Translated from the French, auteur simply means "author," butuse of the term in relation to cinema—since the 1950s at least—has caused much controversy and critical debate. The frequentretention of the French word, as auteur and in the somewhatungainly "auteurs," marks the prominent part played in thosecritical debates by French film critics.Auteur theory has influenced film criticism since 1954, when itwas advocated by film director and critic François Truffaut. Thismethod of film analysis was originally associated with the FrenchNew Wave and the film critics who wrote for the French filmreview periodical Cahiers du Cinéma. Auteur theory wasdeveloped a few years later in America through the writings ofThe Village Voice critic Andrew Sarris. Sarris used auteur theoryas a way to further the analysis of what defines serious workthrough the study of respected directors and their films
Auteur theory draws on the work of a group of cinema enthusiastswho wrote for Cahiers du Cinéma and argued that films shouldreflect a directors personal vision. They championed filmmakerssuch as Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, and Jean Renoir asabsolute auteurs of their films.. Although André Bazin, co-founderof the Cahiers, provided a forum for Auteurism to flourish, heexplained his concern about its excesses in his article "On theAuteur Theory. Another element of Auteur theory comes fromAlexandre Astrucs notion of the caméra-stylo or "camera-pen,"which encourages directors to wield cameras as writers use pensand to guard against the hindrances of traditional storytelling.
In England, the film magazine most influenced by Cahiers wasMovie which was first published in 1962. In the USA, AndrewSarris in his seminal essay Notes on the Auteur Theory, publishedin Film Culture , echoing the Cahiers critics, defined as an auteurthe director who pours his personality into his film through hisdistinctive visual techniques. However, there was an importantnovelty
Starting in the 1960s, some film critics begancriticising auteur theorys focus on theauthorial role of the director. Pauline Kael andSarris feuded in the pages of The New Yorkerand various film magazines. One reason for thebacklash is the collaborative aspect of shootinga film, and in the theorys privileging of therole of the director
A movement in French cinema in the 1960s, led bydirectors such as Jean Luc Godard and François Truffaut,that abandoned traditional narrative techniques infavour of greater use of symbolism and abstraction anddealt with themes of social alienation, psychopathology.Also called nouvelle vague.
A director that films a auteur theory will use the three main correspondingroles which are techniques- outer, personal style- middle and interiormeaning- inner.Technician – TechniquesStylist – personal styleAuteur – interior meaning
French filmmaker and critic Francois Truffaut has a major actingrole in Steven Spielbergs Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Itsan appropriate tribute by Spielberg to Truffaut, for the cinema inwhich Spielberg was to become the leading world figure was verymuch based on the notions of auteurism which Truffaut had beencentral to introducing to criticism.
Over his lengthy career, Alfred Hitchcock became known for hisdistinctive style as a film-maker. Apart from the various themeshe frequently addressed in his films such asviolence, murder, psychology and sexual allure, and the manysymbolic touches that came to be known as "Hitchcockian", hewas also very much concerned with technique - his manipulationof the elements of cinematography...* shot size* framing* composition* camera angle* camera movement* focus