2 or 3 things I know about auteurs

Seeing as how a gang of movies by prominent directors are descending or will descend upon Madison theaters this month, I chose to devote this week’s Cardinal column to evaluating the concept of the auteur and its place in the history of film criticism. Most of this is 101 (or preaching to the choir) for anyone who’s taken an introductory-level film class, but I think the debate remains unresolved and relevant enough to warrant more attention than it’s already gotten. Though my personal film aesthetics are pretty much anti-auteur, I’m usually guilty of mentioning films and their directors in the same breath. Then again, the same goes for just about every other critic—except, on occasion, for the great Manny Farber, who I quote in the column. Give it a look, if you’re so inclined.

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