Thomas Elsaesser is an international film historian and professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He is the writer and director of The Sun Island, a documentary essay film about his grandfather, the renowned architect Martin Elsaesser. Thomas Elsaesser was born in 1943 in Berlin; the grandson of the architect Martin Elsaesser, he spent his childhood in Upper Franconia and in 1951 moved with his family to Mannheim, where from 1955 to 1962 he attended a Humanist Gymnasium, before studying English and German Literature at the Ruprecht-Karl University in Heidelberg. In 1963 Elsaesser left Germany for the United Kingdom, where he studied English literature at the University of Sussex. A. degree there, he spent a year at the Sorbonne in Paris. In 1971 he received his doctorate in Comparative Literature with a thesis on Jules Michelet and Thomas Carlyle’s Histories of the French Revolution from the University of Sussex. Between 1968 and 1970, he contributed to and co-edited a film journal published by the University of Sussex Film Society.
Other editors included David Morse and Gary Herman. He subsequently edited a similar journal from 1971 to 1975 in London, encouraged by Peter Wollen and supported by a grant from the Education Department of the British Film Institute. Writing as a film critic and theorist of classical Hollywood cinema, it was his essay on Hollywood melodrama that made Elsaesser known internationally. From 1972 to 1976 Elsaesser taught English and Comparative Literature at the University of East Anglia. In 1976 he established there, together with Charles Barr, one of the first independent centres for Film Studies in the UK, with a full undergraduate, MA and PhD program. In addition to seminars on early cinema, on Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang, Elsaesser initiated a course on the cinema of the Weimar Republic, which he co-taught with his colleague W. G. Sebald. In 1991, Elsaesser was appointed to a chair at the University of Amsterdam. There he founded the Department of Film and Television Studies, which he headed until 2000.
In 1992 he initiated an international Master's and Doctoral Program, a book series and he was co-founder of the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, set up after the US-American model of a Humanities Graduate School. In 2005 Elsaesser founded the international MA Programme in Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image. Since 1976 Elsaesser teaches as a visiting professor at American universities notably at the University of Iowa, University of California, New York University and Yale University. From 1993-1999 he was Professor II at the University of Bergen, in 2005-2006 he held the Ingmar Bergman Chair at Stockholm University. In 2006-2007 he was a Leverhulme Professor at the University of Cambridge. In addition, he taught several times as a visiting professor at the University of Hamburg, the Free University of Berlin and the University of Vienna. In 2003 he was a Fellow at the IFK-International Research Center for Cultural Studies Vienna, in 2004 Fellow at the Sackler Institute of the University of Tel Aviv and in 2007 Overseas Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge.
From 2006-2012 Elsaesser taught one semester a year at Yale University as a visiting professor. Since 2013 he is Visiting The School of the Arts at Columbia University. From 2000-2005 he was in charge of an international research project on "Cinema Europe" at the University of Amsterdam; the project resulted in several book publications on European cinema and film history, such as a study on the relationship between Hollywood and Europe, on Contemporary Cinephilia, on the European film avant-garde and film society movement, on Lars von Trier’s cinema as gaming prototype and the European Film Festival circuit. Other studies from the project were devoted to comparative studies, such as Post-classical Narration and World Cinema, Cinema and Memory, Finnish Visual Culture, Music in European cinema of the 1990s and several studies on European Cities and Media Culture. Elsaesser is an important representative of international film studies, whose books and essays on film theory, genre theory, film, archeology media and new media, the European cinema d'auteur and installation art have been published in more than 20 languages.
Elsaesser is known for his studies on every period of German film history, from early film, the cinema of the Weimar Republic and Fritz Lang, including the much-cited New German Cinema – A History, as well as a monograph on Rainer Werner Fassbinder, a study on the afterlife of the Nazi era in German post-war film, an anthology on the work of Harun Farocki and The BFI Companion to German Cinema. Besides his publications on German cinema, Elsaesser has edited and co-edited collections on Early Cinema, New Media, as well as co-authoring a book on Contemporary Hollywood and an innovative Introduction to Film Theory, his book New German Cinema: A History won both the 1990 Jay Leyda Prize and the Kathy Singer Kovacs Prize (awa
Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films and the film medium. The concept is used interchangeably with that of film reviews. A film review implies a recommendation aimed at consumers, however not all film criticism takes the form of reviews. In general, film criticism can be divided into two categories: journalistic criticism which appears in newspapers and other popular mass-media outlets. Academic film criticism takes the form of a review. Film was introduced in the late 19th century; the earliest artistic criticism of film emerged in the early 1900s. The first paper to serve as a critique of film came out of The Optical Lantern and Cinematograph Journal, followed by the Bioscope in 1908. Film is a new form of art, in comparison to music and painting which have existed since ancient times. Early writing on film sought to argue that films could be considered a form of art. In 1911, Ricciotto Canudo wrote a manifesto proclaiming cinema to be the "Sixth Art". For many decades after, film was still being treated with less prestige than longer-established art forms.
