Wednesday, September 14, 2005

In response to my first media journal post, I was sent a link to a thought-provoking article on the subject of the auteur theory. You go there now.

As a fan of William Goldman (hey, this is the man who wrote The Princess Bride, give him his due), I agree with him that auteurship, in the form envisioned by auteur theory, doesn't really exist. While many directors are very much the guiding vision of their movies (Burton, Gilliam, and all the usual), film is by necessity a collaborative process. While one strong leader should be at the heart of it, there's still a scriptwriter to give words to the actors in front of the cameras on the set. Everyone with a hand in making a movie is going to leave a fingerprint on it, however prominent (Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet) or subtle (John Toll's lens-flared Amerka in Almost Famous/Untitled).

As digital technology progresses, we may one day get to the point where one person could write a script, act out every character himself, using a motion-controlled camera to execute perfect camera moves, then edit and score it using any of the currently available media tools. So the question now is; would that be some French New Wave-era ideal of true auteurship? Or would it just be cinemasturbation?

Either way, it'll probably be Lars Von Trier who does it. Or Paul Thomas Anderson.

More in comments.

Copyright 2004 Rich Bowen


You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your Designer/Architect
as well as your audience.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Howdy

'Thought & Humor'

P.S. Howdy Rich...

So, here's something I didn't know about P.T. Anderson: he's the son of legendary voice actor Ernie Anderson, probably best known for his jazzy ABC voice-overs, telling us "tonight, and all new Luuuuhve Boooat," or about "an explosive new Dynasty!" I think he may be doing some work now for Vancouver's Channel M; it sure sounds like him.

Oh, what do I think of Big Ern's son? Oy, that's a post of it's own. All I'll say is that I don't agree with Kevin Smith about Magnolia.

And you better believe I have the copyright on "cinemasturbation."
Film Writing: A lesson in cookie cutter paper cuts.

If you have a film production business, and you want to succeed, you create the environ where each person involved in the production process is allowed to make the finished project as brilliant and wonderful as it can be. . right?

This is obviously, not the case. Of course, often great ideas arise on the set, but there is as much control over the creative content of many films as there is control over what music gets played on commercial radio.

Sorry to break it to you folks, but less than ten percent of music radio stations in America allow the Dj to choose the music they play (which is why I listen to

But if you walk to any local video rental shop and observe the list of new releases you will find a few factors common each week.

Many films are made to follow a recipe. As in, it made us money to do a buddy film in the past, so here it is again. Or the obligatory, animated kid show for the sake of an animated kid show.

Someone, somewhere, sat and wrote the script for these vehicles. And I'm glad someone had the job.

But taste is a fading art. We tolerate without as much discretion as e once did. And this is a bad sign lending cred to the devo school of thought.

Imagine if every peacock generation used blander and smaller feathers. Just to save money on production.

It would be in line with the lack of originality in many streams of film production.

Luckily there are brilliant authors, actors, directors, etc that keep the art vivid and amazing. But it does not remove the sting of the unimaginative film on the shelf.

But such is life.

Someone, somewhere watches thise things. Maybe it is a rogue network of secret shoppers that keep these films off the shelf.

I can only hope that is the case, for the sake of the kids sitting down and watching the two hour film adaptation of the already brain dead tv character made famous by being on a channel that kids watch.

It is like success is as much coincidence in that case than actual art or craft.

But I digress.

Watch what you like.

I mean that last line two ways.

Be brilliant,


(i'm gonna put this on me blog too)
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