Studies in Film (Film Authorship)

This course is a study of the development of the auteur
theory in film from its beginnings in the 1950s to the present time, from the
romantic intentionalist notion that the director is the author of the film, to
the structuralist analysis of “author” as textual stylistic and thematic
patterns over an oeuvre, to the postmodern idea of authorship as a
contextualization of the text as an industrial/production/commercial brand, or
as star vehicle, or as an auteur vehicle, or as genre inflected, or as a
prequel or a sequel, or as part of a new wave (school) of filmmaking, etc. At
the center of all these developments is the stubborn persistent belief that the
film director, who has relative control over the production or who wears
several hats as, eg, screenwriter-editor-director, is the auteur of the film,
despite film’s collaborative process.

Required Text:

Barry Keith Grant, ed., Auteurs
and Authorship, A Film Reader
(2008), Blackwell

Tentative Filmmakers (and
subject to change)

Hawks, Ford, Bergman, Fellini, Allen, Kieslowski, Haneke,
Campion, Bigelow, Hitchcock, Sirk, Fassbinder, Dogme95 (von Trier, Vinterberg, Bier),
Eastwood, Dardenne brothers


Three short papers, one long paper, one oral report, final
examination. Attendance required.