Academic journal article CineAction

Authorship

Academic journal article CineAction

Authorship

Article excerpt

Despite the various attempts to discredit authorship, it remains a useful and valid approach to film study and criticism. The Museum of Modern Art is currently running a series entitled "An Auteurist History of Film" and locally, TIFF continues to program retrospectives devoted to various auteur directors, ranging from Bresson to Burton. Attributing a film to its director acknowledges a personal vision but still recognizes the collaborative aspect of the medium and its position within the politics of a culture. Historically speaking, authorship owes its initiation to the post-war period with Bazin and the New Wave critic/directors and their commitment to the notion of the personal voice and creative expression and Astruc's idea of the camera 'stylo'. Although the Hollywood cinema is largely defined as a product of corporate culture, which today replaces the studio system as mass-producing entertainment, it is not, nor has it ever been, monolithic and individuals like Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood, still manage to create valuable bodies of work. Internationally, directors like Michael Haneke, Abbas Kiorastami, Manoel Oliveira, the Dardennes brothers, Jean-Luc Godard are all examples of artists whose films invite an auteurist approach.

We dedicate this issue to the memory of Chris Marker and Andrew Sarris, a filmmaker and critic respectively who both died within the last year and exemplify the significance of authorship. Sarris' book, The American Cinema, was a groundbreaking study which established authorship as a credible and valid framework for the evaluation of films and remains an important introduction to film studies. …

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