Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Film Theory

Film Theory 

Aueter(french for author) usually a film maker 
Control over a cultural object

alfred hitchkock 
stanley kubrick 
jean-luc Goddard

Cahiers du cinema New Wave

Celebrated the director as the author
celebrated the idea of a studio system , e.g. hollywood studios

History of Aueters - serious directer
creative control
film language that it is personal to them
often start the conventions of the genre but don't follow them

Saris 1962 ,, what is it that makes an Aueter
The technical competence of the director- understands technology
the directors distinguishable style
deeper interior meaning 

Long career, started right at the start
first films silent brittish
worked in europ and america
innovative, visual as there is no sound
master of suspense
and the reception of the audience
American Slasher, Italian Giallo or the psychological thriller
inspired by avante grade expressionism, surrealism but still attracted mainstream audiences

Expressionist lighting
story telling visually in a silent era
use of the subjective camera ( aligning points of view to characters)
dolly zoom
clever use of montage and create cutting tension in spite of the production code 1939-60 

Hitchcock join the film industry
art director background in art
Gainsborough, expressionism 
1925, sent to Germany , leaders in expressionist film

Nosferatu 1922 , A scene from FW Murnau's 
Frightening at the time 

The Lodger - a story of london fog 1927 , Directed , Foggy London, Shadows inspired by european arts.

Problem solving The Lodger, swaying chandeliers, man walking across the floor , filmed a man walking on glass with the camera underneath- innovation

Subjective Camera Shots , champagne 1928, putting the vision into the same as the audience, 

Jamaica Inn , looking through a hole, a repeated theme in hitchcocks films , 
Dolly Zoom ,, Vertigo (masterpiece) shows the mans fear of heights 
Feeling of distance, severe angles to see scale 

"What is drama but the life with the dull bits cut out "- Hitchcock
Cutting and Montage 
Storyboard 1960 
Seconds of film, era of the code , fragments everything to fit in with the code
Impressionistically , Little snippets, Shadow 

Orchestration, Loud and soft notes , audience aware there is a monster so are already apprehensive , scale camera angles far away and close up , using the size of the image to create shock

Pure cinema tics, assembly of the film itself, can put other things in place 

Personality own style
expressionism- emotioon, fear repulsion suspense anxiety, darker emotions
cameo appearance of the director always in his films
camera is often telling the story uninterested n lots of dialogues, 
Cary Grant James Stewart Tippi Hedren Doris Day 
Hitchcock Blondes
When the hair is up sexual repression hair down liberated
 “Blondes make the best victims. They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.”

•Suspense is generated when the audience can see danger his characters cannot see…

•"There's no terror in the bang of the gun, only the anticipation of it."

•his earlier work could create vivid terror in the mind of the viewer with very little spatter on the screen.

•Hitchcock films are not concerned with realism or naturalism

•He is interested in story telling and evoking emotional responses in his audience
• “Give them pleasure the same pleasure they have when they wake up from a nightmare”

Interested in story telling over acted to create real emotions

Vertigo , watching, vision sight 
Trauma the mind , and effects causing behaviours
madness , mental sanity 

spy on my wife, voyuerism , subjective view what the character is seeing 

doubling up ,, profile of madeline blonde hair , main character is watching her 
hair like the painting she believes the painting is her ,, 
Their true name is Sequoia sempervirens- always green, ever living constantly repeated
Suicide of madeline , scottie becomes madness, dream scene shows this decent.
Animation. surreal 
Abstract to evoke mind set , coloured filters 

Judy dressed in green, uncanny to madeline
madeline lives again ? rebirth reliving green filter , 
Judy transforms into Madeline 

Colour used expressionistically and symbolically

Cameo in vertigo 

Deeper meaning is eternal life. 
David O Selznick introduces him to psychoanalysis (popular in ameraica, Sigmund Freuid )
Rebecca 1940 
Spellbound 1945 
Notorious 1946

Collaboration with Salvador Dali
Cut eyeball is shown with scissors not graphically due to restrictions at the time , problem solving

Birds Eye View 
The Birds, motif to show fear and doom , he did make a film The birds 

Self Proclaimed Fears
“I am scared easily, here is a list of my adrenaline - production: 1: small children, 2: policemen, 3: high places, 4: that my next movie will not be as good as the last one.”
Certain Themes Revisited
•ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events,
• mistaken identity,
•murder and madness.
•sly wit and moments of macabre humour,
• strong sexual themes,
• explorations of the darkest corners of the human mind
• always “Hitchcockian” suspense.
•relationship between order and chaos
- search for identity
- existential anxiety, free will
- guilt, transference of guilt
- death drive, other themes from Freudian psychology
- relationship between the sexes
- relationship between a spectator and an image
•projection of guilt and desire,

•nature of cinema

Gerald Mast "The best American films of the present (and of the future), like those of the past, can and will succeed in transcending their immediate temporal, commercial, technological, and cultural limitations... “ (1981, p45)

even though the world changes there are things in classic films we can refer to and keep looking back on them.

It presents a canon of films made by ‘elites’ (many male auteurs)
Only one women director has won an oscar for best director, for the HurtLocker.
It disguises the work of others (cinematographer, art director, screen writer, editor, sound technicians …) 
Hitchcock's wife worked on every film with him yet she is not celebrated.
It offers a universal view of quality
It is a capitalist device by selling a film by virtue of it’s director, sells because its the director not the film.
E.g. Steven Speilberg attached to films of lesser quality to sell them 

•The explanation of a work is always sought in the man or woman who produced it, as if it were always in the end, through the more or less transparent allegory of the fiction, the voice of a single· person, the author 'confiding' in us.
Is it up to Hitchcock or is it up to us ? The Death of the Author Barthes 1977

The sign of a clever aueter is the disguise of the thousands of people who help to make the film. 

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