By the 1920s, critics were analyzing film for its value as more than just entertainment. The growing popularity of the medium caused major newspapers to start hiring film critics. In the 1930s, the film industry developed concepts of stardom and celebrity in relation to actors, which led to a rise in obsession with critics as well, to the point that they were seen on "red carpet" and at major events with the actors, it was in the 1940s. Essays analyzing films with a distinctive charm and style to persuade the reader of the critic's argument, it was the emergence of these styles that brought film criticism to the mainstream, gaining the attention of many popular magazines. As the decades passed, the fame for critics grew and gave rise to household names among the craft like James Agee, Andrew Sarris, Pauline Kael and in modern times Roger Ebert and Peter Travers. Film critics working for newspapers, broadcast media, online publications review new releases, although review older films. An important task for these reviews is to inform readers on whether or not they would want to see the film.
A film review will explain the premise of the film before discussing its merits. The verdict is summarised with a form of rating. Numerous rating systems exist, such as 5 - or academic-style grades and pictograms; some well-known journalistic critics have included: James Agee. Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel popularised the concept of reviewing films in a television format in the show Siskel & Ebert At the Movies which became syndicated in the 1980s. Both critics had established their careers in print media, continued to write written reviews for their respective newspapers alongside their television show; some websites, such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, seek to improve the usefulness of film reviews by compiling them and assigning a score to each in order to gauge the general reception a film receives. Blogging has introduced opportunities for a new wave of amateur film critics to have their opinions heard; these review blogs may focus on one genre, director or actor, or encompass a much wider variety of films.
Friends, friends of friends, or strangers are able to visit these blogsites, can leave their own comments about the movie and/or the author's review. Although much less frequented than their professional counterparts, these sites can gather a following of like-minded people who look to specific bloggers for reviews as they have found that the critic exhibits an outlook similar to their own. YouTube has served as a platform for amateur film critics; some websites specialize in narrow aspects of film reviewing. For instance, there are sites that focus on specific content advisories for parents to judge a film's suitability for children. Others focus on a religious perspective. Still others highlight more esoteric subjects such as the depiction of science in fiction films. One such example is Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics by Intuitor; some online niche websites provide comprehensive coverage of the independent sector. They tend to offer uncompromising opinions free of any commercial interest, their film critics have an academic film background.
The Online Film Critics Society, an international professional association of Internet-based cinema reviewers, consists of writers from all over the world, while New York Film Critics Online members handle reviews in the New York tri-state area. A number of websites allow Internet users to submit movie reviews and aggregate them into an average. Community-driven review sites have allowed the common movie goer to express their opinion on films. Many of these sites allow users to rate films on a 0 to 10 scale, while some rely on the sta
Bracha L. Ettinger
Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger is an Israeli-born French artist and theorist. As visual artist she has produced paintings, drawings and photography, she is a philosopher and writer. Ettinger's work consists of oil painting and writing. Ettinger is now considered to be a prominent figure among both the French painters' and the Israeli art's scenes. Ettinger's art was analysed at length in the book Women Artists at the Millennium, in Griselda Pollock's Encounters in the Virtual Feminist Museum and in Catherine de Zegher's anthology Women's Work is Never Done, her ideas in cultural theory and French feminism achieved recognition after the publication of Matrix and Metramorphosis, fragments from her notebooks and The Matrixial Gaze. Over the last two decades her work has been influential in art history, film theory, psychoanalysis and gender studies. Ettinger is a Professor at European Graduate School in Switzerland. Bracha Ettinger was born in Tel Aviv on 23 March 1948, she received her M. A. in Clinical Psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she worked as research assistant personal assistant of Amos Tversky and Danny Kahneman.
