Dear List Members:
I hate to admit to a lack of knowledge in front of a group whose views I
respect as much as I do yours. But I have always had difficulty in
understanding the "auteur" theory, and in applying it to anyone other
than Hitchcock and Truffaut.
My (limited) understanding is that the auteur theory holds that films can
best be understood through a knowledge of their authors' views and
techniques, assuming the author is an "auteur". In this view, one might
look at a narrative story (say Rebecca), and examine the auteur's methods
of realizing it, methods which often present a richer or different
subtextual story which represents the auteur's stamp.
Is this correct? If it is, does the theory apply to all films, or only
those of an "auteur?" If the latter, how does one know who is an "auteur"?
I'd appreciate your thoughts.
Peter S. Latham
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite