An auteur is a filmmaker who is almost like an author in the sense that their work uses the same camera style, character types and themes. Their body of work is so similar stylistically that audiences recognise it before reading the credits.
This was first coined as a way of reviewing films in 1954 by a French magazine called ‘Cahiers Du Cinema’. This cemented the idea that the director was the one in charge of the movie as opposed to producers. Francois Truffaut first introduced the term saying ‘there were only two ways to study film in depth; either by either the genre or the director.` (Kahwaji,2014)
(Everyman and playhouse, 2018)
I am going to be looking at the auteur Peter Jackson. Peter Jackson is a film director from New Zealand who’s film career ranges from Shock horror comedies to big-budget fantasy films.
How is Peter Jackson an auteur?
- He has a signature style to his movies which include; shooting from many different angles because he thinks it gives the editors more to work with.
- Humour in his film sometimes vulgar
- Has a very specific look that he has in all his films
Kahwaji, A., 2014. How Is Peter Jackson Portrayed A Modern Day Auteur?. [online] prezi.com. Available at: <https://prezi.com/qmwsw7dg1_pj/how-is-peter-jackson-portrayed-a-modern-day-auteur/> [Accessed 10 April 2020].
Everyman and playhouse, 2018. The Lovely Bones. [image] Available at: <https://www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats-on/the-lovely-bones> [Accessed 10 April 2020].
The telegraph, 2019. Peter Jackson Review. [image] Available at: <https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/7018208/Peter-Jackson-interview.html> [Accessed 10 April 2020].
(The telegraph, 2019)
Movie review: The lovely bones
There were high expectations from Peter Jackson to direct ‘The lovely bones’ after finding great success with ‘Lord of the rings.’ It was clear to audiences all around he was more than cable of making a film adaptation of a book. Unfortunately, the result was something less than amusing.
A 14-year-old girl is murdered and watches over her family and killer from beyond the grave in a place they call ‘the in-between’. The main conflict of the film is the decision to either get revenge on her killer who walks free or letting her family heal.
Peter Jackson shines as he brings the world of the ‘in-between’ to life with a lot of visually interesting moments. For example; when real-life elements of Susie’s life are reimagined into the in-between. We can clearly see this is where he does his best with the fantasy elements of the film. This was beautiful and fascinating to watch but felt very detached from the rest of the story. It’s obvious that this is what Peter Jackson was more attracted to and where his expertise lies. However, the portrayal of the family dynamic felt forced and awkward.
At the start of the film, we’re bombarded with exposition and scenes that exist sorely to be reincorporated later in the film. A perfect example of this is an important character trait of Susie, our main protagonist, being an aspiring photographer. We learn this is by seeing Susie constantly taking pictures even when it’s not necessary like while riding her bicycle. You can easily tell that real life was meant to be used as a break from the fantasy. A way of showing Susie starting to accept her death while her family falls apart, not ready to accept their daughter’s death. This would have been a perfect dynamic to show, leading to a satisfying conclusion when the murderer gets what he deserves, and the family heal completely from the situation. What we get is far from that. Susie’s mother leaves halfway through the film, leaving behind her grieving husband, teenage daughter, and 10-year-old son with no explanation. We never see the emotional impact this has on the family. To make everything worse, it seemed as though the actors didn’t know what their character’s motivations were leaving the performance stale.
Jackson tries to add humour into the film with the introduction of the grandma in a montage of her cleaning the house horribly, but it falls flat because it doesn’t fit the tone of the film.
The climax of the film where the antagonist is supposed to get punished is very disappointing as he is not caught by the police rather killed due by an icicle falling on his head causing him to trip.
Overall, I would rate this film a solid 4/10. There is a lot to dissect in terms of analysing the film, unfortunately, there is worse than good. Peter Jackson is no doubt an amazing director but should perhaps focus more on fantasy films.
(Everyman and playhouse, 2018)