Sunday, March 31, 2019
Auteur Theory and Jean Luc GoddardÃ¢â¬â¢s Work
Auteur Theory and dungaree Luc Goddards WorkIntroductionThe word auteur simply heart and soul executionor however the auteur theory as devised by Andrew Sarris indicates a fashion of edition and appraisal of flashs by examining the imprint of the author of the execute, generally the whileaging managing managing director. Sarris purposes this theory to arrange the work of directors on the basis of three separate criteria (a) technical competency (b) stylistic identity and (c) the communicability of their conceptionview, and on this basis, Sarris examines the work of directors and estimates their worth.(Wells and Hakanen, 1997313). Keller points emerge that the auteur theory or la politique stilbestrol auteurs whitethorn be summarized as the ack promptlyledgement of the director as the primary and shaping force behind any charter. (Keller 1930).The term, politque des auteurs was coined by Francois Truffaut, who realized that American managing directors often worked indoors strictly delineate parameters in reference to the kinds of look ats and the scripts they could direct, since these were often predetermined and allowed the directors little room to experiment with their protest ideas. Yet, despite these restrictions, some directors often(prenominal) as Hitchcock were able to execute a personal dash that was uniquely their own.The role of the director is to arrange all the elements of production and its various stages, which ultimately affects the quality of the final product. The caprice of the Director being the true author of a consume preenoff emerged through the views of Andrew Sarris, who cracked the view that over the course of preparation of several pullulates, a director whitethorn reveal authoritative come ab tabu typeistics of styles or themes, which argon alike his or her personal signature or bid upon the film, identifying it unco as their product.In special(prenominal), where some directors atomic number 1 8 concerned, some recurring themes may occur in all their working, or their work may show up a particular conception view or personal sight that becomes obvious through their work. The auteur theory is especially relevant and of the essence(p), as licence through the work of Directors such(prenominal) as Jean Luc Goddard, because they bear the app arnt personal imprint of the author, despite the plethora of external market and goodness pressures that may fashion the final products.The aim of this study is to examine the works of French Director Jean Luc Goddard from the perspective of the auteur theory, in pronounce to sleep with the unique thread that underlies this directors work. Through an examination of tetrad films, Une femme est une femme, Vivre Sa Vie, Le Mepris and a bout de souffl, the unique elements in Godards films which set him apart from other directors ar identified. agree to MacCabe (2003), Godard is whiz of the nearly important European artists of the last 50 years and the most important French poet of the twentieth century, because of the intensity of this extraordinary mans commitment to cinema. Godards films demonstrate innovation and evolution, yielding cinematic proficiencys that involve evolved through several antithetic aesthetic forms. As Keller (1930) points out, Godards films devote passed through various stages that have deviated from traditional Hollywood reference points and demonstrating several contrary forms of experimentation that gleam his own view of life and the events that transpire within it.For object littleon, Godards pick of black and white, his unabashed transmission of blatantly political views in his films and his use of a film making style that incorporates several polar elements such as narrative cadenzas, historical scrutiny, visual poem, literary citation, all the same overall containing these within a dominant put of contemplation. Keller (1930) besides corroborates the views of MacCabe (2003) that Godard make films of great beauty and complexity, which just now evolved over time into greater and some(prenominal)(prenominal) complex works of art with the passage of time.Cinematic technique in Godards filmsGodards films in effect atomic number 18 a opinionated jobion on the nonion of reflexivity in cinema. A work of art such as a film can demonstrate a distance from fair playfulness it can be nonp atomic number 18il in which the work appears to turn concealment and speak about itself. It heightens the sense in the watchman that what is being viewed is not veracity itself, hardly that there is a world that exists beyond what is vie out on the screen.In most of his films, Godard is able to establish a clear distinction between the execution and engagement as portrayed through the events of the film as contend to in achievement or disengagement from the film, which allows the process of meditating about the events (Keller 1930). The reflexiv ity infixed in Godards work is one of the recurring caliberistics that climbs once much and again in his films. He repeatedly uses alternative frames of reference to present the write up in his films.The film Vivre Sa Vie is about a muliebrity Anna who was much loved, yet Godard creates a cinematic portrait of this woman through means other than the direct visual image he relies upon