Sunday, August 23, 2009

"The Auteur Theory" is about someone like "The Auteur": an indie filmmaker makes fun of his own kind

The Auteur Theory” is a British comedy that lets the “auteur” make fun of its own “auteur mentality.” Made in 1999, directed by Evan Oppenheimer, distributed by Pathfinder (no relation to James Fenimore Cooper) the film sets up a conceited British filmmaker George Sand (note the name of the author), played by Alan Cox, who makes a documentary about a student film festival and its self-indulgent contestants.

The “Theory” is that “film creates reality which in turn creates film”. That notion got me into trouble when I was substitute teaching in 2005, with an original screenplay that I had posted online, “The Sub”, the ramifications of which I discuss on my main blog on July 27, 2007. Here, the directors of the bad films start turning up dead, as in a Hitchcock film (no march of the marionettes here), presumably because one of the contestants is killing off the competition.

In the beginning, Sand is getting his “last chance” (not penultimate) to apply for BBC funds, and yet he wants to make his pitch for his meta-film idea. It’s as if he could make a film about the 48-hour filmfest. Later, he makes some cute kudos, like “38% of soccer players are gay” (that’s one of the films, gays in pro sports aka “gays in the barracks in the military”); “films make us” and finally “films kill people”. The police seem pretty interested in what’s in an unseen film.

Picture: "White Party" at Central Station, Baltimore, Aug. 2009 (not in film)

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