Auteurism past life, interferes with the relationship

Auteurism is the theory that a director brings a film to life and uses the film to express their thoughts and feelings about the subject matter as well as a worldview. In other words, auteurism is a film director’s fingerprint, left behind each film connecting them through various cinematic techniques. Many film directors achieve the title of becoming an auteur through their usage of unique, and repetitive cinematic and thematic techniques. One film director who is considered an auteur, is Clint Eastwood. Eastwood was born on May 31, 1930, in San Francisco, California and  is currently eight seven years old. He began his career as an actor in 1955, only partaking in small roles. In 1958, Eastwood scored his big break with a major part in the TV Western Rawhide. Next, he became extremely popular through his roles in various western films. Eastwood’s successful directing career began in 1971. Throughout his filmmaking, he won numerous awards, including best picture twice for Million Dollar Baby(2005) and Unforgiven(1993). Eastwood fits into the definition of an auteur because of his recurring themes and camera style that he introduces in each film. The films Gran Torino, Josey Wales and Pale Rider are great examples to the themes and camera work that Eastwood uses to fit the definition of an auteur. Gran Torino was released on December 9, 2008. The lead actors of this film are Clint Eastwood as Walt Kowalski, Bee Vang as Thao Vang Lor, Ahney Her as Sue Lor, Brain Haley as Mitch Kowalski and Doua Moua as Spider. The film is based around the life of a racist Korean War veteran and father, Walt Kowalski. Walt is a disgruntled person who never seemed to get along with his family. His traditionalist nature, still believing and following past life, interferes with the relationship with his family. Walter is also an isolated character still haunted from what he witnessed on the battlefield. One day, Walt notices a group of Asian people move in next door to his house. Walt, being the racist he is, didn’t approve nor was fond of his new neighbors. The family who moved in next door was a mother with her two children. Her daughter is named Sue and her son is named Thao.Thao is a very studious, obedient and shy child, trying to help his family survive. The town that they lived in is riddled with gangs, one of which includes one of Thoa’s cousins, Spider. Spider forces Thoa to join his gang and steal Walt’s Gran Torino as an initiation rite. Thoa gets caught in the process by Walt and attempts to stay away from the gang. Spider continues to harass Thao and his family throughout the film. One night, Walt unintentionally saves Thao from being mauled by the gang. This causes Thoa’s family and relatives to pronounce Walt as a hero, and give him many gifts. Walt didn’t enjoy the hospitality at first, but eventually gave in when he befriend Sue. Sue,hen invites Walt over for a barbeque. Whilst there, Walt realizes and enjoys the hospitality of Sue and Thoa’s family. He feels that he can connect more with them then he does with his actual family. Thao is then forced back to Walt’s house to perform an act of penance for his past actions. Walt wanted nothing to do with Thao, but realized that the quickest way out the situation was to corporate with him. He then builds an unlikely friendship with Thao, teaching him life lessons and finding him a job. Walt begins to act as a protector for Thao and Sue, helping them when they are in need. In the end, Walt sacrificed his life to protect the futures of Thao and Sue by getting rid of the gang that was harassing and holding them back. The main themes present in the film were respect, religion, family values, effects of war and death. Respect is a large part of the films message and is what Walt values the most. Walt doesn’t get along with his family and the newer generation of children because they all lack respect. Walt’s family are very self centered and only view him as a path to fulfill their wants. On the contrary, the Lor family and Hmongs respect principle. Walt admires this and is drawn to their culture. He also befriends Thao due to his idea. Thaor respects and looks up to Walt for guidance. Religion also plays a part in the film. Walt is a catholic and the film begins in a church. Father Janovich constantly tries to push Walt closer to religion throughout the film. At the end of the film, after Walt is killed, his dies in the pose of Jesus. Also, before he gets shot, he recites the beginning of catholic prayer, Hail Mary. This represents is sacrifice he made for Thao and Sue by getting rid of the gang. Family values are shown through Walt’s family and the Lor family. Walt’s family represents the modern generation who lack respect and are selfish. The Lor family has dignity, respect and are hard workers. The effects of war are primarily seen through Walt. Walt discusses with Thao that he still is suffering from flashbacks during the war and that he relives the moment everyday. The war destroyed Walt mentally and also gave him his prejudices against Koreans. The final theme in the film is death. Death is recurring throughout the film with first Walt’s wife dying and then Walt dying at the end. Also, Walt mentions how hard it is and how mentally draining it is to kill a man. Death was also used to stop the violence of the gang. Eastwood used many cinematic techniques to represent or enforce the themes and to produce the story. During most dialogue between the characters, each character was shot with a close up or an over the shoulder shot each time they were speaking. Then the camera would jump cut the next character that spoke. Eastwood also used a crane shot at the end of the film. The crane shot showed Walt’s body laying on the ground and showed the body’s position, which was similar to Jesus Christ on the cross. Eastwood used non diagetic music during times of conflict. His use of mise-en-scene of his house and the Lor’s house showed the distinct differences that they shared. Walt’s grass was green and grown, while the Lor’s house had dead grass and a disfigured garden. Eastwood also used a montage during Thoa’s work to show the amount of time that passed.  