powerful and relatable to many people (myself) who have struggled (and are still struggling) with mental illness. I do think that for this film specifically that it is kind of subjective to myself since I struggle with mental illness and that is the main form of relation that I am getting from this film.

  19. Sarris defines the interior meaning of a film as “the ultimate glory of the cinema as an art” and notes that it has more to do with the effects of the director’s personality than the script. In my opinion, a film that perfectly illustrates this concept is “The Greatest Showman,” directed by Michael Gracey. Gracey, a visual effects artist, made his directorial debut with this film and succeeded in truly bringing it to life with his talents, interests, and personal style. The extravagant costumes, vivid colors and tones, and captivating graphics transformed the story of P.T. Barnum into a theatrical spectacle. The humorous twists added throughout the plot also reflected Gracey’s edgy personality, and his stylistic decision to modernize the story of Barnum and create a more pop-culture vibe is what made each and every choice going into this film so unique. Though my choosing of this film and director may be somewhat subjective, I was guided by the fact that the nature of this film has been overwhelmingly glorified by the public—and I strongly believe that this is largely due to Gracey’s creative and artistic undertakings.

  20. Sarris writes, “interior meaning is extrapolated from the tension between a director’s personality and his material… it is ambiguous, in any literary sense because part of it is embedded in the stuff of the cinema” (p. 562, 1962). One of the most recent movies I have seen, also notably one that has mad it to my top 5 favorite movies “Blank Panther”. Ryan Coogler the director is also known for “Fruitvale Station” a sad yet powerful and important movie to watch. Coogler did an interview where he stated that when he first decided to direct Black Panther he was directing the movie with his 8 year old self in mind, around the same age when he first discovered the comic book after inquiring about black super heros. He also wanted to keep other 8 year olds in mind especially those that don’t see representation of what they look like in other superhero movies. Coogler took the story of the Black Panther from the comics and intertwined it with what he would’ve wanted to see as a kid and created a predominately all black film. I believe had Coogler taken a different standpoint and added in more white people or other races, it wouldn’t have worked as well as it did with the practically all black cast.

  21. One of my favorite movies of all time is Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing (1989). Taking place in Bedford- Stuvyvesant (or “Bed-Stuy,”) Brooklyn on a hot summer day, Lee directed, wrote, and produced a movie about the neighborhood’s racial tension. Thinking of Lee as an Auteur, this movie and its mis-en-scene reveals Lee’s interior meaning pertaining to the different attitudes people have toward others with racial differences. Sticking with his own usual style of film making which depicts the different obstacles of inner-city (specifically New York City) life, Lee’s Do the Right Thing reveals a broader representation of the different negative and positive racial attitudes between different ethnic groups. Instead of specifically villainizing one specific ethnic group for the increased racial tension within the neighborhood, Lee shows a joint contribution to the hostile environment. Furthermore, by adding Red or Blue color to the neighborhood’s building background in certain scenes, Lee decides to add this visual to the film to represent the rising or cooling of racial tensions in the environment.

  22. Though I understand that the particularities of “interior meaning” are somewhat ineffable, I found Sarris’s definition maddeningly vague. This being said, I take interior meaning to be how the interior landscape of the auteur, the intangible qualities that make that person unique, are projected into their work. The auteur’s beliefs, attitudes, and and general essence are rendered visible through the creative process of making a film. Escape From New York, directed by John Carpenter, is one of my favorite films and perhaps illustrates the concept of interior meaning. The film, like many other films by Carpenter, is quite cynical. The film’s setting is a dystopian society consumed by amoral conflicts. Nearly all character actions are either motivated by coldly-calculated self-interest or are due to manipulation by other characters. Though some characters exhibit some sense of morality, the examples are few and far between. Many of the characters introduced over the course of the film end up dying in vain. Without getting into too much detail, the film ends with the main character effectively judging the society around him as not worthy of being saved from potential imminent destruction. This intense cynicism is a reflection of Carpenter’s own outlook and interior landscape, as evidenced by the repetition of this attitude across many of his films.

  23. According to Sarris, interior meaning is when the director’s personality and meaning of the script shown on the screen. What I took away from this definition is that the director shows his own personal opinion of the script on screen through setting, lighting, costuming, and effects and turns the script into a piece of art. The Great Gatsby, Romeo and Juliet, and Moulin Rouge all came to mind when reading about interior meaning; more specifically the director of these three movies, Baz Luhrmann. Although none of these movies are my favorite movies, they all have a similar style, as this director uses his similar artistic takes on them. He modernizes the movie with either different costumes, music, or props but keeps that time period still in tact. He also tends to make his movies look like a fabulous party because of the editing effects he uses. Luhrmann is a very unique director, and even if you weren’t told who the director is at the beginning of the movies, you’d know it’s him because of his particular style used for all of his movies. When reading about interior meaning, I immediately thought of Luhrmann, as he is a director that takes a different approach from others, but is always successful with them. He may have not directed many movies, but his style is so particular, that it would not work for just any regular comedy, drama, or horror film; yet society still knows his name. He creates art in a unique way, that people enjoy and have fun viewing. I personally enjoy his way of modernizing a classic tale, such as The Great Gatsby and Romeo and Juliet.

