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For the film buffs

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
For one of my uni assignments I have to talk about the auteur theory and i'm using Hitchcock and the film, The Birds (1963) as my examples.

The autuer theory basically says that a director is the sole author of a film and has their own creative stylistic signature on their film, making them instantly recognisable as their film - think Tim Burton.

I have to include a scene from The Birds to analyse that clearly demonstrates Hitchcock's auteur status.

For those who know the film can you please suggest a scene i can use??

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Depends which element you'd want to highlight. Obviously a big part of the Birds is how little it compares to the original novel.

    From a purely stylistic point of view the scene in the attic with the bird attack shows of his increasing violence against female characters - which can be seen progressing through Marnie to it's peak in Frenzy.

    However it's probably easiest to focus on the school playground scene. You can see his love of suspense, but most importantly the themes of the ordinary being more dangerous or sinister than it really appears to be. It's also a masterpiece in Hitchcockian suspense, the slowly building tension, the casual nature of the threat as it begins. The lone and excluded female character - apart from the world around her (Psycho, Marnie, Vertigo)

    I'd definately argue that auteur theory should consider the thematic as well as the sylistic component. Sam Fuller, for example, probably doesn't have a strong enough style in all his films due to a workmanlike professionalism, but his themes, right through the Stell Helmet to white Dog overwhelm the involvement of others.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was thinking about the playground scene where the birds slowly creep up on her as i can talk aout the build up of suspense and theres quite a few visual motifs in there as well.

    Luckily i did a presentation on this in college and i still have alot of the info i used then :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you can find anything about the production, it might be useful too (storyboards, etc). Hitchcock was famous for his meticulous planning of every shot, so it might be good to select a scene where you can show this. In fact, that was why he was one of the few auteurs that was able to work under the Hollywood system, because he didn't waste expensive film (in contrast to the likes of Orson Welles or more recently, Woody Allen). I don't really remember The Birds that well, but one thing about Hitchcock is his tendency to use unusual camera angles and mise-en-scene to heighten the suspense. I'm thinking particularly the parlour scene in Psycho, as an example.

    But yeah, I think in addition to the narrative elements and visual style, many directors have methods of production that lend themselves to their auteur status. You couldn't discuss Lar von Trier without mentioning his production for example, which includes such things as having the entire crew naked for the shoot, the Dogme rules, and the strange demands he places on his actors. And with Hitchcock, this tends to be his planning.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Wow, i like that idea thanks :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I did Hitchcock and auteur theory last term. I talked about authorship within the structuralist debate and the shifting and concomitant positions of an author from behind the text to a structure within the text and as a reading strategy. Haven't actually watched teh brids so I couldn't give you a scene though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    From a purely stylistic point of view the scene in the attic with the bird attack shows of his increasing violence against female characters - which can be seen progressing through Marnie to it's peak in Frenzy.

    I'm not a film buff but when I read that she had to do about The Birds that's exactly the scene that jumped to mind first, so at least from a laymen's perspective it seems to be what stands out about the film.

    You are all such clever people.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ah, i didnt do that scene in the end, i chose the playground scene.

    It was only a few weeks ago but i can hardly remember what i wrote in that essay... thats kinda bad.
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