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The intention of this essay is to discuss the romantic notion of a film director who has etched their own cinematic vision into the body of their film work, and whether the theory and practice is dead and an infringement of the spectator’s imagination and is it the spectator who finds meaning in the film. I will be closely looking at critical material, primarily André Bazin and Roland Barthes and applying them to several case study films directed by Christopher Nolan including The Following (1998), The Prestige (2006) and Inception (2010), to examine whether Nolan possesses the qualities of an auteur and if so, does that imply an ideological view of what the auteur resembles or an artistic one.
The term auteur theory arose in France during the 1940’s, a foundation to the French cinematic movement known as the nouvelle vague (French New Wave), principally noting the director as the author. The dominant view of cinematic authorship has consisted of novels, paintings, poems and more recently, films. To understand the auteur we must first realise that film can be considered an art for…