NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 128

A product of the marriage between Parisian intellectuals and the Cinephilia , auteurism as a movement emerged to assert that the cinema is a “… means of personal expression ” ( Astruc , in Stam & Miller , 2000 , p . 1 ) of the filmmaker whose own cinematic technique transmutes the popular imagination into an aesthetic whole . In other words , the author of a film can be likened to ‘ the hand that crafts the film .’ We have elected to do a critical analysis of Saworoide ( 1999 ) and Maami ( 2011 ), directed by Tunde Kelani , and The Figurine ( 2009 ) and Phone Swap ( 2012 ) by Kunle Afolayan . The essay undertakes in-depth analyses of the films and auteur-directors under study with particular attention to influence , style , technique , theme , shots and composition of narration , as hallmarks of the authorial tendency in Nollywood and how these contribute to a neo-Nollywood of quality films . We shall also draw on other films to situate consistency in style and recurring themes , throwing light on their positions as auteur directors . Okome points that the concept of “ neo-Nollywood ” is not entirely new and that during the symposium on Nollywood in 2009 dubbed Nollywood and Beyond : The Transnational Dimension of an African Video Film Industry , “ Alessandro Jedlowski expanded on the idea of the neo-Nollywood film as a critical field of scholarly interrogation , arguing for the need to contextualize what the emergence of this kind of film means for the scholarship of Nollywood ” ( 2014 , pp . 413-414 ).
This new wave of filmmaking in Nollywood asserts that there is a shift of focus from a local-popular to a transnational-elitist audience , based on its capacity to interpret the dreams , fears and expectations of its local audience in a distinctive way different from the old Nollywood ( As cited in Okome , 2014 , p . 414 ). Neo-Nollywood as a concept does not exclusively point to a period in the history of Nollywood . In its simplest thought , it is the emergent film form nascent and preferable to the old Nollywood structure .
To analyze authorship in Nollywood , the present study identifies the following , as some of the most commonly ascribed characteristics of an auteur :
• The filmmaker is principal author of a film ;
• He / she is the prime source of meaning in a film ;
• An auteur is a technically outstanding filmmaker ;
• He / she is a filmmaker with artistic as opposed to commercial merit ;
• He / she is a filmmaker with an identifiable individual style ;
• He / she is a filmmaker who makes films with recurring themes .
As a result , the characteristics that make the films of the auteurs under study “ special ” shall be accentuated . The films are analyzed in terms of their originality , individual expression , imagination , and cultural / political radicalism . The works of these auteurs are conceptualized as having some quality or dimension that takes them beyond genre and into the realm of neo-Nollywood . To achieve this , the essay shall :
• Identify the unique qualities of these filmmakers ;
• Demonstrate and explain the way these qualities are reflected in their films ;
• Explain how and why these films go beyond genre and into the realm of neo-Nollywood ;
• Evaluate the major creative movements and the techniques , which the directors employed in their films ;
• Examine the composition of films ’ shots , and the way they are put together and ;
• Look at other films by same director to see if there are recurring themes .