Andrew Sarris, Auteur Cinema (Blog Post #2)

Writing in 1962, Andrew Sarris claims that there are three criteria that define the “auteur.”  After reading his essay carefully, make the case for a director that you feel is an auteur.  Tell the class why s/he fits those criteria.  (For those of you familiar with him, please do not pick David Lynch, as his films will form the core of our new unit.)

32 thoughts on “Andrew Sarris, Auteur Cinema (Blog Post #2)

  1. In my opinion, Werner Herzog is a great example of a modern auteur, due to the various themes that repeat themselves throughout his body of work. Whether or not you are watching one of his narrative features or documentaries, you can always expect to be hypnotized by beautiful cinematography and music. Interestingly, though most of his films seem to be realistic fiction at first glance, they often appear to view our world through a new pair of lens, making things familiar to us seem strange. Last but not least, Herzog has the strange habit of throwing quirks into his films which take the audience by surprise, such as his inclusion of albino crocodiles in the film Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

  2. According to the Andrew Sarris reading, the term “auteur” refers to a filmmaker who displays technical ability, a distinct, signature creative style, and an interior meaning to their films. Akira Kurosawa is a Japanese filmmaker who I believe qualifies as being an auteur. Kurosawa films are known for deep-focus panning and many impressive and elaborate long takes, utilizing movement of figures to provide interesting visuals as well movement of weather to emphasize emotions felt by characters. Cuts on action and wipes are used many times throughout Kurosawa’s films. The films frequently display western storytelling influences and often tell stories of people overcoming the barriers of social classes and traditions.

  3. As a director, an auteur must first possess technical competence, display recurring characteristics of style across his or her films, and project a sort of interior meaning. Martin Scorsese obviously possesses an enormous amount of technical competence. His ability to create just the right shot whether he is filming in a sunny desert landscape or a dimly lit cocktail lounge has produced some of the more memorable scenes in cinema. His recurrent use of violence in films such as Goodfellas, Casino, and The Departed show the brutal nature of his characters. He uses narration often. In “Goodfellas”, Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, summarizes and sometimes even better explains situations that the viewer may not be picking up on. The character of Frank Costello played by Jack Nicholson in “The Departed” gives a motivating, introductory monologue describing the little known and mostly ignored world of the Boston mafia. In “Casino” Sam Rothstein, played by Robert Deniro narrates throughout the film. Scorsese tends to direct films having to do with criminals. To many, the criminal world is mysterious if not very misunderstood, his use of narration clears up any confusion the viewer may have. He also uses lengthy tracking shots across his films. These shots are always accompanied by music. In “Goodfellas”, the camera tracks into the meat truck where Frankie Carbone is hanging from a meat hook frozen solid, set to Eric Clapton’s “Layla”. In “Casino” one example is how the camera tracks the group as Joe Pesci narrates his plan which is set to The Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking?” In “The Departed”, a long tracking shot accompanies Leonardo DiCaprio in line while in prison as The Dropkick Murphys belt out “Shipping up to Boston”. Scorsese seems to have a knack for getting the viewer to care about seedy, criminals, and an even better knack for creating characters so unlikeable that you’re almost obligated to root for the criminal. Perhaps there is an interior meaning to this in that he feels there is always a bigger evil out there, and that supporting a criminal in his films is often accepting the lesser of two evils. I believe that many people whether they are film students or not can identify a Martin Scorsese film from form and characteristics alone.

  4. I would argue that M. Night Shyamalan is a fallen or possibly recovering auteur. Technical competence is certainly seen in his works, especially his early films, all of which appeared polished. His signature style involves major plot twists at the conclusion of his movies. The final criteria, interior meaning of the work, is certainly present in his early films. “The Sixth Sense” and “Signs” both used elements of suspense and horror to create a wonderfully eerie atmosphere that fully immersed the viewer, while also exploring themes of redemption. To an extent this is also true of “Unbreakable” and “The Village”. Unfortunately, his later films, especially “The Last Airbender” and “After Earth” were tanked by critics, and many have seen his signature usage of plot twists as cheesy. After all, if one knows a director uses plot twists, the viewer expects them, which minimizes their shock effect. However, there are signs that Shyamalan is recovering, as his recent work with “Wayward Pines” and “The Visit” has been praised. In fact, he was nominated for a “Razzie Redeemer Award” for his recent recovery in the realm of critical reception. Ideally this progression will continue, allowing him to reclaim the title of auteur.

