The Auteur Hitchcock “Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen…”
What is an auteur• A filmmaker usually the director whose movies are characterized by a filmmakers creative influence
Cahiers du Cinemahttp://www.moviemags.com/main.php?title=CAHIERS %20DU%20CINEMA&etos=1956• Andre Bazin
History of Film as the history of Auteurs• Like Artists• Original work• Creative Control• Personal film language• Auteurs often start the conventions of genre, but do not follow them
Notes on the Auteur Theory by Sarris 1962 (American)• the technical competence of the director• the directors distinguishable personality (style)• and interior meaning.
The technical competence of the director• Expressionist lighting• Story telling visually in silent era• Use of the subjective camera• Dolly zoom• Clever use of montage and cutting to create tension in spite of the production code (1939- 60)
1920• It was around 1920 when Hitchcock joined the film industry, he started off drawing the sets (Since he was a very skilled artist)• Continued his apprenticeship alongside Graham Cutts at Gainsborough.• In 1925, studio head Michael Balcon dispatched Hitchcock to Germany• Saw firsthand the work of masters like F.W. Murnau
The technical competence of the director• The dolly zoom is an unsettling in-camera special effect that appears to undermine normal visual perception in film.• A dolly counter zoom is also variously known as:• Back Zoom Travelling• Smash Zoom" or "Smash Shot"• Vertigo zoom• The " Hitchcock zoom" or the " Vertigo effect"• "Hitchcock shot" or "Vertigo shot• A " Jaws shot"• A "zido"• A "zolly"• "Telescoping"• A "contra-zoom" or "trombone shot"• Push/pull• A Stretch shot• More technically as forward zoom / reverse tracking or zoom in / dolly out
Cutting and Montage• “What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out?”
the directors distinguishable personality (style)• Expressionism – form evokes emotion• Cameo appearances of the director• Narrative is often visual rather than told through dialogue• Continuous of certain actors (Cary Grant, James Stewart , Tippi Hedren, Doris Day, Joan Fontaine)• Obsessive use of the blonds• Suspense
• “Blondes make the best victims. Theyre like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.”
Suspense• Suspense is generated when the audience can see danger his characters cannot see…• "Theres no terror in the bang of the gun, only the anticipation of it."• his earlier work could create vivid terror in the mind of the viewer with very little spatter on the screen.
Expressionism• Hitchcock films are not concerned with realism or naturalism• He is interested in story telling and evoking emotional responses in his audience• “Give them pleasure the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare”
The Art of Alfred Hitchcock, Donald Spoto• Bird’s-Eye View• The Birds. They are the most prominent motif in Sabotage, and they appear in Young and Innocent (1938), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Jamaica Inn (1939), and Saboteur, and ominously presage the action in Psycho.
Self-Proclaimed fears• “I am scared easily, here is a list of my adrenaline - production: 1: small children, 2: policemen, 3: high places, 4: that my next movie will not be as good as the last one.”
Themes that are revisited• ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events,• mistaken identity,• espionage,• murder and madness.• sly wit and moments of macabre humour,• strong sexual themes,• explorations of the darkest corners of the human mind• always “Hitchcockian” suspense.
Classic films• Gerald Mast "The best American films of the present (and of the future), like those of the past, can and will succeed in transcending their immediate temporal, commercial, technological, and cultural limitations... “ (1981, p45)
Critique of the auteur It presents a canon of films made by ‘elites’ (many male auteurs)It disguises the work of others (cinematographer, art director, screen writer, editor, sound technicians …)It offers a universal view of qualityIt is a capitalist device by selling a film by virtue of it’s director
The Death of the author (Barthes, 1977, p143)• The explanation of a work is always sought in the man or woman who produced it, as if it were always in the end, through the more or less transparent allegory of the fiction, the voice of a single· person, the author confiding in us.
Barthes 1977 p148• we know that to give writing its future, it is necessary to overthrow the myth: the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author.
• http://www.alfred-hitchcock-films.net/Lodger-1926-1927.htm• The Lodger Clip from YouTube• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n52gSej7y_E• Website dedicated to Hitchcock’s work http://www.alfred-hitchcock-films.net/• Hitchcock explains about CUTTING http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG0V7EVFZt4&feature=related• Hitchcock interview from 1964 (part 1) showing his belief that pure cinema should be visual• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydvU64L758c• Dreams designed by Dalí in Spellbound (1945)• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzxlbgPkxHE• Find a text on Auteur theory at following:• http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/3185951• http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=154265816642125228#• Gerald Mast, A Short History of the Movies, 3d ed. (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Educational Publishing, 1981), 450.•• The Politics of Film Canons Author(s): Janet Staiger Source: Cinema Journal, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Spring, 1985), pp. 4-23 Published by: University of Texas Press on behalf of the Society for Cinema & Media Studies Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1225428• Barthes, R (trans. S Heath) (1977) Image, music, text, London, Fontana•• Spoto, D (1999) The Dark Side Of Genius: The Life Of Alfred Hitchcock Da Capo Press•• Spoto, D 1991 The Art of Alfred Hitchcock: Fifty Years of His Motion Pictures 2 Sub edition