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Cinematography and Auteurism


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#1 Arash Aliahmadi

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:30 PM

Hello Dear Friends
Is anyone there who can introduce me some books, articles and any reliable material related to Cinematography and Auteurism.
My dissertation question is "Can a cinematographer be an auteur?".
I need two or three famous cinematographers like Storaro to support my essay.
Please advice me.
Thanks
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:10 PM

My dissertation question is "Can a cinematographer be an auteur?".


Sure, if the director says he can be.

R,
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

Richard hits the crux of the problem very succinctly. The DoP is not the boss on a film. She or He is there in service of the director and the producers. The only way I could think of to say a DoP is an auteur would be if they were also the director and producer. However in that instance, it would be their directorial aspects which most associate with auteur-ism.
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#4 Freya Black

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:35 AM

Okay it's traditional to now see the director as being the auteur (author) of the work but this is a bit of a recent development. In the past it might have been more likely for people to see the writer as the author of the work (definitely a long tradition of this in TV) but actually the process was so studio controlled and such a factory like process, that it would have been strange to think of there being authors but just various people in charge of the output line or whatever.

The Cahiers du cinéma gang, (Truffaut especially) argued that certain directors left such a stamp on the film that they kind of made it their own, however not all directors would be seen as Auteurs.

There is much argument against the whole theory because a film like citizen Cane might have the heavy stamp upon it of Orson Welles but the work of Greg Tolland is sooo significant it also cannot be ignored.

I guess in order to find work where the cinematographer could be considered the auteur you would have to find very bland work where the director doesn't appear to have left much of an imprint on the work but for which the cinematography really stands out.

The trouble with this is that the director is in much more of a position to influence the film, as the posts above imply.

I think it will be much easier to find work that undermines auteur theory. Christopher Doyle and Wong Kar Wai spring to mind.

Filmmaking is a collaborative process and auteur theory might actually be a bit damaging. Music tends not to be pushed into this straightjacket. We have no problem with the idea of Lennon/Mc Cartney to a great extent (perhaps Morrissey/Marr might be a better example) and perhaps it would be better to view film in that way, but there we are, it is what it is because it has its own history.

Freya

Edited by Freya Black, 16 January 2013 - 03:36 AM.

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#5 Tobias Marshall

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:44 PM

As with all the heads of departments, they are working under the direction of the Director. If they put their stamp on the work, it would have been because of the discussions and collaboration, but like a shepard the Director can say he doesnt like an idea and thus the ones that make it have been approved.
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#6 Freya Black

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:11 AM

As with all the heads of departments, they are working under the direction of the Director. If they put their stamp on the work, it would have been because of the discussions and collaboration, but like a shepard the Director can say he doesnt like an idea and thus the ones that make it have been approved.


This is the crux of the problem with auteur theory, and the problem is that it doesn't stop with the director because there are all kinds of people above the director who can put their oar in too as many directors have sadly discovered.

Hence the reality of all those directors cuts.

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#7 Tobias Marshall

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 03:48 PM

I wouldnt go that far Freya, I do consider that the Auteur title can be used but under what criteria is down to personal opinion.


Anything that is made, be it a painting or song is done under pressures from the world and from the craft itself. Work produced under pressure is often better than when not, so when Fuller/Ford/Bunuel made films for studios that still weaved in meaning maybe on a far more absract and artful level.


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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 06:00 PM

I wouldnt go that far Freya, I do consider that the Auteur title can be used but under what criteria is down to personal opinion.


Anything that is made, be it a painting or song is done under pressures from the world and from the craft itself. Work produced under pressure is often better than when not, so when Fuller/Ford/Bunuel made films for studios that still weaved in meaning maybe on a far more absract and artful level.

 

This is my point. It's a much debated thing.

 

I find it strange that film has this need to look for a single individual anyway, like I say nobody has a problem with the idea of Lennon/McCartney or Morrissey/Marr.

 

Freya


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#9 Mark McCann

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:41 PM

I constantly misread the post title as 'autism'.

 

I would definitely consider the D.P an auteur in most cases, they usually have their own distinct style- theres no one right way to do a film and each cinematographer has their own specific outlook on a script.

 

On the other hand theres some exceptions for example with Kurosawa's films, I tend to give him more credit towards the composition than I would cinematographers on others.

 

So It can depend on a multitude of factors, how visually minded the director is, and how much creative control a D.P is allowed to exert on a piece.


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#10 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:16 PM

I can't really see any way (or reason) that a film's cinematographer could be considered the film's author. The writer certainly. The Director if they leave an indellible personal stamp upon the film as a whole. But not the cinematographer; their role is to create the visual imagery of the story, it's a hugely important role, but it does have singular importance of a project's authorship.
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#11 Mitchell Perkins

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 05:59 PM

Well there was Alexis Kanner on Kings And Despearate Men....maybe not the best example heh.

http://cinemacanada....wFile/1185/1255

 

Have you tried this?

http://www.google.ca...iw=1218&bih=906

 

Basically if you remove the money from the equation, and make art for the high it brings, pick up a camera and make a film, you are an auteur. Hollywood separates the tasks to avoid costly mistakes due to too much pressure on one individual - it costs more to pay more people but not as much as a re-shoot caused by the DP/operator/loader loading the film backwards whilst thinking about the lighting setup heh.

 

The phrase "nobody will see your film" is outdated with the emergence of internet streaming. Anything you've ever heard about the "film business" applies strictly and only to those who go into the ~business~ of making films. Everyone else is wonderfully free to approach filmmaking in any way they see fit. Awesome!

 

Mitch


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Visual Products

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Aerial Filmworks

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The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Abel Cine