  5. “Auteur”, as described by Andrew Sarris, is a distinct style, a distinct meaning, and technical ability. The director I immediately thought of is Wes Anderson. His films are known for their straight on shots, long pauses, and distinct color palettes. There is often a narrator, who has a place in the film while also doing the narrations. In regard to the plot, there is often long durations without an “exciting bit”, followed by a scene or two filled with said excitement. He has done more “real person” movies, although that has not stopped him from animation, as seen in the movie “Fantastic Mr. Fox”.

  6. In Andrew Sarris’s essay the title of auteur is like the signature on a painting. Auteur is the art of being a specific kind of director. Tim Burton has certainly made his own unique mark in the world of Cinema. His creates characters that seemingly come right out of Gothic literature and places them in situations that you would never expect them to be. His first move, “Edward Scissorhands,” a Frankenstein-like teenager has to learn to grown up in 1960’s suburbia. Edward becomes well known for his scissor hands and the bush and hair cuts he can do with them. This film blended the old English Gothic with a modern American world in a way that can only be described as Burton.

    Burton later turned to cartooning and claymation. His characters are usually made with large eyes and heads and long, slender bodies. The environments he created resembled an even more stylized form of German Expressionism. From the twisted trees of “Crops Bride” to the swirly mountain tops of “A Nightmare Before Christmas” the worlds he created were something that had never been done before, but no matter how silly his environment seemed to git, the stories always maintained some kind of grit. “The Crops Bride” is a story about a murdered girl who can only find love in death. One of Burton’s first animations, “James and the Giant Peach” was a story of abandonment.

    Later in his carer, Burton went back to live action, but implemented some of his ideas from his works with cartoons upon his actors. More often than not they were done up in wild makeup, even crazier costumes, and personalities animated to the point of being terrifying. Some of his most notable works were “Sweeney Todd”, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Alice in Wonderland”, and “Dark Shadows.” May think that his newer works have been a taken a step down from his former. No matter how may steps, Tim Burton still remains a significant marker in the world of surreal film making.

  7. According to Andrew Sarris, an auteur must express technical competence, personal style, and interior meaning or themes within their films. Thus, an auteur can be described as someone who maintains a high degree of independent control over his or her work while expressing his or her individual style or vision. Darren Aronofsky, director of a number of films such as Requiem for a Dream, Pi, and The Black Swan can be regarded as an auteur. Though his films may vary completely, there are always elements that are found in psychological thrillers that are integrated into his works. Aronofsky tends to focus on seemingly average characters that become victims to unusual circumstances and experiences. These characters often experience hallucinations due to their deteriorating sanity and/or from drug abuse. In terms of the technicalities of making these films, Aronofsky likes to use the same editing techniques in each film. For instance, he likes to create montages of short shots and fast cuts to show the character’s hallucinations/drug abuse. He also uses extreme close up to emphasize a character’s emotions such as fear, anxiety, paranoia etc. He uses extreme long shots to emphasize a character’s emotional, mental, and physical isolation. Stylistically, Aronofsky has a unique style that evokes dark aesthetics and themes which ultimately contributes to his status as a auteur.

  8. When explaining the auteur theory, Andrew Sarris makes an interesting statement that there is no specific definition due to its abstract nature. Even though there isn’t a distinct definition the qualities of the auteur theory are: technique, personal style and interior meaning. Directors are used to portray what an auteur is through examples. For instance, Quentin Tarantino would be an example of an auteur because all of his movies possess specific signatures that gives the film his own personal style.
    One technique that would be considered most obvious is the vast amount of blood and violence present in his films. Kill Bill vol. 1 and 2, but specifically 1 in the scene where the Bride fights the Japanese gang has the most blood and violence out of both volumes. It also pays tribute to more classic samurai films which is one of the components of a Tarantino film. As a fan and active advocate of classic films, his work usually pays homage to the classical film era by either using 7mm film, purposely making a movie to feel low budget to represent the grindhouse style or using other director’s techniques as inspiration. The most compelling however is his use of complex character and distinctive dialogue that gives the audience an immersive feel effectively turning it into a memorable experience.

