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Croatian film


The discreet charm of authorship

Inspired by a retrospective of feature films of the Filmski autorski studio (FAS) /Film Author Studio/, an independent film company which produced five feature films at the end of 1960s and beginning of 1970s insisting on the modernist auteur cinema, the article examines the idea of film authorship and the French la politique des auteurs. The fact that every work of art has its author, hence also the film, is widely accepted among average film viewers. However, this text supports the thesis that film studies could have better results by revising the term »author« and by seeking social roots of the idea of authorship. The auteur theory appeared in France after the Second World War, especially in F. Truffaut's texts. His use of the term auteur referred to the fact that some films are more original than others and that directors put more or less of their personal creativity into their films. Films that reflect the directors' attitude and intervention were referred to as auteur films by Truffaut. This policy eventually became highly controversial and it was strongly criticized (for example Kael and her criticism of Sarris). For example, if we do not take the author as only a possible landmark when trying to find our way in the history of film, but if we see him as the absolute author of the film, there is a risk of simplification that those who challenged auteur criticism warned about. Whenever we name one person a film's author, we necessarily distort the reality by reducing a collective process of filmmaking to one person. One of the complaints about auteur criticism is that it is difficult to determine which filmmaking procedures can be called auteur cinema and which not. Further in the text there is a definition of film authorship (Livingston) which, considers the author, should be criticised from the social context perspective. The author demonstrates this by applying the model of the sociology of science, by applying the elements of Randall Collins's work The Sociology of Philosophies: a Global Theory of Intellectual Change (1998) on film by substituting the term »intellectual« with the term »film director« and thus deserting the romantic cult of an intellectual hero and a genius artist.

Igor Bezinović

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