Slide1 Auteur: director who has their own style that can be identified in his/her films by various 'signifying features’ E.g Quentin Tarantino - aestheticization of violence, non linear storylines, working with the same actors a lot , referencing tributes to film or comic books, long shots/takes/scenes, expressing their own world vision and way of seeing film making, and moving industry and film as an art on in some way via technical or other methods of innovation. Slide 2 The idea that the film maker uses the camera like an author would use their pen to write was first mentioned by Alexander Astruc. He saw film is an art form rather then just mass entertainment, and he thought it required artistic and academic respect. Slide 3 A group of French film makers started writing a magazine to share ideas on film and their dissatisfaction at the French film Industry., building on Alexander Astruc ideas. They created the name 'Auteur' after publishing an article called 'Les Politiques des Auteur'. Auteur meaning author. They expressed how they thought films, required respect as directors used signifying features in their film, so we know its their vision like Hitchcock and Welles. They respected films from America because at the time they referred to French film as 'Cinema du Papa' or ‘of their father’-outdated with portrayals of books and plays that were followed accurately, and were, stuck in their ways, and if the director didn't do this it was regarded as a bad film. The alternative to this type of film was Slapstick. They created this polemic (argument on paper), and created films that experimented with film making by not prioritising narrative and revealing the artificial and artistic nature of film making, the shots with the boom mic in, keeping the real sound, in order to establish how film was quite artificial.
Andrew Sarris then thought the title meant Auteur was a theory. He agreed with the French filmmakers in that he wanted there to be more academic respect for Hollywood films, as academics at the time though film was a 'lower class' medium. He set about establishing a Film canon, using the Auteur theory to measure the quality of a director and see whether they were 'worthy' of a place as an auteur in the Film Canon. For directors to achieve this acclaim, the were required to be an 'expert' in all film making, have as much control over ALL the film as possible, move film on in some way, and have the director create symbols and hidden messages in the film, so that the audience was 'clever' enough to interpret them. For example production related jokes could be included in the film, or in the case of Alfred Hitchcock, he was making cameos in all his films. Slide 5 Andrew Sarris, in contemporary times, is now regarded as mistranslating the idea by seeing it as a 'theory' and is unpopular as a theorist because he used the idea as a value judgment. Les Cahiers d Cinema as an interpretation is seen as the most favorable. Auteurship as a theory is limited though as it only sees films as the directors creation, when it’s a group activity and perceives film just as an art form and not as industry or social practice. It also ignores the position and input of the audiences. Slide 6 Ridley Scott is an English director and producer who is 74 years old. Ridley was born on the 30th of November 1937. He has made some big hits like ‘Gladiator’ (2000) and ‘American Gangster’ (2008). Ridley Scott studied in ‘Grangefield Grammer’ school from 1954-1958, ‘West Hartlepool College Of Art’ where he got a Diploma in Design. When Ridley Scott first started directing he was an admirer of Stanley Kubrick. In 1968 Ridley and Tony Scott founded Ridley Scott Associate a film and commercial production company in which five members of Scott’s family work as directors. In Ridley Scott's films over 50% of the actors he has worked with come from elite drama school’s and theatre such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Globe Theatre, The Old Vic and the National Theatre in London. Ridley Scott uses these actor's because he feels they
bring a bigger presence to the screen. He is also a fan of using Russell Crowe. Slide 7 Critical Approaches In terms of defining audiences with Ridley Scott, his audience is already defined by the genre he works in which is primarily epic films. However that is not to say that Ridley Scott does not have a hand in defining and profiling his own audience as he has had a massive impact on the modern day epic genre, and some people that are into epic films like them because of Scott’s films. I would say that Ridley Scott’s audience is primarily mainstreamers and succeeders, as his films are hugely popular and have some big celebrities in particularly Russel Crowe. Scott’s films are mostly watched by males in terms of audience profiling however they do attract females because of the romantic element. They are not restricted by location, age or race, however some of his films could offend some religions like Muslims if Scott showed them in a negative way in films such as ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. However I don’t think he does. The majority of the audiences that watch Scott’s films have a preferred reading as most reviews of his films are positive and are interpreted as he intends. They always also do well at the box office. In terms of narrative Scott’s films are always multi-strand as they have a number of different events that happen throughout the story and there is always a lot going on from action fighting scenes to romance and comedy moments. The majority of the time his films are built around the classic Hollywood narrative, with a clear beginning, middle and end and most of the time they start off with some sort of equilibrium, then there is a problem, a stage of how they are solving the problem whether it would be a quest or a goal of some sort, and then finally the goal seems to be reached and a lot has changed as the story ends with a new equilibrium but everything is how it should be as if now the world is a better place. The cultivation theory is a theory that I think applies to Scott’s films as it says the more people watch the media the more likely they are to develop certain views of the world and I think when people see his films they could possibly be slightly influenced by certain views he might hold about the world which might not necessarily have been what they thought before but after seeking his films they might be more likely to agree with his views for example in ‘Prometheus’ people might start to believe that, it was the way people were created and that the thing that created us will eventually destroy us. The uses and gratification theory can also be used to explain audience response to his work as this argues that all people read the media differently based on their personality and their belief system and the media can enhance their k understanding and believes but not change the believes acquired from
life experiences. This could explain why people have a mixed reaction to Scott’s films and they all respond differently. However mostly its positively so a lot of people could potentially have had some of the same life experiences as Scott. Slide 8
As Scott is an auteur he has a number of signifying features that are present throughout his films. These include: use of close-up’s, shoots on location with vast backdrops, Russell Crowe main actor, 50% of actors/actresses used in Scott’s films are from professional acting schools and theatres, use of establishing shots, use of pan shots (especially when establishing, and use of music by Hanz Zimmer. Scott uses a lot of close-up’s in his film primarily to show characters facial expression which allows the audience to understand how the characters are reacting to different situations. Scott uses a lot of close-up’s in ‘Kingdom Of Heaven’ so we can see how Balian is feeling due in and after a battle, they are also used in scene’s like the argument in the throne room so we as the audience can see how all the tension is effecting the characters. Scott also uses close-up’s in ‘American Gangster’ while people are having conversations so we can see how they are reacting to each other for example in the scene where Frank Lucas shoots his rival drug dealer. Scott shoots on location and uses vast and lavished backdrops to make his films look more realistic and aesthetically pleasing. Scott is able to do this because he works on a lot of high budget films. For example ‘American Gangster’ was filmed on location in Harlem New York city, Bronx New York city and Brooklyn New York city. ‘Kingdom Of Heaven’ was also shot on location in Aragon Spain, Ouararzazate Morocco, and Andalucia Spain. Scott’s main actor that he uses is Russell Crowe this is because Scott likes his acting style and they work together. Crowe has been used in 25% of the films Scott has directed such as ‘Gladiator’, ‘American Gangster’, ‘Body Of Lies’ and ‘Robin Hood’. All of the actors/actresses Scott has worked with or hired 50% of them have come from elite drama schools such as: The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Globe Theatre, The Old Vic, and The National Theatre in London, Scott does this as he feels they bring a big presence to the screen. Scott also uses a lot of music composed by Hanz Zimmer for his films such as ‘Black Hawk Down’, ‘Thelma And Louise’, and ‘Gladiator’