The Auteur Theory of Film

256 views 9 pages ~ 2320 words Print

Film Director as the Author and Auteur Theory

Film director has the integral role of creating a story in the best way he would want to. They make the characters and the plot based on what they believe will please the audience according to their own perspective. This aspect makes them the authors of the film they produce. According to the auteurs theory, the film director has the freedom to choose the styles and the aesthetic value of the movie. For this paper, we shall analyze film is the work of the author concerning the two films, "In the Mood for Love" directed by Wong Kar-Wai and "Marie Antoinette" directed by Sofia Coppola.

Structure of Argument

Sofia Coppola is a female editor and director who uses her films to voice the female needs. In her editorial technique, she has always presented female actors as her characters and her major concerns have been feminism. In this view, her narration has been from the female vintage point of view. Actually, none of Coppola’s films is explicitly feminists in their sensibility and message. Moreover, she uses a condescending tone to narrate her story and to explore the plot in her films. She endeavors to position women as the central point in her works. She uses female voice to give a deviation from the old tradition of showcasing men as the heroes in the acting. She wants to position women as equal actors whose side and style of acting should be watched and consumed with equal pleasure as that of the men folk. She thus is an auteur of feminism as depicted in her management of stage and characters. Thus her editorial and narration breaks the masculinity with which the film industry has been perceived.[1]

On the other hand, Wong displays giddy technique in the making of his film in the mood for love. This technique enables him to break the monotony of loneliness in his pas films and movies. This sense of new deviation unleashes enjoyment and disrupts loneliness among his characters. Besides, his film contains moments that appear to have been grabbed out of time. He employs emotional tone, which is embedded into the colorful life of the city. His major intention is to communicate the deep sense of the city’s life so that the audience sees something different from the normal daylight city they know. Wong uses his film to give a contention of the city as a physical entity that exerts its influence on human life. He convinces the audience to see the city more in this manner rather than as just an infiltration of the western life.

Wong also uses speed, color, and vision as a narration to present form and content of his film works. In the mood for love, he does not forget to embed this style with desire so that the audience is attracted as they glue to the plot of the story[2]. Moreover, there is a depiction of emotion and personal space as the story is narrated. Wong ensures that the story is narrated with decorum, politeness, and swallowed feelings which come out in a vivid manner.

Mis-en-scene

Both Wong and Sofia have arranged the events in a way that suits their personality and cultural practices. Wong for instance, has used Chinese costumes in the film, "In the Mood for Love". The costumes help to depict the cultural background from which the film is set. He thus appears as the author biased on the originality and creativity with which he presents this cultural aspect of the Chinese traditional dressing code. According to Wong, the arrangements of events in the film typically represent a life he has known as a kid in the china town. He used the film to give himself the space to display the chronology of Chinese life through the years of his development. Besides, the story is told in a meandering way particularly to capture the audience attention as they watch the events unfold.

The director has also employed the use of make-ups, which spiced the costumes. The author intended to make Mrs. Chan a modest woman by giving her the humble kind of make-up. Through the make-up, Mrs. Chan is thus portrayed as a magnified human figure to elucidate her traits. The movements of the characters are also shot behind objects so give the implication of the unfaithful spouses. Moreover, Mr. Chow uses gestures like holding cigarette, door knob, and tables all of which depicts his tamed pursuit for sensual liberation.

Moreover, Wong employed the use of drama and adventure which aided in setting the emotions he intended to give the movie. For instance at the scene where Mr. Chow and Mrs.Chan said their last words before departing, the backlight was positioned in various angles that created shadows which revealed the character’s inner motions.

On the other hand, Sofia adapted the constant change of costumes within the film, Marie Antoinette to help reveal the story line and the history of the fashion of the queen of France whom the film portrays. As the film progresses, the dressing becomes more expensive. For example, at the start of the movie, Marie wears a green velvet dress; however, she is required to change the dress as she moves between the border of France and Austria. The undressing and redressing of Marie is a symbolic representation of Marie Antoinette although with a modern twist. The author uses the dressing costume to represent the film in a historical point of view.