All in all these were the techniques used in the film to tell it’s story ad themes.Josey Wales was released on June 26, 1976. The lead actors of the film are Clint Eastwood as Josey Wales, Chief Dan George as Lone Watie, Bill McKinney as Terrill, Sondra Locke as Laura Lee and Paula Trueman as Grandma Sarah. The film is based around the time of and after the Civil War in the deep south. The film begins with Josey Wales  helplessly  witnessing the murder of his wife and child by the Northern Army(or Union) led by Terrill. Josey then joins the Southern Army seeking revenge. Josey refused to surrender when the war was over and his fellow soldiers went to turn in their weapons. They were then massacred by Terrill, but Josey managed to save a teen named Jamie who was injured during the exchange of gunfire. This incident caused the Union to place a bounty on Josey’s head. Josey then flees with Jamie, taking care of him until he passed due to his gun wound. The entire south was now looking for Josey to claim the reward of killing him. Josey then befriended an indian named Lone Watie. As they were travelling to Texas, Josey saves a female indian from enslavement and she adopts herself into his new family. Throughout the film, Josey is fleeing from the Union and the bounty hunters that are after him, killing every enemy. Josey then saves a grandmother with her grandchild from a group of crime seeking looters. The daughter, Sondra and the grandmother, Sarah, join Josey’s new family. They eventually make it to Sarah’s deceased son’s ranch, and begin to settle. This didn’t last long because the Union soldiers and Terrill eventually found where Josey was. With the help of his new family, Josey defeated the Union soldiers and finally killed Terrill. The main themes present in this film were the effects of war, death, humanity and religion. The film is predominantly based around war and suggests that war can ravage a society. Both the soldiers from the Union and the Confederation are alike in that they both are violent and self interested. Also, the war causes Josey to lose his reverence with God and religion, and adopt a life of lawlessness. Death is present and extremely recurring throughout the film. Josey’s character seems to be against death and killing, but the war causes him to become an outlaw. While talking to one of the bounty hunters, Josey says that dying ain’t much of a living. This suggests that killing isn’t something to be profited on. The idea of humanity and humanism is present in the film during Josey’s discussion with the leader of the indian group named ten-bears. As two men who have seen much pain and violence, they agree on a pact based on humanity not government. Also, during the confrontation, Josey says that men can live together without having to butcher each other. The final theme present in this film was religion. This theme works hand in hand with the effects of war. The war and violence make Josey more cynical of religion. Whilst grieving over his deceased family’s grave, he angrily shoves and knocks over the cross placed over the grave. This suggests that he lost his reverence with God.Eastwood used various cinematic techniques to help tell the films plot and to enforce the themes present. During most dialogue scenes between the characters, the camera is usually zoomed in on the speakers face. The camera then jump cuts to the next speaker and is zoomed in. Eastwood uses non diagetic music during times of conflict and increased tension. An example of this was when music was played when Josey went to meet with the indians. This created a suspenseful feeling, especially because there was tension between the characters. Eastwood also used a montage in the film to show the wars progression. The montage was used to shorten the civil war and show that the Union was winning the war. The entire film was simple in that it didn’t have any fancy or elaborate cinematic tricks or techniques. Eastwood used basic editing and camera work, but this style made the movie that much more watchable and the story more meaningful.Pale Rider was released on June 28, 1985. The lead actors of the film are Clint Eastwood as Preacher, Sydney Penny as Megan Wheeler, Carrie Snodgress as Sarah Wheeler, Michael Moriarty as Hull Barrett and Chris Penn as Josh LaHood. The film is based on the Gold Rush era in the southern part of the country. The film begins with the introduction of a community of miners with their families. A few moments later, a band of hooligans led by Josh LaHood and his father terrorize the group and destroys their small-town in hope of claiming the land. With all hope lost, Hull enters the town to get supplies for himself and his small town from a merchant. Whilst there, Hull gets harrassed and beat by hooligans, but is saved by Preacher. As an act of gratitude, Hull invites Preacher to stay at his place and join his community. Preacher accepts and revives the miner’s hopes. Preacher then fends off the attacks from LaHood’s men and decides to negotiate with Josh LaHood’s father. When the miners, led by Hull, refuse the negotiation, LaHood hires a band of deputies to take out Preacher and the others. As the deputies arrive, Preacher arms himself and rides into town to protect the miners. Preacher eventually