My Gleanings

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Jacques Becker elaborates the Auteur Theory in 1946

This is an interesting quote from Jacques Becker from an article which he wrote for L'Ecran Française in 1946, an excerpt of which was republished by Avant-Scene Cinema in it issue of March 15 1962 on page 46. Becker is predating even Alexander Astruc in elaborating an early theory of the politique des auteurs.

"The creator of a talking film tells a story with images, words and sounds.
Jean Cocteau, who knows these things well, once wrote this, "The day when the director understands that the role of the author is not liimited to writing the text - the day when the writer himself directs - the dead language of cinema will become a living language."
I think like he thinks, on the screen, you can only tell a story that is your own.
You can borrow from others, but it then it is necessary to care for it such that in thinking about it, in working on it, one finally forgets that it belongs to someone else.
I believe this because the past proves it: Chaplin, Stroheim, Griffith, King Vidor, Lubitsch in America.
Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Nicholas Ekk in Russia.
Murnau, Fritz Lang, Pabst in Germany.
Abel Gance, Jean Renoir, René Clair among us.
All the great names that I have just cited, who have made this art a marvelous art, have always personally and completely prepared their stories before the shoot."



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