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auteurism

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auteurism

Postby sardith » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:27 am

I have a question and you are always so helpful, that I'm just going to throw it out here:

In using the word, 'auteurism,' must it be restricted only to the director of motion pictures, or could its usage be expanded to, let's say, the director of a large community project, whose own creative influence on the process was such that it also left his unique stamp upon completion?

Sardith
p.s. If so, I'd like to suggest auteurism for a word-of-the-day article, since I think it would be a useful term for such cases. 8)
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Postby Perry Lassiter » Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:47 pm

You've already expanded my knowledge. I don't think I ever stopped on the word auteur, just blundered on through. Now I've looked up both words. Everything I read pointed to the idea that the director is at least as much the prime creative artist as the author, with Chaplin, Hitchcock, and Woody Allen as examples. Popped two ideas in my mind. First, I doubt any director's influence would exceed that of the master writers, such as Shakespeare or T Williams. They can, of course, influence the production strongly, as, for example, doing the Bard in modern dress. Second, almost any word can be expanded metaphorically, so it's certainly possible that a strong community personality could be called an auteur. I think first of a music conductor and next of a mayor, governor, or CEO. Don't know that the word has been used in those venues.
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Postby Slava » Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:26 pm

While I agree with pl on some points, I differ on others. This is after conferring with a person I know who knows a lot about the film industry and history. He's even published a book on the films of Robert Wise. (Full disclosure: source is my brother.)

The word auteur could conceivably be used in other cases, but they must involve the imprinting of one person's vision onto and over others'. So, in general, the idea of a project director being the auteur of the end result works, if the end result of the uniting of all the disparate parts can truly be tied to him or her. A conductor is expected to make a mark, so they aren't eligible here. I gather the big idea is that the "thing" must have been a collaborative undertaking, which is why conductors, composers, choreographers, and the like aren't included. The author of the screenplay is almost never the "auteur" of the film or play. The producer of a movie plays a critical role, but almost no one ever remembers who they were.

So, my general take on this concept is that is possible, as language changes all the time anyway. However, at this point it might be pushing it to reassign "auteur" to other realms outside of the film industry. If the director of a large community project has left a distinct mark for the first time, perhaps putting "auteur" in quotation marks would be better. If there is a pattern, the marks go.

So, the architects are simply that. So are the funders and the city council, etc. They don't make the whole thing work as one. A director, of whatever may have such a structure, can develop into an auteur.

Hopefully this isn't all blather.
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auteurism

Postby sardith » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:42 am

Thank you both for your input. 8)

I perfectly I understand your blathering, Slava, and think I will use your quotation mark approach when referring to these types of people, that is, unless the English language decides to morph along with me, broadening the usage and appeal of this great word! :wink:

Until then,
Sardith :D
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