Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dammaged View: Anti-Auteur'ity

For some reason the French like to gussy up stuff and for film they gave us the bogus notions of Auteurs and Avant Garde, both of which I like to say are French for Bullshit.  Auteur Theory is the idea that a film's director's ideas, trademarks and creative vision basically stamps the end product as undeniably theirs.  To me, this is some real horseshit.  A lot of people work on movies, hundreds, in fact.  Sure there are plenty of directors out there with visions but none of them make a film on their own so it can't exactly be their sole expression can it?

It's also one of those highfalutin ideals that people wearing berets, glasses and scarves would only reserve for recognized and reputable types, to them, filmmakers who make "important" work, whatever that means.  But distinctive filmmaking goes both ways, high brow and "people who like to make movies for people who like movies" brow a la Michael Bay.  You can tell when you're watching one of his movies through the visuals, cast, music, action and humor.  Bay is one of those directors, like Brett Ratner, who has made some excellent films and advanced film in terms of technology and editing while making boat loads of money yet is still looked down upon by critics.  Jealously I suppose, a case of "if they can do it, I can do it but I actually can't".  But if critics were good at filmmaking, they'd be making them instead of talking about them.

And if certain, repeated elements make a film relative to an individual, then Jean-Claude Van Damme is an auteur because he does the splits and shows his butt in at least half of the films in his career.

Arnold calls people "forehead", I call them Jill, Phil and Gil:

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