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The Auteur as Fool: Bakhtin, Barthes, and the Screen Performances of Woody Allen and Jean-Luc Godard

Sayad, Cecilia (2011) The Auteur as Fool: Bakhtin, Barthes, and the Screen Performances of Woody Allen and Jean-Luc Godard. Journal of Film and Video, 63 (4). pp. 21-34. ISSN 0742-4671. (doi:10.5406/jfilmvideo.63.4.0021) (KAR id:28425)

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Inspired by Barthes’s conception of the author as a “scriptor” who does not precede the writing, but exists in the present time of the enunciation, this essay explores the performative dimension of cinematic authorship. I propose that the discussion of authorship should move beyond the problem of self-expression, focusing instead on the sense of an authorial presence, manifested, for example, in depictions of the author’s body and his struggle to communicate. Reading the filmic appearances of Jean-Luc Godard and Woody Allen through the figures of the standup comedian and the fool (as discussed by Bakhtin), this study argues that these directors’ screen performances establish the author as “foreign” to the film, all the while placing the film and the extrafilmic in a relation of contiguity. It follows that the fool-like characters played by Godard and Allen restore indexicality to the auteur, connecting the director’s image on the screen with his real existence as one of the film’s creators.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.5406/jfilmvideo.63.4.0021
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Cecilia Sayad
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2011 10:48 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:39 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Sayad, Cecilia:
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