  9. I believe Alfred Hitchcock fits the criteria of an auteur. Andrew Sarris claims that the first aspect of the auteur theory is “technical competence of a director as a criterion of value.” Hitchcock fits within this aspect because he was a very hands-on director and took charge of many aspects of the film, not just the direction. Needless to say, he definitely was a criterion of value on the set of his films, because he was always alert to what was happening, and would make swift changes when necessary. He was obsessive over his films and would not let them be produced unless he believed every minute detail was perfect. The second aspect of the auteur theory is “the distinguishable personality of the director as a criterion of value.” Hitchcock also fits this aspect because he undoubtedly had a very distinguishable personality among his films. His films were meant to frighten; to make the audience feel eerie and uncomfortable, and he definitely succeeded with this throughout the entirety of his directing career. Hitchcock also re-used specific symbols and themes throughout all of his films, such as staircases, birds, blonde women, a likable criminal, and the famous “macguffin” which he created. The third aspect of the auteur theory is the “interior meaning, the ultimate glory of the cinema as an art.” This is the comparison between the director’s personality and the product he creates with it. Alfred Hitchcock also fits this aspect very well, because it has been noted by actors on his set, as well as others who had known him, that Hitchcock was a seemingly strange and quirky man himself, and many people felt uncomfortable in his presence. This correlates very well with this aspect of the auteur theory because Hitchcock’s personality seems to compare almost eerily well with the films he created.

  10. In the reading, Notes on the Autuer Theory in 1962 by Andrew Sarris, Autuer theory is comprised of elements of technique, personal style, and interior meaning. One director that I argue would fall into the category of auteur is Wes Anderson. There are several characteristics and a distinct sense of style in his movies that scream to the audience that he directed them. His use of vivid colors and patterns makes his films easily recognizable. He also seems very intently focused on past settings, and stories, most of which are told by a narrator. His reuse of certain actors in many films also serve as a signature calling card for his films. Whether from a small cameo to a main role, actors are often recycled.

  11. I cannot say that I am too familiar with specific directors and their personal styles, but when I was reading Andrew Sarris’ essay on “auteur,” I immediately thought of Tim Burton. Burton has a style that is so unique, any viewer should be able to pick a burton film out of the bunch. He especially fits into Sarris’ three criteria regarding auteur. The first criteria states that technical competence holds important value. In other words, the script, color, acting, and other elements like this are just as important as how the film is directed. Movies such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Beetle Juice” prove that. The little details in these movies, especially within the color and the acting, proves that Burton has a technical flair. Like most of Burton’s films, both of these have this saturated color and extremely vibrant acting. Particularly, Johnny Depp, in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” portrays a very over the top, almost animated Willie Wonka. The second criteria that Andrew Sarris lays out describes Burton in a nutshell. You can examine any of his films and pin point a characteristic that is unique to Burton. For example, the settings of his films puts the viewer in an exquisite, dark, magical, and overdramatic land. He uses twisted mountain tops in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” as well as twisted trees in “Corpse Bride.” He also re-uses actors, which adds to his signature. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter may play different characters in his films, but they bring certain styles to Burton’s films that add to his “auteur.” Finally, there is an interior meaning in each of Burton’s films. While it isn’t always obvious, as Sarris points out, what he is trying to portray can be found in his dark and modern gothic style that is imbedded in each of his movies. Overall, Burton has a way of creating a bizarre, sometimes unearthly world in each of his films in order to portray different meanings and values.

  12. As explained by Andrew Sarris an auteur is a director that has mastered the technical, artistic, and internal message aspect of movies. An auteur’s works will usually be connected to one another through any of those three aspects. I think that Sergio Leone can definitely be categorized as an auteur. Not only he is viewed as the creator of the spaghetti western genre, but his movies all master the technical, artistic, and internal meaning aspects that auteur movies do. Leone always used Ennio Morricone’s pieces for soundtrack, and used those tracks to build up before a death or a dramatic scene. His movies are characteristically filled with widescreen photography, exploring the “West”. His movies are filled with deep zooms, and extreme close-ups of character’s eyes. “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” showcases those zooms. Movies like “My Name is Nobody” also showed revolutionary violence on screen and “Once Upon A Time in The West” showed Leone’s long, slow, beautiful sweeping shots. Sergio Leone, is one of the best know Italian directors; he was the creator of a new genre, and his style was riddled with beautiful, artistic scenery and mastered extremely detailed shots.

  13. Auteurs are skilled with a great many aspects of films, including style, theme, etc. When reading Notes on Auteur Theory, my thoughts immediately go to the late Wes Craven. He was skilled in making modern horror films, including Scream and A Nightmare on Elm Street. He was able to keep the horror throughout these films by use of blood, murder, violence, and serial killers. He is able to attract a mature audience with these films and their elements.

