1 Author, auteur, Aitor Author ‘I think my best work is still to come. Truly’, says Julio Medem in what is an open-ended conclusion to his last interview for a book about him . Nevertheless, he already enjoys a reputation in Basque, Spanish, European and even World cinema for the colourful eroticism, subjective camerawork, elaborate plotting, structural equations, straight-faced absurdity and obsessions with symmetry, duality and chance that characterise the films he has written and directed. Vacas (1992), La ardilla roja (Red Squirrel, 1993), Tierra (1996
8 1 The ‘impure’ auteur Je ne suis qu’un artisan consciencieux.1 (Duvivier, in Leprohon 1968: 203) Ferdinand: Je dirais c’est comme Pépé le Moko. Marianne: Qui? Ferdinand: Pépé le Moko. Marianne: Qui est-ce? Ferdinand: Décidément, tu ne connais rien!2 Pierrot le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965) Accounts of Duvivier’s life usually go along the following lines. He was a talented director in the early days of sound cinema who luckily managed to marshal around him teams of actors and technicians to create a set of films that tapped into a particular mindset of 1930
was a major challenge to audience intelligibility. In a poor year for national cinema, the critic Lluís Bonet proclaimed Amenábar’s second outing as the achievement of ‘un verdadero autor’ (a real auteur) with an extraordinary capacity for ‘la fabulación visual’ (visual storytelling). 5 Even the usually parsimonious critic of El País , Ángel Fernández Santos, praised a brilliant and agile Amenábar
expression of an accepted “auteur”’ ( 2001 : 122). The Almodóvar brand is, in my view, a fully recognisable instance of art cinema rather than a genre, offering an example of how this type of cinematic endeavour functions as it circulates through different distribution and exhibition circuits around the world. Consequently, to fully map out the workings of Almodóvar-as-brand and the role of diverse genres in his films, we
Fernández has generated a considerable amount of interest, both in Mexico and abroad, in the form of book-length studies or articles. Most, as we would expect from studies on an individual director, offer differing forms of auteur criticism. There are several director-as-personality/biographical approaches to his work including: a long interview with Fernández (Tuñón, 1988 ); a biographical account by his daughter Adela
This book aims to provoke increased interest in the work of the four directors: Dominique Cabrera, Noémie Lvovsky, Laetitia Masson and Marion Vernoux, although some of their early works have become more difficult to access, most of their films remain commercially available through French distributors. The four directors are not new arrivals and began making films in the early 1990s, yet they have received scant critical attention in both popular and academic film criticism. They share similar profiles in terms of box office success, number of films made and generational affinities and, shorts and feature films in France. They make films that straddle boundaries of categorisation and therefore escape the quickly established and self-perpetuating groupings that serve as powerful frameworks for popular access via DVD distribution, critical canonisation and academic curricula. Whilst Cabrera attests her sanguine awareness of the discriminatory treatment of women in all areas of the film industry she rejects the suggestion that the process of her filmmaking is determined by sexual difference or a gendered creative identity, asserting provocatively. The book discusses Masson's use of romance and detective narratives to debunk the former and subvert the later. The career path of Lvovsky remains distinctive from that of other directors. Vernoux's oeuvre maintains a coherent focus on the modes of transgression present within the generic conventions of comedy and romance in films which exploit the common narrative device of the encounter to propel narratives and characters across social boundaries within a dominant generic focus on romantic comedy.
The Vampire Diaries began life as a series of novels before being adapted into a television series screened on the CW channel in the US and ITV2 in the UK. This article explores how the show contributes to debates over genre and authorship within the context of the TV vampire via its status as a teen horror text. It also investigates how the show intersects with debates over quality television via the involvement of teen-TV auteur Kevin Williamson. In exploring genre and authorship, the article considers how The Vampire Diaries functions as a teen drama and a TV vampire/horror text.
Towards a Theory for African Cinema is an English translation of a talk given in French by the Tunisian filmmaker and critic Férid Boughedir (1944–) at a conference on international cinema, which took place in Montreal in 1974. In his presentation Boughedir discusses the vocation of the African filmmaker, who must avoid succumbing to the escapism and entertainment values of Western cinema and instead strive to reflect the contradictions and tensions of the colonised African identity, while promoting a revitalisation of African culture. Drawing on the example of the 1968 film Mandabi (The Money Order) by the Senegalese director Sembène Ousmane, Boughedir conceptualises a form of cinema which resists the influences of both Hollywood and auteur film and awakens viewers, instead of putting them to sleep. Boughedir‘s source text is preceded by a translator‘s introduction, which situates his talk within contemporary film studies.
The one-shot sequence – the articulation of an entire scene through a single, unbroken long take – is one of the cinema’s most important rhetorical devices and has therefore been much used and widely theorised over the years. This article provides a brief overview of these theories and of the multiple ways in which the one-shot sequence has been used both in world cinema (in general) and Italian cinema (in particular) in order to contextualise its use by one of Italian cinema’s best-known and most significant practitioners, Paolo Sorrentino. Through close analyses of one-shot sequences in Sorrentino’s films L’uomo in più/One Man Up, Le conseguenze dell’amore/The Consequences of Love, This Is the Place and Il divo – La vita spettacoloare di Giulio Andreotti – the article argues that Sorrentino’s predilection for the device is best explained by the wide variety of functions that it serves (as a mark of directorial bravura and auteur status; as a self-reflexive device and meditation on the cinematic gaze; as a political tool; and as a means of generating emotion). While rooted in history, Sorrentino’s use of the one-shot sequence thus transcends its position within Italian film history and discourse.
This book is a collection of essays that offers a new lens through which to examine Spain's cinematic production following the decades of isolation imposed by the Franco regime. The films analysed span a period of some 40 years that have been crucial in the development of Spain, Spanish democracy and Spanish cinema. The book offers a new lens to examine Spain's cinematic production following the decades of isolation imposed by the Franco regime. The figure of the auteur jostles for attention alongside other features of film, ranging from genre, intertexuality and ethics, to filmic language and aesthetics. At the heart of this project lies an examination of the ways in which established auteurs and younger generations of filmmakers have harnessed cinematic language towards a commentary on the nation-state and the politics of historical and cultural memory. The films discussed in the book encompass different genres, both popular and more select arthouse fare, and are made in different languages: English, Basque, Castilian, Catalan, and French. Regarded universally as a classic of Spanish arthouse cinema, El espíritu de la colmena/The Spirit of the Beehive has attracted a wealth of critical attention which has focused on political, historical, psychological and formal aspects of Víctor Erice's co-authored film-text. Luis Bunuel's Cet obscur objet du désir/That Obscure Object of Desire, Catalan filmmaker Ventura Pons' Ocana. Retrat Intermitent/Ocana. An Intermittent Portrait, Francisco Franco's El Dorado, Víctor Erice's El sol del membrillo/The Quince Tree Sun, and Julio Medem's Vacas/Cows are some films that are discussed.