Auteur theory and Hitchcock FS4


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Auteur theory and Hitchcock FS4

  1. 1. Auteur Theory
  2. 2. FS3 - coursework  The small-scale research project requires you to produce a presentation script (1000 – 1500 words)  The research will stem from on of the following topics:  A star/performer  Genre – this may focus on a single genre or a range of genres  Technology – focusing on the impact or development of a particular technology.  Institutional – this may focus on a national cinema context  Auteur – focusing on the auteur, either individual, collaborative
  3. 3. What’s Auteur all about?            Auteur theory was articulated in the 1950s by French film critics including Francois Truffaut (later went on to direct) The concept describes the mark of a film director also known as the author who has control over: thematic or stylistic consistencies personal aesthetic vision recurring themes established technique a defined view of the world and a significant degree of control over production. The works of an auteur director are stamped by the personality and unique artistic vision of its creator Their films are recognisable and distinctive because of their specific style In auteur films, it is the director who controls the artistic statement, takes credit for the film and is responsible for attracting the audience.
  4. 4. Who can you name         Can you think of any directors who have very distinct styles E.g. M. Night Shyamalan who often writes, produces, directs and acts in his very mysterious films such as: The Sixth Sense Unbreakable The Village The Happening Signs Lady in the Water
  5. 5. Alfred Hitchcock  Some consider his Auteur status to be:  the master of mystery and suspense  his films play with the audience's nerves  sexual or tabooed areas assume central or implicit places in his work  there is a persistent element of black comedy,  eccentric characterisations.  Hitchcock was influenced by the German Expressionists, and admired their ability "to express ideas in purely visual terms“  It is this visual expression of thought and psychology that Hitchcock achieves throughout his films.
  6. 6. Hitchcock and cinematic technique  His technical signature includes:  use of camera viewpoints  elaborate editing  soundtrack to build suspense  He also places great focus on the creation of set pieces where he is able to exercise his talent for detail and suspense.
  7. 7. Rear Window - MacGuffin            Rear Window makes great use of Hitchcock’s concept of the MacGuffin Something pursued by characters in the film but having little meaning to the audience or relevance to the film except as a plot contrivance. Common examples are: money, victory, glory, survival, a source of power, a potential threat, a mysterious but highly desired item or object, or simply something that is entirely unexplained.
  8. 8.     The MacGuffin is common in films, especially thrillers. Usually the MacGuffin is the central focus of the film in the first act, and then declines in importance as the struggles and motivations of characters play out. It may come back into play at the climax of the story, but sometimes the MacGuffin is actually forgotten by the end of the story. What is this film’s MacGuffin and how is it used? Here is a hint: in this film the MacGuffin is an action, not a physical object.
  9. 9. Rear Window - Voyeurism A recurring psychological theme in Hitchcock’s films is voyeurism—  deriving pleasure, particularly sexual pleasure, from watching rather than doing  this theme is more overt in Rear Window than in other Hitchcock films.  Rear Window is filmed entirely from the apartment and mostly Jeffries POV.