I am very interested in auteurs and Auteur Theory. I’d like to look more deeply into the theory through research. Still looking for specific sources, but think film studies texts and articles- there are a ton of entries in Pittcat when you search “auteur theory.” Most are encyclopedias, but there seem to be some articles and even book chapters dedicated to the topic.
Specific search- left here so I don’t lose it!
I want to explore the history of the theory and trace it’s meaning throughout film history. I also want to look deeply into the controversy surrounding the theory. Some people ascribe fully to the idea, while others may completely disagree with it, and others may recognize the idea of an “auteur” without considering themselves one. Because auteur is really a self-label, it is important to look at who is using the term to describe themselves. Auteur is basically an identity- so we must look closely at who “can” and who “cannot” identify as such and who makes the rules surrounding this.
Who are the major auteurs? These would be filmmakers who market themselves as a brand, whose movies are linked together in some way, whether through style and/or genre or other elements. Please comment if you can think of any… I’m trying to make a list of some auteurs that we may be aware of.
I will focus on three auteurs that we have discussed/that I thought of. I will watch (at least) 3 each of their films and focus on what makes them similar and how auteur theory fits with their style of filmmaking. I will also focus on gender and sexuality in the films. Though not all of the films may feature gender and sexuality as major themes, they will all have elements of both that can be discussed. I’d like to compare the major female characters (if there are any) of the films and see how each auteur treats them differently.
First, Alfred Hitchcock. He represents the “classic” auteur. I’m not sure which films I’ll watch, but I’m thinking Psycho, Rebecca, and one other. My parents have EVERY Hitchcock movie ever, so I’ll borrow the films from them. Any ideas on the third Hitchcock film? I’m interested in not only his films themselves, but also how they function in the cannon of classic film- clearly, these are different from films today, just as Hitchcock was part of a different age of directors.
Second, Pedro Almodovar. As we first discussed auteur theory in terms of his film, I felt like he would be a good one to include. Not to mention that I really want to watch more of his films anyway! I’m going to use All About My Mother, Bad Education, and Volver at this point, but that may change. He also represents the non-Hollywood/American director, so that will make an interesting comparison to the other 2 American directors.
Third, Tim Burton. One of my favourites, and pretty much the first director to come to mind when I was brainstorming other auteurs. Though his career has spanned the decades, he is still quite contemporary, releasing films every year. He also has an interesting relationship with certain actors (Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp) that seems to be similar between all three auteurs that I’ve picked (Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart and Almodovar and Penelope Cruz). Not sure which 3 films to watch here either. Probably Big Fish, Sweeney Todd, and maybe Corpse Bride. With Burton, the branding is extremely interesting- certain movies that are known as “Tim Burton Movies” were not actually directed by him- think Nightmare Before Christmas. I want to explore this.
I anticipate that readings from class will include “Approaching Almodovar” by Epps and Kakoudaki and “Performing Disidentifications” by Jose Munoz and the readings from the Rope class.
I’ll be writing the longer paper and attempting my very first Prezi presentation!
A film about auteurs? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0159259/ The Auteur Theory
Maybe I’ll watch this too…