Spike Lee Kevin Smith and Alfred Hitchcock as Film Auteurs
In the film industry, there are directors who merely take someone else’s vision and express it in their own way on film, then there are those who take their own visions and use any means necessary to express their visions on film. The latter of these two types of directors are called auteurs. Not only do auteurs write the scripts from elements that they know and love in life, but they direct, produce, and sometimes act in their films as well. Three prime examples of these auteurs are: Kevin Smith, Spike Lee and Alfred Hitchcock.
Kevin Smith has make the grueling trek from an unknown, extremely low-budget filmmaker to a well known and respected filmmaker thanks to the help of his vision to stick to the basics. His films are about normal, middle class life adding elements of humor, drugs, and the daily struggle of blue-collar workers.
Smith was born and raised in Red Bank, New Jersey. He grew up going to the very same Quick-E Mart in which his first widely received film, Clerks, took place (www.uidaho.edu). Smith always uses his own experiences as a lower-middle class male in New Jersey to compile his scripts, and adds his own humor as well as the humor of recurring actors who appear in his films. His four semi-cult hit films are (in order of production): “Clerks”, “Mallrats”, “Chasing Amy” and “Dogma”. In all four of these films, Kevin Smith wrote the scripts, directed, produced and made appearances in the films.
Smith not only acts in all of the films, but also acts the same character in all the films. Jay and Silent Bob are two characters that make appearances in every one of Kevin Smith’s films. These characters are based on characters that Smith made up in his comic book entitled “Jay and Silent Bob.” Smith always plays the role of Silent Bob and Jay is always played by actor Jason Mewes.
Most of Smith’s films deal with a few twenty-somethings trying to overcome the basic obstacle of avoiding boredom. While there are always off-color and slightly controversial bits of conversations in his first films, Smith approached a slightly more controversial topic than usual in his last film, “Dogma.” “Dogma” starred Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as two fallen angels that would do anything to get their wings back. Smith took this opportunity to make a film in which he could fin...
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...t have an ultimate goal to express something they care about on film. They must not only express this in their script, but carry through on it by directing, producing and pulling together many other aspects of the film by themselves. Three filmmakers that fit this description to a “t” are Kevin Smith, Spike Lee and Alfred Hitchcock. These three men all went out with the same goal: To express their views of life in extraordinary films. They all went above and beyond their call of duty and are now ranked among the top filmmakers of history, the rank of film auteurs.
Andrew, Geoff. Stranger than Paradise. Limelight: New York, NY. 1987.
Lee, Spike and Lisa Jones. Uplift the Race: the Construction of School
Daze. Fireside: New York, NY. 1988.
Smith, Jessie Carney. Black Heroes of the Twentieth Century. Visible Ink.: Detroit, MI. 1998.
Truffaut, Francois. HItchcock. Simon and Scheuster: New York, NY. 1983
www.eFilmCritic.com. HBS Entertainment. 1998-2000.
www.uidaho.edu/~purc3906/kevbio.htm. University of Idaho. Last updated November 2, 2000.
www.zap2it.com/TVPeopleprofiles. Tribune Media Services. 2000.