She married Loni Ettinger in June 1975 and moved to London where she studied and worked between 1975 and 1979 at the London Centre for Psychotherapy, the Tavistock Clinic and the Philadelphia Association. Her daughter the actress Lana Ettinger, was born in London, she worked at Shalvata Hospital. Ettinger, who has painted and drawn since early childhood, is self-taught. In her early days she avoided the art scene. In 1981 she decided to become a professional artist and moved to Paris where she lived and worked from 1981 to 2003 with her partner Joav Toker, her son Itai was born in 1988. As well as painting and photography, she began writing, received a D. E. A. in Psychoanalysis from the University Paris VII Diderot in 1987, a Ph. D. in Aesthetics of Art from the University of Paris VIII in 1996. Ettinger had a solo project at the Pompidou Centre in 1987, a solo exhibition at the Museum of Calais in 1988. In 1995 she had a solo exhibition at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, in 1996 she participated in the Contemporary art section of Face à l'Histoire.
1933–1996 exhibition in the Pompidou Centre. In 2000 she had a mid-life retrospective at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, in 2001 a solo exhibition at the Drawing Center in New York; as well as working as an artist, Ettinger continued to train as psychoanalyst with Françoise Dolto, Piera Auglanier, Pierre Fedida, Jacques-Alain Miller, has become an influential contemporary French feminist. Around 1988 Ettinger began her Photography project, her personal art notebooks have become source for theoretical articulations, her art has inspired art historians and philosophers who dedicated a number of essays to her painting. Based in Paris, Ettinger was visiting professor and research professor in psychoanalysis and aesthetics at the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. Since 2001 she has been visiting professor in Psychoanalysis and Aesthetics at the AHRC Centre for Cultural Analysis and History. Ettinger had returned to Tel Aviv in 2003, was a lecturer at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem until 2006.
From 2006 on she became Chair and Professor at the EGS. Some of her specific academic fields of endeavour are feminist psychoanalysis, aesthetics, the gaze, sexual difference and gender studies, Jacques Lacan, the feminine, early psychic impressions, pre-maternal and maternal subjectivity. Ettinger's research concerns light and space, in this it follows from Monet and Rothko, her subjects concern the human condition and the tragedy of war, her work in this aspect follows on after artists such as Käthe Kollwitz and Francisco Goya. The painting process engages a space of passage between figures and abstraction, her attitude to abstraction resonates with the spiritual concerns of Agnes Martin and Hilma af Klint. Another major subject in her work is the unconscious and in particular the feminine and the maternal, her notebooks accompany the painting process but are art works. From 1981 until 1992, Ettinger's principal artwork consisted of drawing and mixed media on paper as well as notebooks and artist's books, where alongside theoretical work and conversations she made ink and wash painting and drawing.
Since 1992, apart from her notebooks, most of her artwork consists of mixed media and oil paintings, with few parallel series that spread over time like: "Matrix — Family Album", "Autistwork" and "Eurydice", with themes of generational transmission of memory and historical trauma, the Shoah and the World Wars, the gaze, light and the space and maternality, inspired by classical painting and creating an abstract space where the questions of beauty and sublime become relevant for our time. Between 1984-2008, images that she obtains first by collage and xerox processing are abstracted in a long process of oil painting that takes a few years. From 2008 until now Ettinger works her oil paintings directly on canvas and doing video art films that contains her drawings and p
Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein was a Soviet film director and film theorist, a pioneer in the theory and practice of montage. He is noted in particular for his silent films Strike, Battleship Potemkin and October, as well as the historical epics Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible. In its decennial poll, the magazine Sight & Sound named his Battleship Potemkin the 11th greatest movie of all time. Eisenstein was born to a middle-class family in Riga, but his family moved in his early years, as Eisenstein continued to do throughout his life, his father, the famous architect Mikhail Osipovich Eisenstein, was born in Kiev Oblast, to a Jewish merchant family originating from Vasylkiv. The family had converted to the Russian Orthodox Church, his mother, Julia Ivanovna Konetskaya, was from a Russian Orthodox family. She was the daughter of a prosperous merchant. Julia left Riga the same year as the Russian Revolution of 1905, taking Sergei with her to St. Petersburg, her son would return at times to see his father, who joined them around 1910.
Divorce followed and Julia left the family to live in France. Eisenstein was raised as an Orthodox Christian, but became an atheist on. At the Petrograd Institute of Civil Engineering, Eisenstein studied architecture and engineering, the profession of his father. In 1918, he left school and joined the Red Army to serve the Bolshevik Revolution, although his father Mikhail supported the opposite side; this brought his father to Germany after the defeat of the Tsarist government, Sergei to Petrograd and Dvinsk. In 1920, Sergei was transferred to a command position in Minsk, after success providing propaganda for the October Revolution. At this time, he was exposed to Kabuki theatre and studied Japanese, learning some 300 kanji characters, which he cited as an influence on his pictorial development; these studies would lead him to travel to Japan. Eisenstein moved to Moscow in 1920, began his career in theatre working for Proletkult, his productions there were entitled Gas Masks, Listen Moscow, Wiseman.
