Auteur Theory Discussion Questions

Answer the 2 questions below and reply to each student.

Student Reply must be over 200 words.

Make sure all student replies you start it with Hello (Student Name),

Please upload each question in different word documents.

Question 1:

As you prepare to write this discussion, take a few moments to do the following:

  • Review the Modeled Discussion.
  • Read any required and recommended reading materials for this week, especially Chapter 9 from the text.

Review the grading rubric for this discussion

Auteur theory in film suggests not only that a director is the primary author of a film, but also that the film must be analyzed within the context of the director’s other films. Directors create certain expectations with their films much in the same way authors create certain expectations with their writing. Are there directors whose work you always recognize when you see it? What qualities bind their works together?

As you construct your initial post, focus on the importance of auteur theory in film analysis and interpretation.

  • Name a director who you would consider an auteur and explain your reasoning.
  • Discuss the arguments against auteur theory and provide examples to support your points.

Examine how the auteur theory influences audiences and critics, using examples from film criticism, film marketing campaigns, and your own personal experience.

Include the name of the director you identified in the “Subject” line of your discussion. Your initial post should be at least 200 words in length. Support your claims with examples from the required material(s) and/or other scholarly sources, and properly cite any references.

Student Reply 1: Matthew Williams

One famous director and idol of mine who I would view as an auteur is Spike Lee.

Auteur is the French word for author and when applied he is truly the director that paints the film in his own personal vision (Goodykoontz, Jacobs, 2014, Sec. 9.3). Though he was born in Atlanta, GA. He is well known for his love of the city of New York through his love for the New York Knicks. He was a major part in many movies such as School Daze, Malcolm X, and Crooklyn. The film that I will focus on is Crooklyn. Obviously the name of the movie is stemmed from the city in New York “Brooklyn”. Lee’s love for the city of New York and his knowledge of the city was evident in this film. Aside from only doing so in the name of the movie he painted his experiences in the city in this movie. Many of which he personally experienced and from stories of those close to him.

The biggest argument against the Auteur Theory is basically that it give the director too much power. When the theory is in affect it really drowns out others that are trying to do their job in making the film. For example it cuts out a lot of the screenwriters job whos job is to put the story or vision into his or her own words (Goodykoontz, Jacobs, 2014). When a director is an Auteur this could cause controversy with the screenwriters ideas and views being made irrelevant.

The Auteur Theory influences the film a lot when it gets criticized. There have been instances when a film has been criticized badly and the director passes blame on the screenwriter. How can the blame be passed when this Theory drowns his or her opinions completely out? Personally I believe that the film “Crooklyn” was better because Spike Lee had so much of an influence on the film. However, that is an opinion and very may well could have been better if the this Theory was not as used.

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

Student Reply 2: Shannon Jackson

Auteur theory posits that the director is indeed the author of the film, imprinting it with his personal vision (Goodykoontz, Jacobs, 2014 sec. 9.3 chapter 9) I would consider Spike Lee an auteur. Spike lee’s films are always African American centered and driven around subjects that needs to be heard including politics, race, and controversial subjects. His films are creative and with a personal style that is exclusive to his films and film directing. Viewers can automatically tell when a film has been directed by spike lee. Many disagree with the auteur theory because it reinvents itself, rather to caters to a unique style or writing and directing. Auteur theory influences audiences and critics by judging the film directors a film director may or may not agree of the film or directors or writers’ content of the film. Those not in agreeance with the film or film director’s choice of the film may market ads, television commercials or ads disagreeing with the film, trying to discredit the talent of the film maker. From my point of view the auteur theory makes it easier for me to have an idea of what a film is about, because of the familiarity of the director and or writer of that film.

Reference:

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

Question 2:

As we have been discussing, the mise en scène of a film is the use of a variety of design elements to create the visual theme. As you prepare to write this discussion, take a few moments to do the following:

  • Read any required and recommended reading materials for this week, referring back to Chapter 5 (Mise en Scene and Actors).
  • Review the grading rubric for this discussion.

Select a full-length film from the AFI 10 Top 10 list (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

Mise en scène refers to different technical elements used in making a film such as lighting and sound, both of which you have already analyzed in this course. The term also encompasses the role of actors in a film, their physical positioning and movements within the frame, as well as the different styles and types of acting.

