Spielberg as Filmmaker

  • James Mairata


In attempting to understand the degree to which a filmmaker controls the construction of narrative (Bordwell’s ‘intentionality’), we also need to ascertain which agent or agents are responsible for specific parts of a film: the director, the producer, the writer, the star, etc. A contrasting perspective can be seen in Janet Staiger’s (2003, p. 31) consideration of W. K. Wimsatt and M. C. Beardsley’s ‘intentional fallacy’ where the emphasis on the meaning in the narrative is placed with the spectator. Gregory Currie (1995, pp. 245–249) forgoes his ‘Real Author Intentionalism’ for ‘Implied Author Intentionalism’ suggesting that how works are interpreted is more important than authorial intention. Torben Grodal (2004) considers the links between intentionality, consciousness and free will and the claim that these are superseded by ‘… language, culture, discourses, or unconscious traumas’ (p. 27). Arguing for the role of intentionality in the creative process he points out ‘Somehow, the fact that the function of consciousness and intentions are influenced by non-conscious factors has been interpreted as if consciousness has no role whatever’. Staiger (2000, pp. 37–39) constructs ‘perverse spectators’—her term for audiences that do not necessarily perceive or react as expected. Criticising the ‘normative description’ as a blanket definition for the nature of the audience, she lists seven instances of inaccuracies in the way audiences are defined. These range from their artificial construct at the hands of scholars to a lack of recognition in audience variety, erroneous assumptions about why audiences watch films and inaccuracy in the assumed knowledge of audiences.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Mairata
    • 1
  1. 1.Charles Sturt UniversitySydneyAustralia

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