He worked as a designer for Vsevolod Meyerhold. Eisenstein began his career as a theorist in 1923, by writing "The Montage of Attractions" for art journal LEF, his first film, Glumov's Diary, was made in that same year with Dziga Vertov hired as an "instructor" Strike was Eisenstein's first full-length feature film. Battleship Potemkin was critically acclaimed worldwide. Owing to this international renown, he was able to direct October as part of a grand tenth anniversary celebration of the October Revolution of 1917, The General Line. While critics outside Soviet Russia praised these works, Eisenstein's focus in the films on structural issues such as camera angles, crowd movements, montage brought him and like-minded others such as Vsevolod Pudovkin and Alexander Dovzhenko under fire from the Soviet film community; this forced him to issue public articles of self-criticism and commitments to reform his cinematic visions to conform to the specific doctrines of socialist realism. In the autumn of 1928, with October still under fire in many Soviet quarters, Eisenstein left the Soviet Union for a tour of Europe, accompanied by his perennial film collaborator Grigori Aleksandrov and cinematographer Eduard Tisse.
The trip was supposed to allow the three to learn about sound motion pictures and to present themselves as Soviet artists in person to the capitalist West. For Eisenstein, however, it was an opportunity to see landscapes and cultures outside the Soviet Union, he spent the next two years touring and lecturing in Berlin, Zürich and Paris. In 1929, in Switzerland, Eisenstein supervised an educational documentary about abortion directed by Tisse, entitled Frauennot - Frauenglück. In late April 1930, Jesse L. Lasky, on behalf of Paramount Pictures, offered Eisenstein the opportunity to make a film in the United States, he accepted a short-term contract for $100,000 and arrived in Hollywood in May 1930, along with Aleksandrov and Tisse. Eisenstein proposed a biography of munitions tycoon Basil Zaharoff and a film version of Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw, more developed plans for a film of Sutter's Gold by Blaise Cendrars, but on all accounts failed to impress the studio's producers. Paramount proposed a film version of Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy.
This excited Eisenstein, who had read and liked the work, had met Dreiser at one time in Moscow. Eisenstein completed a script by the start of October 1930, but Paramount disliked it and, found themselves intimidated by Major Frank Pease, president of the Hollywood Technical Director's Institute. Pease, an anti-communist, mounted a public campaign against Eisenstein. On October 23, 1930, by "mutual consent", Paramount and Eisenstein declared their contract null and void, the Eisenstein party were treated to return tickets to Moscow at Paramount's expense. Eisenstein was thus faced with returning home a failure; the Soviet film industry was solving the sound-film issue without him. Many of his theoretical articles from this period, such as Eisenstein on Disney, have surfaced decades as seminal scholarly texts used as curriculum in film schools aroun
Psychology of film
The psychology of film is a sub-field of the psychology of art that studies the characteristics of film and its production in relation to perception, narrative understanding, emotion. A growing number of psychological scientists and brain scientists have begun conducting empirical studies that describe the cognitive and biological underpinnings of motion pictures or what has been called "psychocinematics". Early theoretical approaches included works by psychologists Hugo Rudolf Arnheim. Cognitive film theorists David Bordwell and Noël Carroll fostered its philosophical underpinnings. Film is rather unusual as it involves an integration of auditory stimuli. In narrative films, plots are guided by camera placement and movement, sound effects, editing; some aspects of film are driven by bottom-up or sensory guided factors, whereas other aspects depend more on top-down or conceptually driven factors, like past experiences and internal motivations. Cuts and flashbacks represent types of editing that alter the normal temporal sequencing of events, creating non-linear narrative structures.
Editing creates the transition between events. Research focusing on recall ability for linear versus non-linear narratives suggests that temporal changes impact memory of events, but not comprehension. Film cuts are instantaneous and sometimes temporal discontinuities that do not exist in our own realities. However, despite this, viewers accept cuts as a natural storytelling technique in film. Though we see reality in a continuous flow of linked images, in movies, cuts seem to work, regardless of how experienced a viewer is. Walter Murch suggests that this is because viewers are in fact used to cuts in their everyday lives through the act of blinking; when you turn to look at an object, for example, you blink, thus creating a visual break in continuity between what you were looking at and what you are now looking at. Another possibility that Murch explores to explain humans’ innate acceptance of film cuts is the way in which we dream. Our dreams tend to jump around from place to place and situation to situation without any real sense of continuity.