  24. After reading Sarris’s article, I have come to define “interior meaning” as any film that has any underlying meaning the director. I have seen many movies which possess this element of directorial filming. One of my favorite movies is ‘Platoon’, directed by Oliver Stone. Stone himself served in Vietnam. In the special features section of my copy, Stone comments that the character of Sgt. Barnes, portrayed by Tom Berenger, was directly based off a Sgt. in the unit that Stone served with. One could also argue the main character in the film, Chris Taylor, played by Charlie Sheen is a version of Stone’s youth. Had these characters been played by any other actors, I do not see the movie having the same impact on the audience. The scene where the American GIs enter the Vietnamese village is another example of interior meaning in the film. So my motives and thoughts were driven by the film itself.

  25. In the article “Notes on the Auteurs Theory in 1962″ by Andrew Sarris, Sarris elaborates on the three areas of directorial achievements of film “auteurs.” The three main points he makes in the article are focused on technique, personal style, and interior. He explains how the director’s personal viewpoints and styles are tied into the film techniques to build “interior meaning” to the movie. Interior meaning is “extrapolated from the tension between a director’s personality and his material” according to the article (Sarris 562) When I think of a movie that relates, I think of all Nicholas Cage’s movies but focusing on one of my favorites “The Last Song” starring Miley Cyrus. As many know Nicholas Cage stories to be quite a roller coaster of emotions, that is part of his technique and personality and that shows through the movie screen when the movies play. Like “The Last Song” and other Nicholas Cage movies, the director takes you through the characters life and brings upon conflict and resolutions throughout their relationships in the story. Cage’s stories successfully follow the three areas of directional achievements of film because of the emotional appeals and he has become very popular and well known for emotional dramatic films.

  26. In the reading, it is metioned that that interior meaning is created from the tension between the director’s personality and the material that he has and creates. A favorite movie of mine that I believe fits this, is Sausage Party (2016) directed by Conrad Vernon. Of course, this movie was a comedy, and one that you would not want to bring your children to, i still believe that this movie holds some purpose in my argument. Conrad Vernon is a none story writer and director for DreamWorks, and although this may not be a movie that one would want to place under the title of a DreamWork movie, there are multiple “easter eggs,” throughout the movie of DreamWork characters and scenes. Although, we as an audience don’t usually see them at first, especially in a movie where there are multiple different things occupying our eyes, we can still get a sense of where the director’s background is. I believe that many different directors do this on purpose, and give “dedicated” watchers something fun to look for.

  27. Andrew Sarris states the three premises of the auteur theory are technique, personal style, and inner meaning. The Inner meaning to a movie, or a show is the directors own twist on the show or movie but still managing to keep it relevant to the original story. In the movie Soul Surfer, based on a true story of a girl who lost her arm surfing, she still managed to surf and follow her dreams which has several meanings. The director had lessons for the characters to learn throughout the movie which also helped educate the audience on the feelings being expressed in the real life situation. By keeping the movie based on the true story of Bethany Hamilton it added more emotion and passion for the viewers watching. Real facts and reactions were used to show how Bethany felt in the moment and allows for a personal connection to each person watching.

  28. In the reading, the author Sarris talks about how when a director uses personal style they have the ability to give interior meaning to a movie. A movie that I personally really enjoy and see this in is The Giver directed by Phillip Noyce. In The Giver the director uses personal style to give interior meaning to the film. The movie first starts off as black and white, however, as the main character, Jonas, stops taking his injections he starts to ‘see’ in color and this is when the color of the film changes. Noyce displays the inner meaning of this movie using this style very well. In the movie, they live in a society that denies creativity and differences. This small change in the movie can subject an audience to seeing the cast in a different way just like Jonas began to when you can hear his inner thoughts. The director’s style affects the audience in a similar way giving a fuller meaning to the movie about how the society affects each person by denying differences. In an article Noyce admits that he wanted to use the color change to “follow[s] the restricted and gradually expanding perception of the central character Jonas as a colorful world is opened up to him by his teacher, The Giver.”