the airfieldive put through that a stunner willing gain about the typesetters case that is the root word of the film. He uses interviews, chapter headings, letter writing, philosophical conversations as well as interpret aloud from several texts, all of which form the pigboattext from which the sweetheart arrive ats a amiable picture of the woman the film is about. Godard pieces together all these various disparate fragments together like a collage in order to derive an image of unity, a mental picture that will be different in each spectator pumps mind depending upon their individual p erceptions.For example, at the beginning of the film, as the credits play out, the profile of the cause Nana appears on the screen yet the audience is not allowed to see this woman clear because her face is in profile and she appears in a half hit, follow shot which renders facial clarity difficult. A quote from Montague offers a denotive context, suggesting the rich subtext that is to play out during the film. The character is shot from behind, and the television camera pans for a quick min to snatch a furtive glimpse of her in the mirror yet this glimpse is almost like an intrusion and the camera moves aside quickly as if it has engaged in the forbidden act of stealing her image.This technique recurs throughout the film the make love of the viewer of the character of Nana is through the referential frame of others, never by view the character directly. The films assumes the air of an almost-documentary the discourse creates the subjective impression of the character whic h the audience will gather based upon the brief glimpses and information it receives about her information that is presented like a record of events in a documentary.The referential frame is evident as her emotional re feat to Carl Dreyers La passion de Jeanne dArc and her identification with the virtuoso is discussed, Godard appears to be injecting historical realities side by side with the narration about Nana to further accentuate the impression of a documentary and thereof human beings. The end of the film shows Nana permiting with her head and shoulders against a wall, framed against a photograph, while her husband reads out aloud a poem by Poe titled The Oval Portrait, which is the story of a mans obsession with his wife. The entire story progresses as a painting of Nana is in process, until at the end of the film, the painter draws ski binding and the subject of his painting Nana is dead.In this counsel, Godard not only highlights the dangers of an obsessive love he challenges the audience to think about the female protagonist in a manner that is different from the normal filmic view. He distances the protagonist from the viewer and allows a more subjective know to be gained, which will be different in the case of each viewer. The app arnt reality of the character as presented by her husband is further challenged at the end of the film as the audience notes in shock that she is dead.The filmic technique of reflexivity may also be noted in Godards film Le Mepris, in which the director sought to present the appearance of a film-within-a-film. For instance, Godard deviates from the standard word-painting of credits on the screen, rather the credits are spoken and Godard himself appears later(prenominal) in two mise en scenes of the film dealing with the Odyssey. Was it Godard himself who spoke the credits since the voices are so equivalent? (Marie 199082).The viewer never knows, however it serves to establish a link in the viewers mind betwee n one section of the film dealing with the Odyssey films and the other which deals with the non-Odyssey aspects.(Leutrat 198971). The cinematic technique of a film occurring within a film is heightened by a scene where Godards cameraman is seen helming some other camera that is pitiful towards the camera which is doing the positive filming. The impression thus created in the viewers mind is one of a simultaneous presence by Godard and his cameraman both on screen and off screen.The referential function is also evident in the film a bout de souffl. There is a series of filmic action and events that occur, yet at the same time, there is also a repeat set of events depicted that speak about the film and appear to offer an outside view that is distinct from the events taking situate within the film. For example, in one of the shots, the character Belmondo in the film passes by a impression billhook, which reads to live dangerously which is in reference to Aidrichs W Seconds to loo ny bin (Andrew 1987148). A few scenes later, the filmic action occurs against the cathode-ray oscilloscope of another film poster this time one of Humphrey Bogart in the film The Harder they fall. There is a suggestion that the character is moving in dangerous terrain and the posters in the background serve in the nature of a comment occurring off screen, disunited from the events of the film and yet offering an observation on it.There are more such references from films and theatre that occur in the film for example as the film moves into its concluding segment, the character of J.P. Melville in the film makes an spoken reference to Cocteaus testament dOrphee. Subsequently, the character of Jean Seberg runs away from a detective inside a theater that is playing Premingers Whirlpool