  14. When thinking of an auteur the first person who comes to mind is Quentin Tarantino. In films he has directed there are multiple themes that carry over between them. The most commonly recognized is the use of humor. Even in movies that are based on serious subject matter such as Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained there is humor throughout but not so much that it becomes a comedy. Another common characteristic is the use of violence. This can be found Tarantino’s most well known films such as the ones previously mentioned, Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction and his most recent film The Hateful Eight. He also commonly uses the same kind of shots such as shot reverse shot and high/low angles. Another attribute of Tarantino films is his cameos in the film as a character with one line or narrator. There are many other common factors included in Tarantino films that he uses to create a specific aesthetic and making him an auteur.

  15. Based on my reading of Andrew Sarris’ essay, the term “auteur” can be defined as a filmmaker who possesses a technical competence, an signature style that is consistent through out his or her work, and a project of great meaning. A director that comes to mind after determining what “auteur” means is Ridley Scott. Ridley Scott’s visuals are one of the most important elements of his films. In the Alien films, Blade Runner, Prometheus, and his academy award nominee The Martian, the audience is able to experience an outlandish, futuristic extraterrestrial inspired worlds for his films. This theme is consistent in most of his prominent movies that received much praise and notoriety because of his ability to make a film look good by enhancing their visual potential. Another theme that was prominent in his work, and what I believe to be his kind of “project” which had greater meaning, was his use of lead female roles. Female roles tended to be a consistent theme in most of his major films (Alien, Someone to Watch Over Me, Thelma and Louise, Etc.) For example, Ripley in the Alien films was an iconic character because she was a strong and charismatic woman of action. Her superiority to the men and her ability to battle against the aliens are evident through out the three further films as well.

  16. While reading Andrew Sarris essay about the “auteur” the first name that came to mind was Quentin Tarantino. In the essay the term auteur is commonly used to describe a director whose style is distinctively unique and whose films are recognizable by that style. Quentin fits into this group all of his movies are violent, funny, and well written. Some of his style involves dealing with race as in “Pulp Fiction” and “The Hateful Eight”. His movies always contain massive splashes of blood from violent deaths perfectly shown in the “Kill Bill” movies. He often pays respect to other directors in his movies such as in “Pulp Fiction” Bruce Willis is picking a weapon to kill his captor in a pawn shop and he picks up different items that represent different directors. His dialogue is iconic. When he writes for such serious storylines he is able to incorporate humor and wit through out all the dialogue.

  17. Andrew Sarris’ essay does a fine job of breaking down the definition of what makes an auteur. It breaks down the the three circles that make it up. Following Sarris’ essay I would claim that Quentin Tarantino is an auteur. In the first circle of technique we can see a recurring style of choices. Tarantino often uses techniques such as wide camera lenses, upward shots from inside a car trunk and casting Samuel L Jackson. He also one of the few directors that still use film. He creates a style that is instantly noticeable. The patterns are consistent across his films. This, almost atmospheric feeling to his films, and the consistency in which they are used helps to make him an auteur. His films often involve vengeance as some sort of driving force for the characters such as Django or The bride. Throughout the body of his films Tarantino shows techniques style and interior meaning.

  18. Sarris claims there are three points to make a director an auteur. They are technical competence, distinguishable personality, and interior meaning. I believe James Cameron is an auteur because he meets all three points. Firstly Cameron demonstrates technical competence in his films due to his use of high quality and realistic animation. Whether its Arnold Schwarzenegger ripping off the flesh of his arm revealing himself as a terminator, the vast world of Pandora in his most recent film Avatar, or the Titanic hitting an ice berg and sinking to the bottom of the ocean, and it all appears as if its the real thing. Next Cameron demonstrates his distinguishable personality in many ways. One way he does this in his action films is a emphasis on what are almost super humans. This is seen in Rambo First Blood Part two where a green beret practically a one man army takes on what seems to be the entire vietnam army. Obviously in Terminator with the machine being nearly indestructible and True Lies where Schwarzenegger is a spy and again is scene as indestructable as he fights people in hand to hand combat and is a master with guns. Also Stallone and Schwarzenegger come out of these movies and become the face of action movies. Lastly I believe all of Camerons films carry a message to follow your dreams and that anything is possible. This is shown in Avatar where Jake Sulley a paralytic is given a second chance and takes on a new life as a Avatar. It can be seen in Titanic where Jack a poor young man and his friends are given the chance of a life time to go on this incredible ship and explore the world. Also in Terminator and Alien even though in these films the future produces not so good things the advancement in technology that is portrayed really gives people this belief of progression and hunger to achieve that.