According to Corrigan, the dressing costume of characters portrays their inner trait and historical context of the film setting. The constant change of costume by Marie hence portrays her materialistic nature as a character. Above all, the fundamentals of mis-en-scene are revealed through the settings of the film. For example, the image of Marie in a room with a wild décor typically shows the time the film is set. Besides, this particular shot reveals Marie as insignificant. She is not the actual focus since the color and light flowing in the room overshadows her image. Sofia uses this setting to show the despair in her character Marie.

Cinematography

The cinematographers for the film in mood for love worked out the camera techniques to achieve the dramatic representation of the protagonists, Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow. In most cases, the characters were shot in the corridors of their apartment. Besides, the elderly property owners that Wong purposefully included in the film restricted most of their actions. The kind of restrictions within the narrow corridor hallway symbolized the limited freedom with which the characters had. Again, the doors that always separated the characters signified the barriers between them.

Wong also uses the cinematography to represent the decorum with which traditional aspects of respect and morality was observed especially by the elderly. For example, the camera would always focus on her change from one footwear to the other. This style of shot disguised the despair situation the character experienced due to her deceitful husband. In other words, the filmmaker did not want to show publicly the emotions of the elderly.

Moreover, the filmmaker ensured that intimacy was not sexually portrayed to the audience. Contrary, he used non-diegetic sounds and shots that carefully masked the obscene scenes. Furthermore, the usage of high-angle shots to display Mr. Chow whispering to the hole typically represented his despair and lack of control over the reality that he hid his love for Mrs. Chan forever.

Sound and Music

In the mood for love, the filmmaker uses music that clearly depicts the distance relationship between the couple in the movie. The music is soft and lyrical to portray the atmosphere within which the film is screened. A slow waltz for strings for example, is interesting for it reveals the aesthetic resemblance of the historical period within which the film is played. The filmmaker uses sounds that slowly fade away in the presence of the characters either as they are about to meet or when doing something in the background. Wong uses these fading sounds through the scenes of the play. The one used towards the end of the film for example, acts as an introductory to the main scene. It also alerts the audience for the main melody that follows thereafter.

Moreover, the music piece cleverly fades away as the relationship between the characters intensifies. The juxtaposition involved here directly tells the audience that music is aesthetic; it soothes the emotions of the audience as they take their emotional position in the manner in which they interpret the scenes before them.

The hidden latter end of the music piece also helps to reveal the narrating technique of the film. It intensifies the tragic motif in the meeting between Mr. Chow and Mr. Chan. Although the narrator does not actually reveal the absurdity in the relationship of the couple, the music in the background reveals to the audience the sadness in the situation so that it contains a deep sense of understanding the truth about the couple; they have gravity between them.

On the other hand, Sofia uses music to reveal the culture and the traditional set up of the story of princess Marie. It captures the audience and adds to spice their emotions as they are taken through the story. The soft piano classical music played as Marie travels in her carriage particularly reveals the historical period in which the motif of the film is set. The sound thus conveys boredom in the audience as well as our character Marie. It helps to accentuate the vapid mood of the play. The classical beat is also symbolic of the absence of romantic feelings between Marie and her prince of France. The filmmaker hence used the song to alert the audience to hold the climax for it was just yet to occur.

Sofia Coppola artistically and cleverly uses music to add modernism to her work. In the ballroom after Marie marries Louise, they get into a masquerading party where the teens actually dance in beats of modernism. In this scene, the filmmaker uses "Hong Kong gardens" which gives a contrast of the old time the movie represents.

Consistency of the Style

Sofia Coppola is a female filmmaker with renowned recurrent film styles that puts her in a unique position as a filmmaker. The auteur uses framing techniques, particular cinematography, and a consistent motif of feminism through her films. Through the edges, the filmmaker develops aesthetic value and modernity in the depiction of her characters with costumes that define the plot and setting of the movie. This kind of peculiar interesting filmic style dominates through her films such as Marie Antoinette (2006), The Beguiled (2017), and The Virgin Suicides (1999).

