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New Hollywood and auteur theory

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Franzi Florack

on 5 March 2014

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Transcript of New Hollywood and auteur theory

Times are a-changing
Auteur theory
New Hollywood and auteur theory
Spielberg and beyond...
Towards the blockbuster
Into the 60s...
* Jaws (1975) and Star Wars (1977) really mark the end of the New Hollywood era
* Films now meant:
* High concept stories
* Strong connection to marketing and toys
* Introduction of commercial soundtracks, spin-offs and sequels
* Companies started to buy studios and focus on money
* Developed by Francois Truffaut and Andre Bazin on the basis of Hitchcock and other outstanding early directors
* The director as the 'author' of the film
* Films by the same director are recognisable
* Under European Law, the director is the author of the film
* Recognition of the other members of the film team but final credit belongs to director
* Adopted in film criticism in the 1960s
* Has been criticized and applied heavily
* The Paramount Decree and TV weakens film production
* Less and less films are commercially successful
* Colour, sound and techincal improvements offer a sophisticated medium...
* ... but few young people enter the film industry
* Younger, wealthier, well-educated audiences
Studio Films and Studio Politics
* Films that were part of the studio system
* High budget, high profile productions...
* ... but different studio style from before
* Key emerging film makers: Francis Ford Copolla (Apocalypse Now, 1979, The Godfather, 1972),
Arthur Penn (Bonny and Clyde, 1967), Martin Scorses (Taxi Driver, 1976)...
*... and then Steven Spielberg (Jaws, 1975) and George Lucas (Star Wars, 1977)
* Directors were given the freedom to define a new direction
Spielberg as an auteur
* Technical features such as 'track-in' shots, long side ways tracking shots, claustrophobic over-the-shoulder-shots, framing
* Themes of childhood and particularly father-son relationships
* Famous soundtracks
* Generally works in the genres of horror, fantasy and war dramas
* Use of reoccurring actors
Themes and topics
* Young people's stories
* 'Mild' anti-establishment themes
* Rock music
* Increased sexual freedom
* Depiction of drugs
* Search for freedom and expression
* Now known as the 'Hollywood renaissance'
* Showed that creative freedome can lead to some great films
* Induction of the concept of the blockbuster
* Many modern directors can be considered auteurs
One of the few 'flop' exceptions: 'Sound of Music' (1964)
* Younger directors and producers are coming forward
* A new film school generation emerges
* Breakdown of the Hays Code in 1966
* Directors had grown up on the 'New Waves' of Europe
* Stories contain less 'easy' resolutions and endings
* Emphasis on realism
The Graduate (1967)
Easy Rider (1969)
* Pictures of the sun and the moon, helicopters and people marching in line
Schedule for the next weeks:
12.03: Autheur project
19.03: New Zealand and Australian Cinema
26.03: Indian Cinema (with lecturer visit)
02.04: American Independents (incl Docs)
* Easter*
Full transcript