  19. An auteur is someone whose influence and style is so familiar and distinctive, that you can immediately tell if they have influenced or directed the film. In order to be an auteur, this director needs to exhibit distinguishable personality, technical competence, and interior meaning. A director I think that would match this theory and its traits is J. J. Abrams. His most well-known movies include the newest Star Trek and the latest Star Wars episode, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The reason I chose him over other directors is because I noticed a very distinctive trait in almost all of his films. J. J. Abrams likes to use a visual technique called lens-flare, which causes a bright glare from the light reflections in the movie. For example, in his Star Trek series, he uses the light to give a glassy, shiny, and reflective effect throughout the movie, especially when they are on the Enterprise. Another example would be in the new Star Wars movie where Kylo Ren watches the weapon’s beam pass by the ship window, and we get a huge red glare reflecting off the windows to the audience. From these two works and Fringe, one of the TV shows he helped create, produce, and write, suggests one of the frequent themes he uses involves in his works involve aspects of the future in some way. All of these works suggest time traveling and dimension aspects that allow the main character(s) to change or influence the future.

  20. Sarris’ definition of an auteur is one who demonstrates technical competence, a distinct, creative style, and interior meanings in their films. My personal favorite director, Quentin Tarantino, meets these criteria, as many of my classmates have already pointed out. His technical competence is clear in several ways, such as his use of practical effects for scenes of extensive, violent gore in Kill Bill and Django: Unchained. The Hateful Eight was purposely filmed in glorious 70mm instead of cheaper and easier digital. This choice is indicative of Tarantino’s specific style, which is a deep love of classic cinema. Django reflects the old spaghetti westerns and Kill Bill many Japanese Samurai movies. A scene in Kill Bill depicting a character’s backstory is presented in animation reminiscent of certain anime.
    As for interior meanings, Tarantino’s films have varied drastically in themes and stories over the years. Reservoir Dogs revolves around a foiled jewelry store robbery with themes of betrayal and the difference between good and bad criminals. Pulp Fiction follows RD’s nonlinear storytelling, but takes a lighter tone. Kill Bill is a revenge tale about a katana-wielding female assassin, entirely different from his previous work. Django is heavy with racial themes, as is Hateful Eight, however, HE takes a much slower, dialogue-driven approach to its material.

  21. Andrew Sarris is a man quite enthused about cinema and “auteur.” The man goes very in depth on the meaning of the term in his piece. Though I’m sure all or most directors posses some form of auteur in one way or another, one does not want to be all over the place concerning their work. Rather than choosing just one director who was the best example of auteur, I thought I’d go with The Coen Brothers. These two are best known for the movies Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and No Country for Old Men. These two are known for the very specific and comedic style. It is said their movies have a specific style that is clearly visible when viewing. Their movies have a very comedic style and also, in majority of their movies, there is lacking over a hero of any sort, an interesting and somewhat unusual approach in the film industry. Though all the movies the brothers direct are different, they all possess many similar qualities and have similar focuses within, helping prove the involving of auteur.

  22. When referring to an “auteur”, I believe the director Wes Anderson fits the mold. He enjoys splitting the frame with a character, putting beautifully organized scenery in the background. He also is known to use color correction or filters to make the film resemble 35mm film, with exaggerated primary colors. Technically, he enjoys either keeping the frame still and watching the characters like a fly on the wall, or using sweeping pans and sharp cuts. His films seem to always have a melancholy view on adventure, using drawn out personal scene in place of extreme action.

  23. In the reading by Andrew Sarris he stated there are three points to make a director an auteur, which are technical competence, distinguishable personality, and interior meaning. I have been watching movies and films for almost five decades. There are and were so many great auteur. If I had to choose a person who kept me waiting for his next film to come out, the first person who come to my mind would be Mr. Arthur Penn. He wrote great movies and films like: The Chase, Little Big Man, The Tears of my Sister, Bonnie & Clyde, The Missouri Breaks, The Miracle Worker, and the list goes on. He was a very gifted American Writer. He captivated audience with his brilliant writing while mastering his techniques. He kept his audience glued to the screen as he made a statement with every film with his ability to captivate his audience. Most of his films were black and white and they were common. Let’s look at the Miracle Worker – The Miracle Worker is a key work in Penn’s film’s that perhaps makes clearest the concern for non-verbal communication and expressive gestures that runs throughout his films. I believe this is when his film was first recognized in the film industry.