On the other hand, Wong Kar-Wai is known for his love motif through the films he directs. His major explorations are on the love feelings that are unfulfilled or unrealized by the characters he depicts in his films. Normally, Wong spices the love theme he develops by the use of great soundtracks that attract the audience's attention and help reveal the mood and atmosphere within which the film is set. Moreover, the films dwell on the sequels of live within the Hong Kong city.

The author also uses a consistent cinematography that itself helps tell the story. The angles and the morality with which his love themes are presented in the cinema match the traditional decorum of morality. In most cases, the sexual scenes are hidden and left as guesswork to the audience.

Conclusion

Auteur theory explains the ownership of film by the filmmakers. In this paper, Wong and Sofia Coppola's works, In The Mood Of For Love and Marie Antoinette respectively have been used to explain in detail the contentions of the theory. In Sofia, for instance, she uses her personal feelings as a woman to develop women characters that are oppressed by the society for their womanhood. Her films use women characters who struggle against the odds in her intention to voice feminism. On the other hand, Wong uses his films to portray love motif and culture of his people as evident in the Hong Kong city.

Bibliography

 

Bettinson, Gary. The sensuous cinema of Wong Kar-Wai: Film poetics and the aesthetic of disturbance. Hong Kong University Press, 2014.

Boltin, Kylie. "In the Mood for Love: A Meeting with Wong Kar-Wai at the 54th Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2000." Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine 129/130 (2001): 152.

Coppola, Sofia. "Sofia Coppola." The Kathleen Turner Handbook-Everything you need to know about Kathleen Turner (2013): 210.

Coppola, Sofia. "Women and Media."

Nochimson, Martha. World on film: an introduction. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

Palmer, R. Barton. "Some Thoughts on New Hollywood Multiplicity: Sofia Coppola’s Young Girls Trilogy." In Film Trilogies, pp. 35-54. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2012.

Promkhuntong, Wikanda. "Wong Kar-wai:‘cultural hybrid’, celebrity endorsement and star-auteur branding." Celebrity Studies 5, no. 3 (2014): 348-353.

Smaill, Belinda. "Sofia Coppola: Reading the Director." Feminist Media Studies 13, no. 1 (2013): 148-162.

[1] Smaill, Belinda. "Sofia Coppola: Reading the Director." Feminist Media Studies 13, no. 1 (2013): 148-162.

[2] Palmer, R. Barton. "Some Thoughts on New Hollywood Multiplicity: Sofia Coppola’s Young Girls Trilogy." In Film Trilogies, pp. 35-54. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2012.

[3] Coppola, Sofia. "Sofia Coppola." The Kathleen Turner Handbook-Everything you need to know about Kathleen Turner (2013): 210.

[4] Boltin, Kylie. "In the Mood for Love: A Meeting with Wong Kar-Wai at the 54th Edinburgh International Film Festival, 2000." Metro Magazine: Media & Education Magazine 129/130 (2001): 152.

[5] Promkhuntong, Wikanda. "Wong Kar-wai:‘cultural hybrid’, celebrity endorsement and star-auteur branding." Celebrity Studies 5, no. 3 (2014): 348-353.

[6] Nochimson, Martha. World on film: an introduction. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.

[7] Bettinson, Gary. The sensuous cinema of Wong Kar-Wai: Film poetics and the aesthetic of disturbance. Hong Kong University Press, 2014.

[8]Coppola, Sofia. "Women and Media."

September 25, 2023
Category:

Entertainment

Subcategory:

Movies

Subject area:

Film Analysis

Number of pages

9

Number of words

2320

Downloads:

47

Writer #

Rate:

5

Expertise Film Analysis
Verified writer

Samuel has helped me on several occasions with my college assignments. It has been both simple and complex for my Cinematography course. He is a creative person who will always inspire you. When you need a person to boost your forces, contact Samuel.

Hire Writer

Use this essay example as a template for assignments, a source of information, and to borrow arguments and ideas for your paper. Remember, it is publicly available to other students and search engines, so direct copying may result in plagiarism.

Eliminate the stress of research and writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro