Essay on Akira Kurosawa and Robert Zemeckis

2126 Words 9 Pages
Akira Kurosawa and Robert Zemeckis

“As the term suggests, an auteur is an author, someone whose aesthetic sensibilities and impact are most important in the creation of a text. With literary texts, discerning authorship is usually no problem. But with collaborative art forms, such as film, deciding on authorship is much more complicated. Generally speaking, film theorists have concluded that it is the director of a film who is the auteur, the most important creative figure.

But auteur theory is concerned with more that one film; it is concerned with the work of a director – with his or her whole corpus of films, and with certain dominant themes and stylistic aspects of these films. The text in auteur criticism is not one film, but the
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The unknown consistency that is present in an “auteurs” film seems to be lacking in the films of a metteur en scene. While there may not be a consistent feeling present in the films of a metteur en scene, this is not to say that their films are not quality ones. Zemeckis may be considered to be a successful director in the eyes of the viewing public, however, that is not to assume that he is also an auteur.

The distinguishing differences between the concepts of auteurism and metteur en scene will be demonstrated throughout this essay using the examples of Back to the Future and Forrest Gump for Zemeckis and Rashomon and Dodes ‘Ka-Den for Kurosawa respectively. With these films we will examine the use of reoccurring themes or lack there of in each directors work: Themes illustrated by the directors include the director’s use of social themes and attitude towards his audience. To fully understand any film, we must try to understand the ideas which the director was attempting to portray to his viewers. One of the ways that auteurism has been defined is the consistency of ideas portrayed to the viewer over the scope of a directors career. A film early on in a director’s career has the same running themes and attitudes as a later film and thus we see a thematic bridge that links his/her films together. The uses of thematic bridges are found in all of Kurosawa's films.

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