  29. This week we read “Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962”, written by Andrew Sarris. Sarris starts off the reading by saying there is no true definition of the auteur theory. He does his best of defining it in his own terms as merely a polemical weapon for a given time and place. The next more important part of the auteur theory is the three premises of it. The three premises of the auteur theory are technique, personal style, and interior meaning. He explains technique as the ability to put a film together with some clarity and coherence. Technique is very important for directors as it helps them create a film with clarity. Without the use of technique films would be extremely confusing, and it would be hard for directors to keep their jobs. The hardest of the tree premises is interior meaning. Interior meaning is difficult because your choice can be completely your own, or you can be pushed towards it.

  30. Sarris’ article gives a very vague definition for “interior meaning.” He leaves it up to the ready to really interoperate what they think interior meaning is. To me, I think it is the way that the director chooses to show each individual character, how each one can be relatable to the viewer in some way, or how they try to make themselves come through in each character. In one of my favorite movies, 10 Things I Hate About You, the director Gil Junger keeps all of the main characters pretty one dimensional, but slowly making them more well rounded so that anyone watching the movie has someone to relate to. It makes it easier to take the story of the movie and see how it could be meaningful to people outside of the intended audience. The fact that it is also bases on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of The Shrew” gives it even more meaning.

  31. In Notes on Auteur Theory in 1962, Andrew Sarris writes that the most difficult, yet most important facet of Auteur Theory is interior meaning. According to Sarris, interior meaning in Auteur Theory is “explorated from the tension between a director’s personality and his material”. Baz Luhrmann, my favorite director, exhibits interior meaning extraordinarily well in all three films of his Red Curtain Trilogy. However, interior meaning is most prevalent in his first film, Strictly Ballroom from 1992. As a child, Luhrmann’s mother was a ballroom dance teacher and a dress shop owner. In the movie, the main character, Scott’s mother is also a ballroom dance teacher mirroring Luhrmann’s own mother. The main character Scott is Luhrmann’s extension of himself in this movie, as they both like to go against the grain and do something different. Luhrmann often says that his life is like “a circus run like an army”. He marries this idea with his own personal experiences to produce wildly extravagant films that could be done by no one else.

  32. With “interior meaning,” there has to be tension between a directors personality and his material” (Sarris 562). I think one of my favorite films, On Borrowed Time, directed by Harold S. Bucquet, starring Lionel Barrymore and Cedric Hardwicke, is a great example of having “interior meaning.” It’s not your typical “Christmas” movie, but my family watches it during Christmas every year. I’ve seen this movie enough times to quote every line, and yet I still find symbolisms I didn’t get the first, second, twentieth time around. I think this movie fits, because the director, Mr. Bucquet, was a World War I veteran who experienced death in a way most of us cannot understand. On Borrowed Time, like the name suggests, is about death and living on literal borrowed time. Even though the director witnessed horrors and escaped death himself, he chose to make a film about human’s misunderstanding of death and making death a physical human-like character. I think Mr. Bucquet, like most people, struggled with this mix of knowing death is coming eventually and also never wanting to stop living. This man literally worked until he physically couldn’t, and had to leave his last movie project due to illness which led to his death shortly after. I think the movie represents the director’s dual views on death with the plot and also with Barrymore’s character, who wants to live as long as possible to finish raising his grandson, whom he loved the most. The tension between the director’s personality and material becomes even more evident now knowing his backstory and history.

  33. Interior meaning is defined as, in the writing, as stemming from the personality of the director and the material of the film itself. When I read this, I thought of it as the meaning beyond the obvious plot of the movie, the things that stand out to you later and leave you thinking about it after the credits roll. It also is what makes every movie and every director unique, using their own creativity or experiences to tell a story in a different way. One movie that I can draw an example from is Interstellar (2014) directed by Christopher Nolan. While it could have been a typical and trite space travel story, Nolan keeps the film interesting by having the micro relationship between Cooper and his daughter be just as engaging as his massive journey across the universe, in his own way of saying what things are important to him.

  34. From my understanding, Sarris’ definition of “interior meaning” is almost like a hidden vision within the film that can be understood as the director’s signature. It’s a composition of the director’s personal style and his material. The film, Music and Lyrics (2007), who is directed by Marc Lawrence, is a film about a washed out 80’s pop singer who struggles to write a hit for a younger pop sensation, until he meets a quirky writer who ends up helping him and changing his life forever. In this romantic comedy, the director’s choice of creating this descriptive narrative for the lead male protagonist, Alex Fletcher, who is played by Hugh Grant, shows interior meaning. Lawrence is most known for romantic comedies, and his most successful ones have Hugh Grant playing the lead role. His rom-coms all have your generic, guy meets girl plot, where she changes and/or influences his life for the better and they end up together in the end.

