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FS344American Film Since 69


The Artistic Influences on Renaissance. Italian Neo-Realism ... A Bout de Souffle. Godard 1959. Tirez sur le Pianist. Truffaut 1960. Les Cousins. Chabrol 1959 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: FS344American Film Since 69

FS344American Film Since 69
  • The Auteur

  • Last Two Weeks
  • Social influences on Renaissance
  • Cultural revolution liberal politics
  • This week
  • The Artistic Influences on Renaissance
  • Italian Neo-Realism and French New Wave
  • Authorship and Cinema
  • Renaissance and the Auteur

A few things first…
  • Film scene analysis
  • Due Wed Oct 13 (Week 5)
  • Presentations
  • Thanks to our brave presenters from last week!
  • Remember
  • The write-up (10) is due the same day as you
    present (5)
  • Must be a coherent paper based on what you
    present in-class so structured, organised,
    detailed and with a bibliography
  • Research your topic your mission is to further
    the knowledge of the whole class beyond the
  • So make sure you come to the lecture that week
    and/or talk to me the week before about your topic

Factors Birth of the Renaissance
  • Social
  • Increasing of
  • anti-establishment films
  • social commentary, directed at youth
  • 80 of film-going pop between 16 and 25
  • Major studios ignored
  • The youth market
  • Left to smaller studios like AIP
  • Then success of 1967 and 1969 youth films
  • Jump on the bandwagon
  • Aesthetic
  • Film school directors
  • European Art Film
  • Italian Neo-Realism
  • French New Wave
  • Auteur Theory

Italian Neo-Realism
  • A Viewers Guide to Film Theory and Criticism by
    Robert T. Eberwien
  • "Neorealist films are characterized by
  • a pronounced social consciousness on the part of
    their makers,
  • a concern for the lower classes and their despair
    and squalor,
  • and a stark realism of technique relying heavily
    on long takes and depth of field
  • Flourished in the post World War II years
  • Grounded in realism and documentary traditions
  • Directors like Zavattini, De Sica, Rossellini,
  • Films like
  • Ossessione (Visconti 1942), Rome, Open City
    (Rossellini 1945), Bicycle Thieves (De Sica 1948)
  • Whole movement 1942-1952

  • loose, episodic narratives that evolve
  • documentary visual style
  • real locations
  • nonprofessional actors
  • conversational speech
  • simple style filmmaking
  • natural lighting
  • different film stocks
  • dubbed in dialogue
  • End of movement
  • shift away from left wing politics
  • greater prosperity
  • Influenced other national cinemas
  • French New Wave
  • U.S. Renaissance

French New Wave
  • La Nouvelle Vague 1959-1964
  • Group of French filmmakers
  • François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude
    Chabrol, Jacques Rivette and Eric Rohmer
  • Film critics for film magazine Cahiers du Cinéma
  • Other wavesincluded Britains angry young men
  • Most influential French New Wave
  • Background in film theory/criticism
  • They changed notions of filmmaking

New Critical Attitude
  • Cahiers criticised
  • Cinema du papa glossy, formulaic, and
    studio-bound cinema of 1940s and 1950stradition
    of quality
  • Praised
  • French Poetic Realism of 1920s/30s Jean Renoir
  • Italian neo-realist directors De Sica
  • Even Hollywood Hitchcock, Howard Hawks
  • Government subsidies 1950s for art
  • Allowed them to put theory/ideas into practice
  • Initial collaboration
  • developed common use of form, style and narrative
  • Philosophy
  • Existentialism, Sartre, the individual
  • young anti-heroes spontaneous immoral

New Style
  • New technology
  • Hand-held cameras Faster film stocks
    Light-weight sound/lighting
  • Experimentation improvisation
  • Alternative to Hollywood consciously breaking w/
  • Principles of the New Wave
  • Cinema should bear the subtlety and
    expressiveness of novels
  • Departure from the tyranny of narrative
  • Reject heavy emphasis on plot, dialogue,
    literariness of studio films
  • Reject montage in favour of mise-en-scene, long
    takes, deep focus
  • Emphasis on emotional/psychological impact
  • Cinema must express human thought
  • Cinema must be truly cinematic
  • Film is a medium of personal expression

Innovative Style
  • Semi-documentary style
  • realism
  • inexpensive, unpolished
  • shaky handheld camera
  • location shooting
  • natural lighting
  • Discontinuous editing
  • jagged editing, jump cuts
  • destruction of spatial, temporal continuity
  • Irrelevant shots
  • Long takes
  • improvised dialogue
  • dialogue overlap
  • Monologues
  • Voice-overs
  • direct sound recording on portable tape machines
  • Loose scenarios
  • Open endings
  • A Bout de Souffle
  • Godard 1959
  • Tirez sur le Pianist
  • Truffaut 1960
  • Les Cousins
  • Chabrol 1959