she is able to successfully escape the detective. After this, she runs with Belmondo into yet another theatre and in this instance, it is Boettichers Westbound .The association of movie action with po sters and scenes from films and theatre which symbolize certain kinds of events results in a degree of irreality being accorded to the final moments of Godards film itself. For example, when the death of a character occurs at the end of the film, the audience tends to view it through the referential frame of the movies and posters that have been viewed, so that it is not tragedy, pity and fear that is inspired in the viewer but rather a feeling of filmic inevitability, as if the character has been absorbed into the referential frame of filmic reality and immortality rather than the tragic reality that is playing out on screen.Godard successfully employs this technique of standing back from the film itself and offering a narration, observation or comment on the film that is outside the primary(prenominal) frame of reference of the film. This is one of the recurring characteristics in all his films and is line with the Brechtian theory of alienation. Brechts assumptions were that we as charitable beings, are isolated from the world around us through the manner of language we use for instance, which is not in line with our actual experiences of the world but in effect, proceeds along a different path, objectifying the world rather than allowing it to develop out of our subjective experiences. This tends to isolate us in an area where our objective knowledge and manner of facial expression in an objective world is in sharp seam to the subjective experiences we may gain.Brecht characterizes this as follows Alienation is nothing but a representation, that is making noticeable of estrangement. (Ludwig 197220). Brecht suggests that the only way by which humans can disassociate themselves from this process of alienation is to withdraw and separate ourselves from this alienated experience in order to fall apart a more subjective way and unspoilt way to experience things and reflect upon them.Godard is able to accomplish this feat of withdrawal from the so called r eality of the film and the objective use of language in order to stand back and assess experiences in a more subjective manner, relying more upon the true response of the senses to the product rather than the kind of response that man has been conditioned to give based upon his subjective training in the world.Godards career is characterized by the exploration of realism and film style. For Godard, there is not reality and then the camera there is reality seized at this moment and in this way by the camera (MacCabe, 200379). In discussing his interest in the depiction of reality as it actually is experienced, rather than a fictive image conjured up for a viewer, Godard himself explains that he enjoys visiting a theme, place or subject after others have lost interest in it and the drama associated with it has faded, in order to capture the reality of the event as it exists (Bonnaud, 2005). He points out how images on television are manipulated, thereby contradicting the impression that the facts speak for themselves as depicted on the camera.One example he cites is the depiction by television cameras of the exterior or the Credit Lyonnais marge while providing a voice over narration of the scandals that had brewed within those walls. According to Godard, such images are meaningless because they portray nothing of the reality of events at all (Bonnard, 2005). In most of his films, the locations in Godards films are driveways, hotel cortege and large stretches of barren fields, which provides an effective and realistic backdrop that reflects the grim realities of his characters lives, providing them the set to meditate and contemplate on their transient mortality (Dixon, 1998). His films are interlinking with references to holy literature, as in Odyssey in Le Mepris and La sexual love de Jeanne du Arc, the works of Edgar Allen Poe and Montague, yet all these provide the viewer the opportunity to reflect upon the deeper philosophical truths that underlie an apparent cinematic reality.In using such techniques, Godard appears to be chaseioning the reality presented by the camera. On the one hand, the events in Vivre sa Vie present the subjective portrait of a woman much loved yet this love also kills her in the end. Godard substantiates Brechts program line that humans are saddled with an outward reality that does not chink to their subjective experiences and makes the viewer incredulity whether the camera is really depicting the truth? The reflexivity inherent in Godards technique forces and presents a unalterable process of meditation and reflection, not only in the characters in the films but also in the viewer. Godards films thus appears to reflect his persistent quest for and his insatiable curiosity about reality, is it really as it seems or is there a deeper dimension that underlies what is visible on the surface?Godards films thus bear the unique stamp of his own way of looking at life, the manner in which he questions th e reality of what is visible, his unwillingness to accept things as reality merely because others say it is so. Godard is of the view that the digital medium offers less depth precisely