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Textual Analysis and Genres

By ASHMANE1 Apr 13, 2013 1583 Words
Textual Analysis and Genres

Auteur theory holds that a director's film reflects the director's personal creative vision, as if they were the primary "auteur" the French word for author. In spite of—and sometimes even because of—the production of the film as part of an industrial process, the auteur's creative voice is distinct enough to shine through all kinds of studio interference and through the collective process. In law, the film is treated as a work of art, and the auteur, as the creator of the film, is the original copyright holder. Under European Union law, the film director is considered the author or one of the authors of a film, largely as a result of the influence of auteur theory.[1]Auteur theory has influenced film criticism since 1954, when it was advocated by film director and critic François Truffaut. This method of film analysis was originally associated with the French New Wave and the film critics who wrote for the French film review periodical Cahiers du Cinéma. Auteur theory was developed a few years later in America through the writings of The Village Voice critic Andrew Sarris. Sarris used auteur theory as a way to further the analysis of what defines serious work through the study of respected directors and their films. Metteur en scène is a phrase that refers to the mise en scène of a particular film director. It suggests that the director has an original aesthetic style that can be detected while watching his or her films. The term was coined by Cahiers du cinéma co-founder André Bazin, and the expanded meaning of the term was introduced by the French New Wave filmmaker and film critic, Francois Truffaut, in his essay, "A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema". Truffaut contrasted the inferior products of the metteur en scène with the work of the great director or auteur. The term was adopted and given a new meaning by the American film critic Andrew Sarris's writings on 'the auteur theory' in the early 1960s, in which metteur en scène is the second of the three categories that define a director as an auteur. The term is meant to imply that an auteur's aesthetic style can be . Kevin Smith

When given the task on writing an assignment on a film director of my own choice, no one else sprung to mind other than Kevin Smith. In my eyes Kevin smith is one of the greatest overall film makers of all time let alone film directors. Smith said in an interview with Robert. K. Elder for ‘The film that changed my life’ “It was the movie that got me off my ass; it was the movie that lit a fire under me, the movie that made me think, “Hey, I could be a filmmaker.” And I had never seen a movie like that before ever in my life.” When looking into Kevin Smith’s films I came to the conclusion that he is what we call in the film industry a ‘Auteur’ however this would not be considered to be at the beginning of his career where he was very much stuck in the hidden comic comedy genre of films such as ‘Clerks’, ‘Mallrats’ and ‘Chasing Amy’ Widely hailed as Smith's best film, Chasing Amy marked what Quentin Tarantino called "a quantum leap forward" for Smith. In these films Smith puts a lot of his life experiences into his films for example the majority of the film ‘Clerks’ is actually shot in the convenience store Smith himself worked in as a young man but as time went on Smith started to show a slightly darker side of his personality in his films such as ‘Dogma’ a film which is a hypothetical-scenario film revolving around the Catholic Church and Catholic belief, which caused organized protests and much controversy in many countries, delaying release of the film and leading to at least two death threats against Smith. Later films that showed a darker side of Smith and which began to bring him out of the comedy genre almost completely are ‘Cop Out’ a comedy action film about two American police officers and his latest film to date ‘Red State’ a film advertised as a horror film and it does very well to live up to that but the most important aspect of this film is Smith still managed to put aspects of his own life like his done many times before into his films. It is very well known that Kevin Smith has appeared in a variety of his own films usually as the much loved character silent bob however he has also appeared in films of his own as himself or just a passer-by these include films like ‘Drawing Flies’ and ‘Cop Out’. In his latest film ‘Red State’ Smith make a almost cameo appearance of a difference where right at the end you just hear his voice telling the character of Abin Cooper to “Shut the fuck up”. And because of this I have come to the conclusion that Kevin Smith is indeed a Auteur director. Clerks.

Clerks was Kevin Smith’s first feature film and in terms of a budget to gross ratio is one of the most successful films in history having had a budget of just $27,575 and grossed over $3million in theatres, launching Kevin Smith’s career. Shot in black and white some would say clerks is almost impossible to discuss in terms of lighting however I would argue that in a black and white film light can be one of the most important aspects for example in all of the scenes in the convenience store lighting had to be just right so the people in the store could actually see and that it wasn’t too dark on camera that the film would just be black. In this film Smith uses a lot of tracking shots to try and establish the surroundings of the characters and to show the empty space of the convenience store filled to the brim with useless cosmetics just like the main character Dante’s life, filled with so much experience but experience that will result to nothing more than working in a convenience store. Cop Out.

Cop Out is very much known as one of Kevin Smith’s most surprising film, although not the most successful of Smith’s film I thought Cop Out was a good choice for me because it showed Smith’s first real attempt to break out of the all cult comedy films as this is an action comedy although it has to be said that this film personally has a lot more action than most in its genre. Not too surprisingly this film wasn’t called ‘Cop Out’ originally it was however called ‘A couple of dicks’ before being changed to ‘A couple of cops’ and then of course the writers the Cullen brothers settled on what we now know it to be called ‘Cop Out’. Just like most films Cop Out uses a huge variety of shots for example tracking shots, establishing shots and over the shoulder shots etc. This is a very fast paced film with quick slick cuts from shot to shot, which of course are very well known aspects of an action film. Red State.

Red State is the latest in a long line of well-loved films from Kevin Smith however it did not arrive without its fair share of controversy because of one of the main themes of this film is an extreme catholic organisation called the five point church, a church inspired by the Westboro Baptist Church and their pastor Fred Phelps, a church that Smith himself knew people that attended it. Red State is a very dark shot film with themes including homosexuality, murder, and government corruption. The film was turned down by a number of producers but Smith decided to distribute the film himself through Lionsgate. Smith was quoted listing Mel Gibson as one of his inspirations for self-distribution, citing Gibson’s ‘The passion of the Christ’ it turned out that this would cost almost four times as much as the film itself, Smith described this as “both decadent and deadening”. Scene Analysis: “The Breakfast Club”, “Father’s Day at Bender House” This scene in my eyes is one of the most iconic scenes in the entire film of ‘The Breakfast Club’ from the director John Hughes, And I think this because at this point in the film we have just seen the character of John Bender (Judd Nelson) be a very aggressive person towards the other students and frankly in general but when we see this, We see another side to John and we see almost, why he acts the way he does, we see why he dishes out a lot of aggression towards other people. When John steps up to begin his in-film performance of father’s day at bender house we see him actually get into the character of his father, a person whom we never get to see in the film but we get a clear image of in our heads because of this scene. This is one of the very few moments we see john let down his guard just slightly only to throw it back up again when the characters of Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez) and Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall) question his story factuality. During John’s Speech we hear some quite antagonistic use of background music to help create a more effect piece of film.

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