There are different attributes when identifying the film of an author.
It may be because of the way they edit, it may be because of the composition in their photography (Kubrick, Scott, Lean, Kurosawa, etc.) the movements in their shootings (Kubrick, Hosoda, Kurosawa, Lean, Godard, Greenaway, Anderson), or as the recurrent use of silences (Scorcese), and even lighting (Lean) and many more.
I believe that the personal stamp of each filmmaker is due to his appreciation of the world through the camera, and as you can see in his films, many use more than a single resource that becomes recurrent throughout his filmic history.
The Shinning – Stanley Kubrick 1980
And it is the recurrent use of this filmic look that they carry in their eyes which gives them a unique way of interpreting reality and which allows viewers to share a little of their view of reality, or at least how they prefer they see it
And it is that reality becomes perfect to the extent that it is seen through the eyes of the cinema, and these directors who insist on never leaving their vision of reality seek the best visual or auditory composition to narrate that portion of reality that the screen allows them to present.
Sometimes achieving masterpieces full of composition, color, symmetry, music and of course a good story. I want to see cinema, for this type of authors is that I see cinema, because I like to see in their works that little bit of them that they always leave behind in each film.
Lawrence of Arabia – David Lean 1962
That’s right, each director leaves a part of his being in each film, sometimes reflecting a moment that happens in his life, other stages of inspiration that motivate him to follow, or simply his own artistic interests. And that is why we find directors who leave their mark, and I think that each director leaves something of himself in each work.
It does not matter if it is a short film, a medium or a full-length film, the auteur cinema is seen when you find these constants in your work, in the way of showing you that fraction of reality that are the movies, embellished of course with the cinematographic language.
Blade Runner – Ridley Scott 1982
It does not matter if it’s comedy or a melodrama, even terror, when you show these constants you know that you’re in an author’s cinema. That is what separates a director from a Grand Director.
Almost always combine many elements, such as composition and movement, I remember the films of Akira Kurosawa that in all his films manages a mixture of composition in front of the camera seasoned with movement from the bottom, combining the elements. If you watch your films is very recurrent the use of some element, water, wind, fire, etc. And it combines it with the movement of people, to give emphasis to action or argument. That’s the seal of an author.
Ran – Akira Kurosawa 1985
The next time you see several films by the same author you can try to find those tracks on the screen that signify signs of his signature, readable only by those watching moviegoers.