When the writers (and future film makers) of the influential French film journal Cahiers du Cinema formulated what became known as “the auteur theory” in the late 1950s and early 60s, it caused a lot of controversy in cinematic circles. Simply put, it stated that the director was the prime mover, the “author” of the film and that everything in the film flowed from his vision.
For those who had grown up with the Hollywood style, where a director was just a component of the greater package, this idea seemed hard to fathom. Even harder to grapple with was the notion that, if a film maker was considered a worthy “author”, then whatever film he (or she) might create would be a worthy entity.
One might well question that last perception. The British author Somerset Maugham once made the witty (and, like all good jokes, true) remark that only a mediocre person was at his best at all times. The bottom line is that not every film of a great film maker (author) is great.
Some of the best get into repetition and very many made “autumnal” works late in their careers which have to be taken with a measure of kindness. However, it is also true that very few great films have ever been made by film makers who are not great. (Note that film maker is used in place of director here. Most of the men listed below also wrote most of the notable films chosen for them, making them authors in the truest sense.)
Listed below are ten names with more than five excellent films each chosen to represent great works done by these artists. Are these the “best” directors of all time and are these their “best” films? Can there be ultimates in the arts? No, these are → continue…
From:: Taste Of Cinema