Francesco Rosi : an auteur? : the cinema of Francesco Rosi
Auteurist approaches developed in the 1950s studied films as a means of personal expression, valuing those directors who could bring an individual quality to their films as 'auteurs' . More recent theories of subjectivity and textuality have displaced the centrality of the director as author of meanings in the film texts, but have had difficulty in explaining the continued importance accorded to directors in interviews and writing about their films. The interaction of directorial intention, film industry, and the use of other media to communicate the director's ideas to audiences is an area of continued theoretical concern. It is the aim of this work firstly to examine how Francesco Rosi has managed to constitute himself as an 'auteur' within the institutional structures of the Italian film industry, and the constraints which these impose. Between 1958 and today Rosi has made fifteen films, the majority of which to a greater or lesser extent engage with the reality of contemporary Italy. He works within the mainstream of the Italian film industry. His work can, however, be located within that narrow band of 1- 2% of films produced each season which can be designated 'art' or 'quality' cinema, as opposed to more or less formulaic genre products. This study aims to show that the institutional structures of the Italian film - and latterly media - industries have a primary influence both on the particular narrative patterns Rosi has at his disposal, and on the particular types of films which Rosi as director is financed to make. Secondly, I examine elements of Rosi's films which mark him out as an 'auteur'. Through close textual analysis, I identify recurring visual, rhetorical and narrative choices which can be shown to signal the presence of the 'auteur', Rosi, in the film texts, and to constitute his style.