Thus the oneiric nature of films is familiar to viewers and allows them to innately understand the editing despite discontinuities. Schwan & Ildirar, who focused on inexperienced viewers’ ability to comprehend film, found that the comprehensibility of films was determined by whether or not they followed a familiar line of action. Overall, our brains accept the perceptual discontinuities found in films, but it is easier for viewers, regardless of their experience, to understand cuts that follow a continuous and familiar line of action as opposed to ones that are more discontinuous; when a familiar line is not present, more experienced viewers are better at comprehending a complex narrative by “filtering” out editing discontinuities. In the end, montage linearity that creates temporal continuity is more important than plot for recall and understanding of a narrative’s events. Cognitive neuroscience research demonstrates that some movies can exert considerable control over brain activity and eye movements.
Studying the neuroscience of film is based on the hypothesis that some films, or film segments, lead viewers through a similar sequence of perceptual and cognitive states. Using fMRI brain imaging, researchers asked participants to watch 30 minutes of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly as they lay on their backs in the MRI scanner. Despite the uncontrolled task and complex nature of the stimulus, brain activity was similar across viewers’ brains in spatiotemporal areas; when compared to a random sequence of scenes, the specific order of events seemed to be associated with this similarity in brain activity. It was determined that the level of control a movie has on someone’s mental state is dependent upon the cinematic devices it contains. Edited films exert more control on brain activity and eye-movement than open-ended films. However, similar eye-movement and similarity in visual processing does not guarantee similar brain responses. In addition, the average correlation in taste between individual viewers is rather low and not well predicted by film critics.
Viewing spaces on screen from a stable point of view is important for short-term spatial coding and long term spatial memory. Long-time viewers of the television show Friends were better at recalling spatial information about the show's set, because the camera never moves away from the "fourth wall". Experienced viewers of the show "E. R." were less to recall information about the set and be able to mentally orient themselves inside it, because the show is filmed from many different angles. In one study, observers were instructed to look at short movies involving changes in point of view, they used 15 movie clips featuring a handbag. Observers' reactions were recorded by examining eye-movement, changes in behavior and memory performance; the researchers asked the observers if they had noticed anything unusual occur during the clips, without directly referring to the handbag. Changing the position of objects, i.e. the handbag, between scenes was the only variable that did not appear to affect eye-movement or memory.
Overall, observers were more to draw their attention and look sooner at the handbag-stimulus at the moment right after its properties changed. When asked about it, they were more to describe the handbag in terms of its post-cut properties, after a change had occurred. Though their visua
Fantasy in a psychological sense refers to two different possible aspects of the mind, the conscious, the unconscious. A fantasy is a situation imagined by an individual that expresses certain desires or aims on the part of its creator. Fantasies sometimes involve situations that are unlikely. Fantasies can be sexual in nature. Another, more basic meaning of fantasy is something, not'real,' as in perceived explicitly by any of the senses, but exists as an imagined situation of object to subject. In everyday life, individuals find their thoughts "pursue a series of fantasies concerning things they wish they could do or wish they had done... fantasies of control or of sovereign choice... daydreams."George Eman Vaillant in his study of defence mechanisms took as a central example of "an immature defence... fantasy — living in a'Walter Mitty' dream world where you imagine you are successful and popular, instead of making real efforts to make friends and succeed at a job." Fantasy, when pushed to the extreme, is a common trait of narcissistic personality disorder.
Research by Deirdre Barrett reports that people differ radically in the vividness, as well as frequency of fantasy, that those who have the most elaborately developed fantasy life are the people who make productive use of their imaginations in art, literature, or by being creative and innovative in more traditional professions. For Freud, a fantasy is constructed around multiple repressed wishes, employs disguise to mask and mark the defensive processes by which desire is enacted; the subject's desire to maintain distance from the repressed wish and experience it opens up a type of third person syntax allowing for multiple entry into the fantasy. Therefore, in fantasy, vision is multiplied—it becomes possible to see from more than one position at the same time, to see oneself and to see oneself seeing oneself, to divide vision and dislocate subjectivity; this radical omission of the “I” position creates space for all those processes that depend upon such a center, including not only identification but the field and organization of vision itself.
