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Much in the same way peple have favorite authors who create certain expectations from...

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darlthomp | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 7, 2013 at 2:04 AM via web

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Much in the same way peple have favorite authors who create certain expectations from their writing, we have the auteurist theory in film. While the theory has become important in film analysis, what are arguments against auteurist theory?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 15, 2013 at 9:08 AM (Answer #1)

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The original question had to be edited.  I would suggest that resubmitting the additional questions could be very beneficial.  I would say that one of the strongest arguments against the auteur theory is that it denies the idea that there are other forces in constructing cinema.  Simply put, when Truffaut says that "There are only good and bad directors," it fails to integrate the number of people involved in making a film.  Their contributions could be seen as just as important as the director's.  

Even if one made the assumption that certain individuals' talents always follow the same director (Thelma Schoonmaker- Martin Scorsese, John Williams- Steven Spielberg, Edith Head- Alfred Hitchcock, Gordon Willis- Woody Allen), it denies how important these individuals are to the construction of the cinema.  The director's vision is essential in any film, but the autere theory seems to place this vision as in higher status than other elements.  For example, if I had a great scriptwriter, editor, cinematographer, as well as production designer, costume designer, music composer, and actors, I could probably make a great film and I have no vision as a director. My point is that the autere theory seems to reduce these roles in place of a director's focus.  I would question the complete validity of this.

Another element that has to be raised is that the premise of making films and securing financing for films is changing.  The autere theory fails to take into account that financial motivation is becoming more dominant now than ever before in the flimmaking industry.  At the time of the autere theory, studios were able to "write off" films for being "artsy" and that was acceptable loss for them financially.  This is not the case now, where studios are becoming more driven in terms of generating profit domestically and internationally.  There is much to be gained from another "Transformers" or another "Iron Man" installment than a film about emotional insecurity between a married couple experiencing existential crises.  Autere film directors are having to make some harsh choices that might not have presented themselves in such a stark manner for artists in the past. This raises some level of question to the autere theory.  It might not be about "good directors and bad directors," as much as it might be about "bad studios and worse studios."

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