Alfred Hitchcock Auteur Analysis

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Josh Litman Josh Litman Prof. Janelle Blankenship T.A. Caitlin Foster Film Studies 1020 1 A Director's Signature: What Makes Hitchcock an Auteur? According to The Film Experience, auteur theory holds that "a film bears the creative imprint of one individual, usually the director, whether or not it is considered a great piece of art," and that it "is taken to reveal the personality of its director," (p. 464). In other words, it suggests that a director may have a signature style, or 'stamp,' that permeates his or her body of work. Auteurism can be observed in the thematic, aesthetic, and ideological concerns of a director. Alfred Hitchcock can be deemed an auteur as there are similar thematic, aesthetic, and idealistic threads running…show more content…
However, when the shot cuts away again to a half-naked girl exercising in her window, the protagonist's smile suddenly appears creepy (Geiger & Rutsky, p. 480). The close-up shots of Stewart also serve to portray his 'imprisonment' inside the room. Also, according to Geiger and Rutsky, Hitchcock uses an "extremely rich and complex sound design," with "frequent use of snatches of conversation, the sound of a radio, and street noises," (p. 477). This complex mix of sounds contributes to the suspense at times, particularly when the focus is on more mechanical noises, such as those from the street, but it is less of a factor in Rear Window than in Hitchcock's other films. In The Birds, Hitchcock utilizes close-up shots of the children fleeing the school, as well as close-up shots of the birds attacking them. Switching between these close shots of the action reflects the terror and immediacy of the situation, generating the suspense Hitchcock is known for. Indeed, Bordwell and Thompson note that such "rapid cutting in The Birds evokes shock and horror," (p. 308). Even in the open environment, the close-up shots serve to create a sense…show more content…
The close-up shots in particular create suspense by manufacturing a sense of confinement/imprisonment for the characters, as well as the viewer. Hitchcock targets gender ideology in his films by plugging into man's supposed fear of being feminized. As such, Hitchcock often deals with male characters who are feminized/emasculated in some form or another. For example, the protagonist in Rear Window, a photographer, is confined to his apartment after breaking his leg taking an action shot at an automobile race. Questions of gender arise when analyzing Jeff's new passive, immobile role — one that is quite different from his prior role as that of an action photographer. Women are typically portrayed in films as passive beings in need of assistance, but Hitchcock reverses the gender stereotype in Rear Window by placing a man in that 'domestic' role; however, it is more apt to say that Jeff is being subjected to the passive role, as he mopes a lot about his state of affairs. Jeff also displays a fear of being confined to marriage when talking to Lisa (Grace Kelly). According to Geiger and Rutsky, "Jeff's impaired potency, represented by his broken leg, connects him by association to the impairment — or castration — that he believes marriage itself threatens," (p. 485). This symbolic castration of the male protagonist reflects Hitchcock's mode of addressing gender ideology in his films. In The Birds, Hitchcock displays his misogynistic
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