auteur theory


Definition of auteur theory

: a view of filmmaking in which the director is considered the primary creative force in a motion picture

Examples of auteur theory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And auteur theory had little time for creative figures other than the director. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, "The Women Who Helped Build Hollywood," 28 Oct. 2019 In 1968, the world went up in flames, the auteur theory ignited debate, parental guidance at the movies was suggested, women in film were on the verge of a breakthrough, flesh-eating zombies hit the screen and American movies went to war (again). New York Times, "Dystopia, Apocalypse, Culture War: 2018 or 1968?," 17 May 2018 The second emphasizes the collaborative nature of filmmaking, refuting experts who spent years promoting the auteur theory, which elevates directors—virtually all male—to the highest power in the equation. Donna Rifkind, WSJ, "‘Nobody’s Girl Friday’ Review: All They Needed Was a Chance," 12 Apr. 2018 But our understanding of how movies are made has at least evolved over the years, thanks in significant part to the battles over auteur theory that consumed Andrew Sarris, Pauline Kael and other film critics in the 1960s and ’70s. Christopher Hawthorne,, "Credit where it's due: Why Gin Wong never quite became one of L.A. architecture's household names," 8 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'auteur theory.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of auteur theory

1962, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of auteur theory was in 1962

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Cite this Entry

“Auteur theory.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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