The Auteur Theory:
From French New Wave to New Hollywood Cinema
The Auteur theory was born in France and first mentioned by François Truffaut. When it traveled to United States and was summarized by Andrew Sarris, it inspired a new generation of Film Academy graduated directors to create a new mode of film making which became what we call New Hollywood Cinema.
The following essay will be divided into two main parts. Firstly, there will be a brief introduction of the Auteur Theory in France and United States. This includes Truffaut’s A Certain Tendency of the French Cinema on Cahiers du Cinéma in 1954, André Bazin’s On the Auteur Theory in 1957 and Andrew Sarris’s Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962.
Secondly, a comparison between a New Wave film The 400 Blows and a new Hollywood film The Graduate will be done from the perspective of The Auteur Theory. The discussion includes how the two films use characterization and open-end, jump cut and long take differently compared to the Classic Hollywood films. Research question is how The Auteur Theory draws an impact on New Hollywood Cinema and the difference of the auteurists of France and the United States and lastly how New Hollywood balance itself between commercialism and the artistic expression of the auteur.
Radio, Cinema, Television by Andre Bazin, The Invisible Cut: How Editors Make Movie Magic by Bobbie O’Steen, Reel Power by Mark Litwak and some other scholars’ works will be the theoretical support of my points.
1. French New Wave and the Original Auteur Theory
From a historical perspective, the appearance of French New Wave was due to the effect of the Second World War. When France was liberated by the allies, filmmakers were once again at liberty to fre...
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...m Classic Hollywood Cinema is also a characteristic in New Hollywood. Though the techniques are similar, the way to handle the stories is slightly different. It is because Hollywood can’t fully abandon the market but still considers the artistic character of films. This is due to the second reason that the television is being widely spread in the 1960s in the United States. The decline in the number of cinema audiences makes Hollywood film makers rethink the needs of the market and to redefine their market position. Commercialism is not going to disappear in Hollywood, just change in appearance to be reborn. That is to say, the New Hollywood Cinema uses the Auteur Theory and considers the marketing factor at the same time. Since it is a perfect combination of commercialism and the artistic, it can be said that New Hollywood Cinema is a great success in film history.