  35. According to Sarris’ article, “interior meaning” is what the director decides to write/screen based on his or her personality. While reading this article, I actually found myself agreeing with a lot of it. Putting a part of one’s self in art is very common and I do believe that in some way or another, that is always reflected in the artist’s work. In the movie Zootopia directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore, you can see many themes being shared throughout the movie such as equality, stereotypes, racism, sexism and more. The directors’ main motives to film this movie was based on their support for these underlying issues that so often happen in our world today. As they are familiar with movie production and such, they felt as though Disney tends shyed away from real life issue topics and was rather mainstream. In Zootopia, they wanted everyone to have a voice and they took a much more humorous approach to discuss these issues. In this movie, it is easy to see the two directors’ desire to make a difference through a humorous art and that says a lot about their personality and a part of who they are.

  36. Sarris describes the auteur theory as dealing with not only a director’s personal style and how the director relates to the material, but also the director them self. We look at the connection between director and the film, and although many directors already make films that they feel a connection with, the auteur theory is about taking it to the next level. Viewers tend to find connections within the movies they watch, that what makes it more interesting. Directors can do many different things to show their connection when they put themselves in the film and my favorite example is, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Tim Burton. Tim Burton himself has created a unique genre in his movies and if you’re unaware you’re watching one of his films you could probably still take a wild guess that it’s a Tim Burton film. He has this dark gothic palette that is now iconic and recognizable, but he also tends to have political themes even if we aren’t aware. He likes to distinguish between the wealthy and the unfortunate, and this is also prominent in a lot of his other films. His presence is known in movies simply by his influence in the style and themes of a movie, in his own sub-genre about his style that he has crafted himself. Burton is an important example of this theory, and is more relatable to discuss about considering the fact his movies are current and top of box office charts.

  37. Auteur theory is defined by Sarris in this reading as the director’s personal style and the method they use to create a personal signature in the films they produce. While reading this article and reflecting on my past cinema experiences I had many thoughts of what directors fall into this sort of category. My first thought that came to mind in my case is with the director Michael Bay. I have been a fan of his movies ever since the first Transformers movie he produced. His movies are known for his ability to produce high energy action films characterized by the use of quick shots and special effects, especially through the use of explosions. When you see one of his movies there is almost a running joke that there will be a high use of explosions to a unnecessary degree. Even Family Guy parodied this in one of their episodes, “Three Directors”. Although they over emphasis this notion of his use of high action quick shots and of explosions and special effects in his movies, one cannot argue that this would definitely be the style in which he directs.

  38. In the opening line of the article, Sarris states that there is no real meaning to Auteur theory. But he constantly refers to a director’s definition of it which says that “the director of a film is considered the author because they are the ones who die the movie distinctive quality. He also states that there are three areas of achievement for legitimate film auteurs. One of which is technical competence. He describes it as he director “has to be at least a good director.” If he has no “flair for the cinema , he is automatically cast out.” (Sarris, 562). This is evident in Tarantino’s
    Pulp Fiction. The movie has a lot of very long shots to really follow the character’s lives to give the viewers to ability to really engage in the movies narratives. Whereas if there was a ton of short shots the viewers would mostly take interest in following the camera racer than the characters of the movie.

  39. Andrew Sarris defines interior meaning as the director’s personal style and unique techniques that are present throughout the entirety of a film. If studying any particular director, I would think his/her personal style and small quirks would stand out. One particular movie I watched recently, I think relates to this topic really well; because it was made from a play into a movie. William Friedkin’s film Killer Joe has his personal style or interior meaning seaping from it. Although the play was dark and grotesque like the movie, Friedkin was out for a little more shock value. Through vivid scenes of sexual humiliation and gory blood bath’s he locked in on those overdramatic scenes, where the play was never so vivid with them. Also, something Friedkin changed in his own adaption from the play, was that he made a choice to lose the humor. The play is full of laughs, but that isn’t Friedkin personal style. It is makes it almost hard to watch all the way through because it is dark and twisted with almost nothing light hearted or comical about it.

  40. Auteur theory is the art of film making in which the director uses his or her own creative minds to create a masterpiece of a movie. In order to understand auteur, we need to understand mise-en-scene. Just by viewing the cinematography of the movies, any critic is able to identify the director based on his specific shots and how scenes play out. When I was trying to figure out what movie I loved, I came across Kill Bill 1 and 2, I watched these when I was a child. Quentin Tarantino, a director we have been paying attention of in class, has a very different style and quality of his themes, mise en scene, because he writes his own screenplays. When reading more about his movies, he is quite involved in the production of his films. Tarantino uses a woman to play a lead role challenging the male dominant industry where she plays the role of mother, lover, and killer for a very specific reason (to get back at those who tried to kill her and her unborn child. The movie kill bill is influenced by Japanese culture. Tarantino takes this different culture and places them in a time far beyond theirs where there are no rules. His greatest gift is to showcase postmodernism in order to expose the past into the future. His movie Kill Bill along with others join a genre that faces the past and does not have cultural appropriation.

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