Andrew Sarris describes the fluidity of auteurism as based on patter theory. Sarris describes the varying degree to which an auteur might change over time. How ever as Sarris puts it, a bad director is labeled as such based on his or her cannon of films. In general most of those films would be bad however by contract a good director, as we cold expect would have a series of good films. Although Saris doesn’t exclude the possibility of a bad director making a good film or vice versa, it is more important to view the scope of the directors work as a whole. Hence Auteurism is derived from a collection, or body of work which suggests if the term ought to be applied.

The first premise of auteur theory as Sarris describes; is the technical mastery and competence over his or her work. This is to say that an auteur could be labeled as such if the technical craft of the film encompassed as a deep proficiency in the understanding of film language and the ability to express it flowingly. The various animated shorts and features part of Hayao Miyazaki’s cannon of works constitute a great deal of technical proficiency not only concerning the animation but the distinguishable personality that is evident through his films.

The film My Neighbor Tottoro and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind share not only Miyazaki’s vision but also his attention to detail. Both films are stylistically consistent although thematically they differ greatly. Both films utilize a similar visual style in animation which is a consistent factor in his films. Furthermore many of the stylistic elements and visual renderings could be seen as interchangeable between his many films. Most telling of all however is the consistency of interior meaning. While Tottoro may capitalize from the escape/fantasy dynamic perpetuated by childhood development Nausicaä finds greater interest in the preservation of fantasy. However both films are marked with Miyazakis personal style which almost always includes a strong central female character, childhood and fantasy components and the importance of perseverance.

It is also important to notice Miyazaki’s thematically conscience which remains relatively stable over his many works. Miyazaki encourages an alternative to children’s films via his model of content. Miyazaki places importance on gender equality and peace as key components in his themes. Although Tottoro does not reach the level at which Nausicaä displays Miyazaki’s greater themes both films emit a sensibility that is distinguishably Miyazaki. According to Sarris, Miyazaki may be considered an auteur due to his distinguishable style, stylistic consistency and thematical meaning as present throughout his body of work.

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