Auteur Research

The word “Auteur” comes from the french word for author, In film it is also known as auteur theory which refers to a series of traits that are recuring throughout a Directors films. By analysing a film using the auteur theory we could spot several things that reflect the directors personnal world views, preferred actors/contributors, emotions and sometimes even fears. One of the best examples of this is Alfred Hitchcock (commonly known as the “Master of Suspence”), Alot of his films have recurring themes that have become his trademarks such as making cameos in his own films, mistaken or assumed identities as a plot device (North by Northwest and Psycho are examples that come to mind), Use of point of view shots and camera angles to create an aura of tension and suspence, and the casting of famous blonde actresses (usually in leading roles) such as Janet Leigh (mother of Jamie Lee Curtis).

A director will often be defined by his traits to the point where you go to see a movie simply because it has a particular director’s name attached to it (Steven Spielberg comes to mind) and you expect to see them employed. Auteur theory has also come under alot of criticism from the film industry for its lack of acknoledgement of the fact that film making is a team effort, there are many famous cinematographers and producers but auteur doesnt seem to acknowledge their contributions to the film.

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