You can classify an acting category using only one film as reference, but these categories are subject to change. Each new role helps to clarify or shift an actor’s designation. Do some actors always fall into the same category? How can actors change from category to category? Does genre have any effect on the acting styles present in a given film?

Using specific examples from your chosen film, write an initial post of at least 200 words which should

  • Identify three actors from your film and classify each according to the acting category listed in your text.
  • Explain your reasons for classifying the actors as you do. Use specific references to the film and pay special attention to how these decisions impacted characterization. Also, consider the impact of any realistic or stylized portrayals within the film.

Focus on one of the actors you’ve discussed. Based on other films the actor has been in, would this actor always be placed in the same category? If so, what does this say about the category or actor? If not, what can you infer about the flexibility of these categories? Provide evidence (references from other films, including film clips and stills) to support your argument.

You must use at least two outside sources, in any combination of embedded video clips, still photos, or scholarly sources. All sources should be documented in APA style as outlined by the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

Student Reply 1: Zachary Huff

The film that I chose to write about is called Alice in Wonderland

Johnny Depp- Method Acting

Method Acting is requiring that actors draw on their own memories and experiences to meet the heart of the character. Johnny Depp plays in a lot of different films. In many of his films, he portrays himself to be a mad type of character for example, Edward Scissorhands, Jack Sparrow, and for this case the one and only mad hatter. When it comes to acting he takes his experience from all the different rolls that he plays and puts it towards being better at the next roll to take.

Anne Hathaway-Method Acting

Just as Johnny Depp, Anne is a very well known actor. She plays in many films many of which portray her to be proper and queen like. For example, she plays Mia, the princess of Genovia in the Princess Diaries or her role in Les Misérables, however, in Alice in Wonderland she plays the White Queen who is very proper and always stands up straight. She takes what she has experience and learned and put it into her characters.

Helena Bonham Carter- Stylized Acting

Stylized Acting is used when actors and directors want to call attention to the fact that the actor is indeed acting. Helena plays the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland and much of how she is portrayed in that film is a way that many can tell that she is acting. There isn’t an individual that would make the decisions she makes are act the way that she does in the film. However, she could also be a realism acting by revealing the emotions that she has throughout the film.

As mentioned above, Johnny Depp plays in many films and much of those films he plays a mad character one not mentioned was Sweeny Todd. Butchering people into pies. Not all films that he plays in include a mad individual and I do believe that he is very capable of playing different acting types in the films not only from his experience but his personality as well.

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

Student Reply 2: Curt Lyons

I decided to pick the movie Alien from 1979. The three actors I picked are Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, and John Hurt. I would label them all as method actors for the most part in this film. You might be able to say Realism just with some of the interactions and dialog portions but I would say method. “Method requires that actors draw on their own memories and experiences to reach the heart of a character, so that they more genuinely feel the emotions they’re portraying instead of just pretending to.” (Goodykoontz & Jacobs 2014 sec.5.4 chapter 5). Although there are really no real-life experiences that you can draw upon to teach you how to act when a little alien pops out of someone’s chest, I don’t think these actors really could fall in any other category when talking about this movie or any other for that matter.

The one actor I would focus on is Tom Skerritt. I think I would place him in pretty much the method acting area. He has never really had a crazy over the top role. He always plays a more serious guy. The clip below is what I think I will always his best role Viper from Top Gun and how he was no nonsense no games type of guy in that movie and that’s how I see him in most his roles. I don’t think it really says anything about an actor as much as what the audience likes to see from that actor. Doesn’t really mean he can’t play the role it’s just we have been used to seeing them one way and that’s what we like. I think there are some actors that can easily do different styles and it works out just fine, but I don’t think he is one. Ill use the Dumb and Dumber starts for example, Jim Carrey is one that I think must stick with the stylized acting the Ace Ventura’s, Liar Liar, and The Mask. When he went away from that and tried Number 23 and The Majestic it just wasn’t the same. When he moves away from that its just not the same. But then you have guys like Jeff Daniels who can pull off a role like Harry Dunn in dumb and dumber or Travis Gornicke in RV and then go right into a serious role like Teddy Sanders in the Martian where he was the director of NASA or Col. Chamberlain in Gettysburg and do both great.

Goodykoontz, B., & Jacobs, C. P. (2014). Film: From watching to seeing (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/

IDMb. (2016) Retrieved From: http://imdb.com/title/tt00078748/

 

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