because it does not permit the kind of juxtaposition of reality and reflexivity which is possible with the film medium (Bonnard, 2005).The use of level-headed in Godards filmsGodard demonstrates a great sensitivity to melody and the impact of sounds in creating a cinematic experience, as depicted especially in his film Nouvelle, where he used music composed by Manfred Eicher (www.ecmrecords.com). In impartation his impressions about Godards film Vivre Sa Vie released in 1962, Eicher states that the film reveals the directors extraordinary levels of sensitivity to image, sound and rhythm, so that it is capable of moving the viewer on a different level when the his/her eyes are closed. (www.ecmrecords.com).A blind woman, Claire Bartoli writes about an internal cinema fuelled by the soundtrack of the film, that she must(prenominal) concentrate on to experience the film because she cannot see the images that go along with them. In an essay about his film Nouvelle Vague, she writes Godard, with large cuts of the scissors, divides the material into fragments, producing sound miniatures, as pure elements (www.ecmrecords.com). She describes how Godard is able to isolate individual sounds such as the ringing of a bell or the sound of waves and rediscovers them within the context of the story that is taking place, so that it is the sound itself that fuels the emotional experience which characterizes the reception of the viewer.In his film Une femme est une femme, Godard utilizes a mixture of sounds in eclectic combinations to assert an impression that is deliberately discordant when viewed in conjunction with the reality. For example, around the midpoint of the film, the protagonist Angela sits in a caf with her boyfriend and asks him to first say something put on and then say something true. whence she points out in distress that his expression ha snot changed at all irrespective of whether it was the truth or a lie that he was telling.The film in turn appears to present serious things lightly and light things seriously, deliberately deviating from reality. The story itself is about Angels missing to have a baby which her boyfriend Emile is not prepared for, she threatens to have it with his best friend Alfred instead, he tries to call her bluff and she actually goes ahead(predicate) with it only to realize that she has gone too far and has turned a serious matter into a frivolous issue.The element of frivolity and unreality is enhanced and embellished by the sound used by Godard in the film. The entire film resonates with musical bells and whistles, there are sound set up that are over-the-top, music suddenly swells in an exaggerated and ridiculous fashion and interspersed within these are literary references. The use of sound in the film is eclect ic and it almost appears as if the director is having chelaish fun, in producing sound effects that must change swiftly, as if they must hold a childs attention. This yet again, corroborates the reflexivity the director seeks to imprint on his viewers.This may be noted particularly in a scene at the beginning of the film for example, where there is some cool. Pop music playing in the background as the protagonist walks into a caf. The viewer makes an mechanical association of the image with the character of the protagonist as hip and cool. Then as she leaves the shop, the music suddenly stops and devoid of the sensory backdrop, the viewer is forced to revise his/her original impression of the cool young woman and sees her as just another ordinary woman walking out of a store.But a moment later, the music starts again, as if, now satisfied that the viewer has been forced out of his/her sensory haze, the director seeks to fight the viewer back into the unreality of what is playing o ut on camera. Godard efficaciously uses sound as a vehicle to force the viewer to conclude from responding to the film with stock emotions rather he must view the film from a perspective that is different and unique.According to Dixon (1998) Godards sound techniques sedulous in his films, whereby he layered his sound tracks with an eclectic mixture of born(p) sounds and classical music, with dialogues and voiceovers, which is a reflection of his vision as a film maker. Godards reflexivity is also evident in the soundtrack of Le Mepris, where the past Odyssey scenes are shot in a different kind of igniter and color and utilize different theme music, yet they are similar enough to evoke a connection between the two, which suggests that the two are linked is the ancient day Odyssey story occurring within the context of the innovational day? The musical themes of the two parallel stories are Camille and The Gods, yet the similarities in the music themes suggest similar emotional undertones in both stories.For example, the porta chord in the film is a tritone in Bb-e, which is somber and repulsiveness suggesting something ominous that could be associated with the devil. The music in itself suggests that the tone of the film will be such that there may be a tragic outcome. This impression is paralleled in the theme music of the parallel visualization, characterized mostly by the use of strings and harps in a minor chord, which in classical music is traditionally associated with seriousness, sadness and ultimate tragedy. The nature and