The Auteur theory is one which I have done some research on before – if you are interested in some light reading feel free to immerse yourselves in Pulp Fact-ion: An Exploration of the Auteur Theory (Starring Quentin Tarantino) (Colvin 2016) – which filled me with optimism when I learnt of this task. Furthering my excitement then was the chance to look at another two artists which I happen to quite enjoy the work of – Michel Gondry and Radiohead – and one of the pioneers of cinema Georges Méliès.

In the film clip for Radiohead’s Knives Out Gondry’s use of in camera effects and trick staging are numerous but, when looking with direct reference to the techniques attributed to Méliès by Ezra in Georges Méliès: The Birth of the Auteur (2000), there are some that are easily identifiable;

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.59.01 PM

(Source: Knives Out, 2008,

  • Matte shots – While Gondry appears to use a more stop motion approach to filming the use of the television, complete with moving picture, while the image around it remains stationary is a variation on the Matte shot which was utilised by Méliès in Le Portrait mysterieux/The Mysterious Portrait (1899), in which Melies places a blank canvas inside a large, empty picture frame, sits beside it, and watches as an image of himself materializes (Ezra 2000, p. 30)

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.59.28 PM

(Source: Knives Out, 2008,

  • Staging in depth – when Thom Yorke is in the bed sliding back and forth past the camera.Méliès occasionally used staging in depth, by having actors move along the camera axis, rather than restricting them to horizontal movement (Ezra 2000, p. 32).

Given the progression of both cinema and technology since the time of Méliès other shared elements, such as the use of modelling and recreating smaller environments (the train track on the television) and the use of montage and overlapping editing, can be seen in works by both of these amazing Auteurs but are more difficult to justify with literary evidence given the drastically different nature of their works. Regardless of this the talent and influence of these two incredible directors cannot be understated – and nor should it – as they have both earned the right to be considered pioneers of film in their own unique right.



Colvin, W. (2016). Pulp Fact-ion: An Exploration of the Auteur Theory (starring Quentin Tarantino). Retrieved from

Ezra, E. (2000). Georges Méliès: The Birth of the Auteur. Manchester: Manchester University Press

Knives Out [vid]. (2008). Retrieved from




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s