  24. With in Andrew Sarris’ discussion he states that for a director to be considered an “auteur” he or she must show purposeful use of technique, show distinct personal style through out their films and must also have an interior meaning in their films. Quentin Tarantino meets the premises of being considered an auteur. His distinct style is seen throughout his films. This style is seen through high amounts of violence with mixed in humor. Tarantino, also as a writer uses his unique style of dialogue and ,sometimes, whimsical characters throughout his films. The ending resulting with a massive shootout, Mexican standoff or another situation resulting in death taking place is also seen repeatedly Tarantino’s films. For example the shootout in the big house in “Django” and the standoff/shooting ending “The Hateful Eight”. Ultimately the element of a auteur that is seen the most with Tarantino is his repudiative use of violence with in his films.

  25. According to Andrew Sarris in “Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962, Tim Burton would be the epitome of the Auteur. He exemplifies the first premise of the theory because his movies are shot using Claymation. This medium is not used often by other directors, and he has perfected this method through his constant use. For the second premise, anyone who has watched a Tim Burton movie can agree that his personality can be clearly seen through the Claymation movies. Both of these come together to create the third premise, which is based on his style as a director. His films have beautiful but grotesque characters and backgrounds which are unique to his style of movie. Although the narratives are not completely unique, his directing style and leadership of the Claymation animators make the films stand out against other cartoon animation films.

  26. In the reading by Andrew Sarris he stated there are three points to make a director an auteur, which are technical competence, distinguishable personality, and interior meaning. I have been watching movies and films for almost five decades. There are and were so many great auteur. If I had to choose a person who kept me waiting for his next film to come out, the first person who come to my mind would be Mr. Arthur Penn. He wrote great movies and films like: The Chase, Little Big Man, The Tears of my Sister, Bonnie & Clyde, The Missouri Breaks, The Miracle Worker, and the list goes on. He was a very gifted American Writer. He captivated audience with his brilliant writing while mastering his techniques. He kept his audience glued to the screen as he made a statement with every film with his ability to captivate his audience. Most of his films were black and white and they were common. Let’s look at the Miracle Worker – The Miracle Worker is a key work in Penn’s film’s that perhaps makes clearest the concern for non-verbal communication and expressive gestures that runs throughout his films. I believe this is when his film was first recognized in the film industry.

  27. According to Andrew Sarris’s “Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962,” an auteur must possess technical competence, exhibit recurrent characteristics of style, and be concerned with interior meaning. The director that I feel displays these attributes very well is John G. Avildsen. In his well-known film series, “Rocky” and “The Karate Kid,” the scenes in Avildsen’s movies start out with long cuts to create a build-up of the characters and display their hardships that they have to overcome. The build-ups result in fight scenes featuring short derationed cuts on actions to reveal the intensity of the fights. The reoccurring theme in his movies is how one overcomes obstacles with the odds stacked against them.

  28. Andrew Sarris defines an auteur director as one who excels from a technical standpoint, has a unique, reoccurring style, and has interior meanings behind their films. A director who exemplifies the nature of auteur to a great extent is Wes Anderson. He has directed films such as Moonrise Kingdom and Grand Budapest Hotel. He has a very distinct visual style. Anderson is well known for his use of formalism (emphasizing color, line, shape and texture). Not to mention the color palette is very similar across his films. On a production level, Anderson maintains a number of core collaborations, generally working with the same cast and crew. The movies he makes have very similar themes in their narratives as well, often centering around a dysfunctional family or personal experiences. he clearly demonstrates technical expertise, a creative, distinct style, and leaves a interior meaning in the film.

