Monday, March 31, 2008

Movie Mondays #5: The Auteur Theory

The auteur theory has long been associated with the French New Wave and the critics who wrote for the Cahiers du cinema, a 1950's film review publication.

What is the auteur theory exactly?

Simply put, it states that the director should be the "author" of a film. It is the director's vision that is realized using the various elements that comprise a film (script, cinematography, production design, acting, editing, sound, and music). Hence, a film becomes easily recognizable as the work of a certain director because his style or the elements that he likes to use are peppered throughout the film, the same way that we recognize a painting as the work of a particular painter because of the paint that is used, the subject that was chosen, the strokes that were employed, and the style of the painting.

In this day and age where it's all about the box-office earnings, is there still room for the auteur? Here are three directors who were able to keep their vision intact despite the pressure of having a big opening day weekend:

1. Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire, Say Anything) - Music always plays an integral part in his films, the lovable loser is the central character, and the Big Sister character is always present.

2. Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sweeney Todd) - The colors in his films are almost always black, white, and red, the main character suffers alienation, and Johnny Depp always plays that main character.

3. Woody Allen (Manhattan, Crimes & Misdemeanors, Annie Hall) - The setting is always New York, the main character is always a neurotic Jew, and he plays the main character most of the time.

Can you think of other directors who have a distinct style that almost always translates into their films?

Digg this

No comments: