14. In spite of the constraints imposed by the studio system, certain directors (Hitchcock, Hawks, Kazan, Ray) could be considered true auteurs who demonstrated a consistent style, concerns and worldview across their films. Discuss in relation to at least THREE films by one relevant director.
The Auteur theory is a theory in which the director is viewed as the major creative force in a motion picture. The director is seen as the most important person adding his own personal touch to the film. This can range from a recurring technique such as camera angles, to interior meanings behind their films - a worldwide or political view. The theory arose among a group of French film critiques and directors in the 1950’s, most notably Francois Truffaut and Jean Luc Godard, who at the time where writing for a French film magazine, Cahiers du cinema. They suggested that directors were solely responsible for the outcome of the film. Truffaut went as far as to say, “There are no good and bad movies, only good and bad directors.”(1) As well as being the pioneers for the theory, they were also replicating it in their work, making them the first Auteur’s.
In 1962 Andrew Sarris dubbed the Auteur theory in an essay titled, Notes on the Auteur Theory. Like the French with Cahiers du cinema, Sarris developed his ideas on the Auteur theory through a magazine, The Village Voice. Sarris expressed his views saying, “The Auteur theory emphasizes the body of a director’s work rather than isolated masterpieces.”(2) He agrees fully with the likes of Truffaut, however expands and develops their ideas by using a system. To be a true auteur, in accordance to Sarris’s notes, you have to fulfill three central premises. The first “Is the technical competence of a director as a criterion value.”(3) The second “Is the distinguishable personality of the director as a criterion of value.”(4) And the third, “Interior meaning, the ultimate glory of the cinema as an art.”(5)...
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