Film Authorship
  • New Wave directors
  • thought the director as the author of the film
  • The studio system model team
  • European Art cinemas emphasis on director
  • Astruc writes Cahiers article (1948)
  • la caméra stylo director writer artist
  • Francois Truffaut writes Cahiers article (1954)
  • les politiques des auteurs
  • Argued that the most interesting films were those
    that functioned as a medium of personal
  • They bore the distinctive imprint of their
  • The notion of the auteur based on certain
  • The best films are the product of their director
  • Film is an expression of the dirs individual
  • There is thematic/stylistic consistency across a
    dirs films

Auteur Theory
  • Truffaut didnt mean it as a theory
  • but as a politique (policy)
  • a certain way to look at value films
  • "There are no good and bad movies, only good and
    bad directors."
  • Transformed into a theory by US critic Andrew
  • a way of reading/appraising films through the
    imprint of auteur
  • Truffaut et al at Cahiers
  • recognized that moviemaking was an industrial
  • however, auteurism as an an ideal to strive for
  • using the commercial apparatus just as a writer
    uses a pen
  • they valued the work of those who neared the
  • Hitchcock, Welles, Hawks
  • Auteur vs metteur en-scène

Renaissance Auteurs
  • Italian Neo-Realism French New Wave
  • Both had an impact on the Renaissance
  • New Style
  • realism disruptive, non-continuous filmmaking
  • New Artistry
  • Auteur theory offered a new wave to recoup studio
    or commercial directors as artists
  • Gave unprecedented power to new directors
  • During the Renaissance in the late 60s and 70s
  • Coppola, Lucas, Spielberg,
  • De Palma, and Scorsese 

Studio Film to Package
  • In the 1950s,
  • Studio System broke up
  • Audiences disappearing
  • Loss of income from theatres
  • Bad investment
  • permanent staff/depart
  • Majors scaled down ops
  • Hired out facilities to independent prods
  • Independent prods became the rule rather than
  • Productions put together
  • on a film-by-film basis
  • Assembled as a package
  • Producer organizes script, stars, etc
  • Then tries to get financing for it
  • Selling the package
  • directors name became important for financing
  • the auteur

Renaissance auteurs
  • New gen of filmmakers
  • Some young
  • the movie brats in their 20s and 30s
  • Some from film school
  • Francis Ford Coppola)
  • Some intellectuals
  • Terrence Malick
  • Many returned
  • to traditions of classical studio genres
  • But also older guys
  • like Robert Altman and Woody Allen
  • others from TV (Rafelson)
  • Or film critics (Bogdanovitch)
  • others counter-culture
  • de Palma J. Carpenter
  • Others tried making
  • art films

All informed by a movie consciousness an
intense awareness of film history its influence
of contemporary culture
Recession Experimentation
  • Studios not sure what people wanted
  • sometimes stars were popular and led to series
  • some mature films successful so theatres offered
    both G and M
  • growing interest in foreign films so studios
    distribute them   
  • Recession anyways so Hollywood more open
  • to films that dwelled on mood, characterization,
    psych ambiguity
  • loose narratives, flashy editing, realism, sparse
  • play with character subjectivity, unclear
    temporal ordering
  • popular music vs classical scores

The Auteur in Hollywood
  • Auteur
  • personal signature on each film
  • similar themes and stylistics across all films
  • Success for the auteur was 1 of 2 paths
  • To produce modest pictures that cost little but
    return a lot
  • To produce mass-market mainstream films that
    return more
  • Hollywood
  • 1970s a directors cinema
  • 1980s power back in hands of exec producers
  • 2 reasons
  • directors out of control brought an end to the
  • also the predominance of the blockbuster (Week 5)

Auteur Post-Renaissance?
  • Auteur?
  • A big name still can guarantee an audience
  • But they have less power than they did in the
  • Director does 1 or 2 commercial successes
  • gives money/reputation to do more personal
  • Directors who do retain power?
  • producers
  • executive producers
  • own production company
  • Failure Coppolas own studio (1980) Zoetrope
  • Success Spielberg with prod companies
  • Amblin Entertainment DreamWorks

Taxi Driver
  • Directed by Martin Scorsese
  • Released 1976
  • Staring
  • Robert DeNiro
  • Jodie Foster
  • Cybill Shepherd
  • Harvey Keitel

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