  29. “Here’s Johnny!”: or, How I Learned about Auteur Theory and Learned to Love Stanley Kubrick

    There is an embarrassment of riches here of possible directors to discuss for this blog topic, but the auteur director that has had the deepest influence on in my life, who inspired me with the very idea of cinema as an “artform,”–and has planted an unhealthy obsession in me since my mind was blown away in the seventh grade (sans LSD) after a scratchy viewing of a letterboxed VHS copy of 2001: A Space Odyssey–is the Bronx born Stanley Kubrick.
    Sarris gives us three working concepts to weigh the work of a director: A) technical mastery; B) a personal style or aesthetic fingerprint; and C) A concern with interior meaning and the glory of cinema as an art. Kubrick’s staggering filmography which ranges from his first major feature film, Spartacus (1960), through his enigmatic final masterpiece, Eyes Wide Shut (1999) displays a preturnatural command of all three of these elements, but his true innovative genius was his contribution to the technical possibilities of cinematography and special effects as modernist formal devices to intensify narrative development. Kubrick probably cannot be accurately compared with guerilla avant-garde experimentalists, but more appropriately (perhaps unnervingly?) with arch-modernists like Eisenstein or even the infamous Nazi director Leni Riefenstahl.
    Key technical advances that were achieved by Kubrick include: the use of sustained tracking in Paths of Glory and again (with steadicam) in the Shining; the mesmerzing space station sequence and stargate trip of 2001; the use of a NASA satellite lens for the gorgeous candlelight interiors of Barry Lyndon; or the breathtaking risk to overexpose EXACTLY the entire processed film stock of the three-year shot Eyes Wide Shot to achieve a dream-like glow in post-production.
    The meticulously geometrical compositions of his shots is considered by many to contribute to a cold, clinical atmosphere which is compounded by characters which often depict the worse aspects of human reason at its most totalitarian and therefore monstrous. Nearly every film explores this theme, but for example take 2001, not the characters HAL or astronaut Dave Bowman, but the “character” of the ape, who, after he has taken the bones of a slaughtered pack of tapirs and fashinoned them into a weapon against a rival tribe of apes, then raises his femur bone to the sky in a triumphant ecstasy. Richard Strauss’s now famous, Also Sprach Zarathustra blares its final organ chords, and the ape hurls his bone-weapon into the sky. The camera tracks upward with the cartwheeling bone, which then cuts to a white-rectangular satillite floating through starry space and the opening bars of the delicate tremolo of Johann Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz fill the ear. Kubrick has then just accomplished one of the greatest, and profoundest, jumpcuts in the entire history of cinema.

  30. Andrew says stated that a auteur director as one who flourishes from a technical standpoint, has a unique, reoccurring style, and has deeper meanings behind their films. For the most part every director has at least one if not all these traits. I personally believe the Quentin Tarantino is a auteur director. He manages to fit gore, humor, and a a great plot into one film. He gets great angels such as the shot of Jamie Foxx hanging upside down in the movie Django. In a lot of his movies you get to know Tarantino as a not only a director, the type of person he is. Such as his famous foot shots that he seems to fit into every movie in some way. the plots for his movie are very well written and can take place in one setting with out much need to change because of the great casting, eye catching violence, and interesting story. For example in the Hateful Eight the majority of the movie took place within the same cabin except for maybe a few flash backs. Tarantino is a special director whose style cannot be mimicked and will be remembered for a very long time.

  31. According to Andrew Sarris’, an auteurs is a director the use techniques, distinct personal style within their films and with interior meaning. Christopher Nolan is one of the directors that fits into the auteurs. His themes of fear, sacrifice, chaos and pain are few examples of the type of style he creates through his films. The movie, The Dark Knight, where the joker was one of the most disturbing and intriguing characters of this film. Which is a great example of how Nolan has a unique trend through his films with fear, chaos and pain. His films have great usage of lighting within the environment creating great background and remarks shots.

  32. According to Andrew Sarris, an “auteur” is a theory that refers to a certain cinematic signature that some directors obtain through their unique technique, personal style, and interior meaning. One could argue the case that director David Fincher has established himself as an auteur. Fincher has directed such movies as Gone Girl, Fight Club, The Game, Se7en, and the recent remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In each of these films, Fincher has a way of putting the audience into a dark world of mystery, that usually leads to, at one point or another, everybody clueless to what is happening. In the movie The Game, Fincher has us asking ourselves, is this really a game or did he get himself into something far more than what he signed up for. In Fight Club, the movie takes a turn and has the audience questioning what is really happening, and who is Tyler Durgen. Some of his films commonly involve a serial killer, such as Gone Girl, Se7en, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Zodiac; or function as both a psychological thriller and/or a serial killer mystery. Fincher has this specific style of shooting in dark lighting with a combination of an overlay filter and crisp cinematography; this all compliments the dark world of mystery that he brings the audience into. Fincher has a very unique style that is easily recognized within the first few shots.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>