Saturday, December 15, 2012

Movie Authors

I first became familiar with the term, "Auteur," while reading Robert K. Johnston's Reel Spirituality. Its definition:

A filmmaker who influences their movies so much that they rank as their author.
It's a term that may not be used as much as it should. Or, perhaps, we refer to movies too much as "the new Will Ferrell one" or "the latest Final Destination." Either way, I was reminded of the term while watching Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited a few days ago. It, along with his most recent Moonrise Kingdom, follow in a stretch of family dramas that have a distinctive flavor including hand-picked music, deadpan acting, and luscious visuals.

Looking at the movies coming our way this holiday (read: Oscar) season, I can't help but take note of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. While I'm not a super-fan of Tarantino, I do like the fact that he has a distinctive style while also bringing something new with most of his movies. 
I would include both Anderson and Tarantino on the list of directors that fall in the "auteurs" category. Do you have other additions for today's world of cinema? Maybe Terrence Malick? P.T. Anderson?
Or maybe on the opposite side of the auteur coin, those directors/producers that are equally known for being the author of consistently poor movies?

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