Great Cinema Discussed Director By Director on The Auteurcast

Few propo­si­tions in film schol­ar­ship inspire as much con­tro­ver­sy as the so-called “auteur the­o­ry,” which holds that a film’s direc­tor imbues the work with its strongest and most iden­ti­fi­able cre­ative influ­ence. Some con­sid­er this notion laugh­ably implau­si­ble; oth­ers con­sid­er it untouch­ably self-evi­dent. But even if you don’t ful­ly buy into this auteur-cen­trism — and it can’t hurt to throw down a fist­ful of salt before the entire edi­fice of film the­o­ry — you can still use it as a help­ful tool to nav­i­gate the realm of cin­e­ma, espe­cial­ly if most of it remains ter­ra incogin­ta to you. Say you hap­pen onto a movie you enjoy — Full Met­al Jack­et, for instance — and find out it was direct­ed by a cer­tain Stan­ley Kubrick. You could then do much worse for addi­tion­al view­ing mate­r­i­al than to watch every­thing else the man ever direct­ed.

As for accom­pa­ni­ment in this cul­tur­al jour­ney, you could do much worse than Rudie Obias and West Antho­ny, hosts of The Auteur­cast. Tak­ing one film­mak­er at a time, they watch and dis­cuss every movie that film­mak­er has made. Of course they’ve cov­ered Stan­ley Kubrick: you can lis­ten to their con­ver­sa­tion on Full Met­al Jack­et right above, and I myself joined them as a guest when they talked about A Clock­work Orange. Hav­ing put out 136 episodes so far, Obias and Antho­ny have recent­ly made their way to two auteurs as seem­ing­ly on the oppo­site ends of a spec­trum (though exact­ly what spec­trum, I can’t say for sure) as James Cameron, he of Titan­ic and Avatar, and Paul Thomas Ander­son, he of Mag­no­lia, There Will Be Blood, and (to be dis­cussed in an upcom­ing episode) The Mas­ter. To catch up on The Auteur­cast as you catch up on cin­e­ma itself, you can down­load all of their past episodes as a tor­rent, then sub­scribe via RSS or iTunes.

Relat­ed con­tent:

500 Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, etc.

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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