Wong Kar Wai and Auteur Theory Essay

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1) Barthes establishes “the prestige of the individual” as the modern literary author. He states that before the Middle Ages in England when the author was born, stories were told by a “shaman” or “mediator” and the story maybe admired for the performance, but never the genius of the teller. Once books became popular the person behind the creation of the stories became as important as the story itself. 2) Barthes capitalizes the term “Author” because he believes that in modern literature, the author is considered to be the most important aspect of the writing. When considering his or her writing, society takes into account the author’s personality, taste, and passions. The author’s failing are also used to justify the failing of their work even though one rarely has anything to do with the other. Barthes argues that the “theological” (the message of the “Author”) meaning cannot be found in a single line of text. He believes that a culmination of cultures and ideas are laced together to form a multi-dimensional space. He goes on to further state that once the Author is identified with the work, a critic needs only to look at the Author to find the “meaning” behind the work. 3) After reconsidering his focus on “the romantic agony of the artist”, Sarris believes that one should evaluate a director’s film with auteur theory as a tool to help identify the incidental style of the work and evaluate it as a whole. He doesn’t believe that a director can use auteurism as a methodology to create films. 4) I would argue that Wong Kar Wai is absolutely an auteur. Sarris would argue that the theory of Auteurism should be used to only identify and evaluate a filmmaker’s work and it could not be used as a means of production. I would argue that in the case of Wong Kar Wai, Sarris is wrong. Wong Kar Wai is actively attempting to be an auteur. He is not only the visual

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