composition of the music in le Mepris thus highlights the allusion of the modern day playing out of the Greek classical tragedies of ancient times.Godard describes how he visualized the scenes in the film dealing with Odyssey in Le Mepris as being lit in a manner that was much different from the main film, in order to give the impression of a film occurring within another film. Those particular scenes were to be photographed such that the colours will be more brilliant, more violent, more vivid, more contrasted also in their organization. (Godard 1985146). This is in sharp contrast to the documentary style used in Vivre Sa Vie for instance where voice-overs and the spoken, poetical narrations provide only the backdrop to the tantalizing glimpses of the character of Nana that keep seem throughout the film.ConclusionsGodard was undoubtedly a Director whose films displayed his own unique stamp, and his line to depict the emotional nuances of his characters through the utilization of the tools of sound, color and stylistic technique to convey a message in sub text that locomote far beyond the actual events occurring in the films. The innate curiosity of the director about reality itself, his constant questioning of what is real and what lies beyond the reality that is apparent visually can be gleaned in his films. His attempts to convey a mood and aura are not incorporated directly into the main narrati ve but rather must be gleaned by the viewer through the subtle signs that exist in the sub text of the film. rather than making certain visual and audible elements glaringly apparent for the viewer by using close up shots for example, Godard leaves it to the viewer to subtly cut these messages, to think about the film long after seeing it in order to grasp the significance of the elements that have been presented in the film. Through this process, Godard forces the viewer to confront a hidden reality that may exist beyond that apparent on the surface.The Brechtian alienation suggests that viewers need to revise their way of thinking and seeing things such they rely more on their own subjective experiences. This ability to instill reflexivity in the film viewing experience and force a viewer to question the reality of what he/she sees is a particular characteristic of Director Godard. His use of literature and poetry as well as filmic and theatrical allusions is targeted at promotin g a reflexive pronoun experience in his viewers. His characters reflect upon life within a contextual dimension that is as rich with visual, audio and spatial clues as the cinematic material which is outwardly apparent, to present the viewer with a viewing experience that extends far beyond the visual images. The complexity and beauty of his films is enhanced by the willingness of the director to experiment with avant garde techniques and use unconventional means to convey his cinematic messages.The director uses quitotix and unusual methods to elicit this reflexivity, especially in the film Une femme est une femme for example, where the protagonist is frying an egg, the cry rings, she flips the egg high in the air, dashes to take the phone and returns just in time to catch the egg and flip it back into the pan, thereby underlying the unreality of the images being viewed. The Directors films brace thought and force a viewer to interact actively with the medium, to question what i s seen and what remains unseen but can be discerned below the surface through careful observation. This is why the supporting elements in Godards films are so important the sound, the color, the music, the visual techniques, the editing, all enhance the messages being conveyed sub textually.The auteur theory requires that an authors work demonstrate an unmistakable stamp that identifies it and sets it apart. The alienation and distancing from the cinematic view, the reflexivity inherent in a Godard film viewing experience is one that is not found in a comparable manner in the work of other directors. The auteur theory is indeed relevant where Godard is concerned, because in effect, a director must exhibit certain recurring characteristics throughout his films, which are like his signature on the films. This is what Godard sodding(a) through the unique and experimental combination of light, sound , editing and style in every film, which promotes reflexivity and presents a multi fac eted reality.BibliographyAndrew, Dudley, 1987 Breathless. Jean Luc Godard, Director London Rutgers University PressBonnaud, Frederic, 2005. Occupational Hazards, Film Comment, 41(1) 37-40.Dixon, Wheeler Winston, 1998. For ever Godard Notes on Godards For Ever Mozart, Literature/Film Quarterly, 26(2) 82-88ECM Background entropy, Retrieved December 13, 2007 from http//www.ecmrecords.com/Background/Background_1600.phpGodard, Jean-Luc, 1985. Jean-Luc Godard par Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Bergala, d. Paris Cahiers du cinma -Editions de lEtoile.Keller, Craig, 1930. Jean-Luc Goddard, Retrieved December 12, 2007 from http//www.sensesofcinema.com/ circumscribe/directors/03/godard.htmlMacCabe, Colin, 2003. A portrait of the artist at Seventy, Farrar, Strauss and GirouxMarie, Michael, 1990. Le Mepris jean Luc Godard, Paris Edition NathanWells, Alan and Hakanen, Ernest A, 1997. Mass Media and society, Ablex/Greenwood.