Auteur Theory


auteur (ōtör´), in film criticism, a director who so dominates the film-making process that it is appropriate to call the director the auteur, or author, of the motion picture. The auteur theory holds that the director is the primary person responsible for the creation of a motion picture and imbues it with his or her distinctive, recognizable style. Propounded most notably by the French director and film critic François Truffaut and the American film critic Andrew Sarris, it has been attacked by others, including Pauline Kael.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Auteur Theory: Selected full-text books and articles

Theories of Film By Andrew Tudor Viking Press, 1974
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Critical Method: Auteur and Genre"
Spanish Cinema: The Auteurist Tradition By Peter William Evans Oxford University Press, 1999
Film as Social Practice By Graeme Turner Routledge, 1999 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Auteurs and Genres" begins on p. 43
The Last Great American Picture Show: New Hollywood Cinema in the 1970s By Thomas Elsaesser; Alexander Horwath; Noel King Amsterdam University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "American Auteur Cinema: The Last - Or First - Picture Show?" begins on p. 37
The Author By Andrew Bennett Routledge, 2005
Librarian’s tip: "Singular Authorship: The Auteur" begins on p. 103
The Woman at the Keyhole: Feminism and Women's Cinema By Judith Mayne Indiana University Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Female Authorship Reconsidered"
Hitchcock's Films Revisited By Robin Wood Columbia University Press, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 14 "Ideology, Genre, Auteur (1976)"
Adventures on Prime Time: The Television Programs of Stephen J. Cannell By Robert J. Thompson Praeger, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Television Auteur" and Chap. 2 "A Television Auteur"
Integrating Theories of Cinema and Communication By Burke, Ken; Cavallari, H. Mario International Journal of Instructional Media, Vol. 27, No. 1, Winter 2000
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