kills all the deputies and LaHood. He then decides to leave the miners after ridding them of their enemies and continue on his own path.The themes present in the film are religion, unity and violence. Religion is one of the biggest themes in the film through symbolism and imagery. Preacher as a character is a symbol of religion. He is known by the deputy to be dead after they shot him in the past. This can be seen when Preacher’s shirtless back is shown covered in bullet wounds. Preacher becomes a Christ like figure in that he was unjustly killed, resurrected and now has returned to help the faithful and punish the evil. Another comparison to Christ, is how Preacher periodically appears and disappears. God tests his followers in the Old Testament by delaying profits and miracles for centuries at a time, forcing them to test their faith. Preacher does this with the townsfolk by returning to them when they decide to fight back against LaHood. Unity is also a major theme present in this film. Preacher discusses the idea of unity with the miners, saying that without unity and togetherness, they cannot defeat LaHood. The final theme that is suggested is the consequence of violence. Preacher represents how violence can create an uncivilized man and turn him into a savage. After Preacher takes care of the deputies, not only is his job done, but he realizes that he can’t live in a civilized society due to his violent nature. Eastwood used many cinematic techniques to suggest themes and to help the plot of the film. Eastwood used lots of non diagetic sound, mainly music, during times of conflict and tension. An example of this is when the deputies are looking for Preacher. The music gets more intense the closer a deputy gets to Preacher, and then Preacher pops out just as the music reaches its loudest to kill the deputy. Eastwood used a montage in the beginning of the film. This was a mix of showing Megan saying a prayer, scenery and Preacher riding his horse in the distance. This montage was representing Preacher being the answer to Megan’s prayer as she was asking for a miracle. Eastwood also used subjective camera views when different characters saw Preacher in the distance. An example of this is when one of LaHood’s men saw Preacher in the distance. This was shot subjectively to that character and as he looked away and then back, Preacher disappears. All in all, these were the main film techniques used to enforce or suggest a theme and to help enhance the plot. The thematic styles expressed in each film are connected in similarity and is evidence to why Eastwood is an auteur. One theme that is present in each film is religion. In Gran Torino and Pale Rider, the protagonist is symbolized with Jesus Christ. Walt sacrifices his life for the future of  Thao and Sue, while Preacher resurrected to help the townsmen and rid of the evil deputies. In Josey Wales, religion is shown as something that is lost due to war and violence. Another theme that each film shares is the effects of war and violence. Violence and or war effects each protagonist in all three films. In Gran Torino, Walt’s mind is scarred based on his previous war experience. While in Josey Wales, the civil war and violence makes Josey lose his connection with God, and makes him adopt a life of lawlessness. In Pale Rider, Preacher is forced to leave the town do to the violence that he endures. The violence also makes Preacher unable to live in a civilized society. Clearly these themes are present in each film and plays a large role in the overall meaning.  Eastwood’s cinematic techniques used in each film are repeated and is more evidence to why he is an auteur. The one technique that is most evident through each film was the characterization of the protagonist. In each film, the protagonist has a past of violence, is isolated and acts as a protector. In Gran Torino, Walt has a violent past as a war veteran and is isolated in that he doesn’t get along with his family. Eventually, Walt befriends his neighbors and protects them throughout the movie from the gang harassing them. In Josey Wales, Josey is also a war veteran. He becomes isolated when he loses his family during the war. Josey then builds a new family based on people who he helped throughout the movie and protects them from future danger. In Pale Rider, Preacher’s past is mainly unknown, but it is hinted that he had many violent altercations. Preacher is also an isolated character due to his violent nature. He acts as a protector throughout the film by fending of LaHood’s men and helping the small town miners. Another technique he used in each films were the use of non diagetic sound. The non diagetic sound came as background music during times of conflict and tension. Another technique is the way the dialogue is shot between each character. In each film, the characters that are in dialoge with each other are shot in a close up with the camera jump cutting to the next speaker. All in all, these techiches show that Eastwood uses simple techniques to piece his films together. The protagonists are similarly characterized, while each film is shot in a similar manner based on the imagery and sound.  In conclusion, the topic of auteurism is argued by film critics all over the world. This theory does hold water because each director has unique values that they express in their films. The directors suggest themes and use cinematic techniques to express their ideas which are usually carried on to each film. Clint Eastwood definitely fits the definition of an auteur. His repetitive themes of religion and violence, and cinematic techniques of the protagonist, sound and imagery are the main reasons why Eastwood is an auteur.

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