If you want to learn more about how the whole pernicious director-as-auteur meme got started, there's a good article in this week's THE NEW YORKER about how François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. In the beginning they were learning how to be moviemakers together: 'Truffaut was a poor kid trying to break in; Godard was a rich kid trying to break out.' Later, Truffaut got tired of Godard being such a pain in the ass, and rejected him.
I remember watching Truffaut's lovely insider film DAY FOR NIGHT the first time when I was 20, and thinking, "If only I'd seen this movie when I was young; I'd have gone into the movies."
Later, I hung out in Paris after college, and saw boatloads of movies (the place was full of revival houses, before video killed them off), and a girl I had the hots for convinced me to go to film school anyway. I was in Paris in the first place because Lisa had convinced me to go there. I find that listening to women is often a good idea.
I find that most of Truffaut's films hold up pretty well. They're good stories with good characters. I never cared for Godard's films. I suspect they'd be even more irritating to me now.
An old friend of mine, David Kipen, came out with a clever book, too brief I thought, promoting the "schreiber theory": that the films of a particular screenwriter will have similar themes and styles. That some screenwriters, in other words, are worth as much study as "auteur" directors.
Labels: Alex, books, reading