For Freud, sexuality is linked from the beginning to an object of fantasy. However, "the object to be rediscovered is not its substitute by displacement; this initial scene of fantasy is created out of the frustrated infants’ deflection away from the instinctual need for milk and nourishment towards a phantasmization of the mothers’ breast, in close proximity to the instinctual need. Now bodily pleasure is derived from the sucking of the mother's breast itself; the mouth, the original source of nourishment is now the mouth that takes pleasure in its own sucking. This substitution of the breast for milk and the breast for a phantasmic scene represents a further level of mediation, psychic; the child cannot experience the pleasure of milk without the psychic re-inscription of the scene in the mind. “The finding of an object is in fact a re-finding of it.” It is in the movement and constant restaging away from the instinct that desire is constituted and mobilized. A positive view of fantasy was taken by Sigmund Freud who considered fantasy a defence mechanism.
He considered that men and women "cannot subsist on the scanty satisfaction which they can extort from reality.'We cannot do without auxiliary constructions,' as Theodor Fontane once said... dwelling on imaginary wish fulfillments." As childhood adaptation to the reality principle developed, so too "one species of thought activity was split off. This activity is fantasying... continued as day-dreaming." He compared such phantasising to the way a "nature reserve preserves its original state where everything... including what is useless and what is noxious, can grow and proliferate there as it pleases."Daydreams for Freud were thus a valuable resource. "These day-dreams are cathected with a large amount of interest. He considered these fantasies to include a great deal of the true constitutional essence of a personality, that the energetic man "is one who succeeds by his efforts in turning his wishful phantasies into reality," whereas the artist "can transform his phantasies into artistic creations instead of into symptoms... the doom of neurosis."
In the context of occurrences of the mental disorder known as schizophrenia, individuals who exhibit symptoms fulfilling this particular classification might be experiencing fantasies as part of the diagnosis. Scientific investigation into activity of the so-called default network within the brain has shown individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia have high levels of activity within their brains. In a study of eighty individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, it was found one quarter of men who had committed a contact crime against women were motivated by sexually orientated fantasy. Melanie Klein extended Freud's concept of fantasy to cover the developing child's relations
An auteur is an artist a film director, who applies a centralized and subjective control to many aspects of a collaborative creative work. The term is referenced to filmmakers or directors with a recognizable style or thematic preoccupation. Auteurism originated in the French film criticism of the late 1940s as a value system that derives from the film criticism approach of André Bazin and Alexandre Astruc—dubbed auteur theory by the American critic Andrew Sarris; the concept was invented to distinguish French New Wave filmmakers from studio-system directors that were part of the Hollywood establishment, has since been applied to producers of popular music as well as to video game creators. Before the auteur theory was defined, the director was considered to be the most important among the people working on a film. Early German film theorist Walter Julius Bloem credited this to film being an art for the masses, the masses being accustomed to regard someone who gives the final product as an artist, those who contribute before as apprentices.
James Agee, one of the most famous film critics of the 1940s, said that "the best films are personal ones, made by forceful directors". Around the same time, the French film critics André Bazin and Roger Leenhardt became advocates for the theory that it is the director that brings the film to life and uses the film to express their thoughts and feelings about the subject matter as well as a worldview as an auteur, they emphasised that an auteur can use lighting, camerawork and editing to add to their vision. The French magazine Cahiers du cinéma was founded in 1951 and became a focal point for discussion on the role of directors in cinema. François Truffaut criticized the prevailing "Cinema of Quality" trend in France in his 1954 essay Une certaine tendance du cinéma français, he characterised these films as being made by directors who were faithful to the script, which in turn was a faithful adaptation of a literary novel. The director was only used as a metteur en scene, a "stager" who adds the performers and pictures to an completed script.
Truffaut argued that the directors who had authority and flexibility over how to realise the script were the ones who made better films. He coined the phrase; these discussions took place at the beginning of the French New Wave in cinema. From 1960, with his first self-directed film The Bellboy, Jerry Lewis was one of the earliest Hollywood studio-system actor-turned-directors to be critiqued as an auteur, his attention to both the business and creative sides of production: writing, lighting and art direction coincided with the rise of the auteur theory. He earned consistent praise by French critics in Positif, his singular mis-en-scene, skill behind the camera, was aligned with Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock and Satyajit Ray. Jean-Luc Godard said, “Jerry Lewis...is the only one in Hollywood doing something different, the only one who isn’t falling in with the established categories, the norms, the principles.... Lewis is the only one today. He’s been able to do it because of his personal genius”.
Andrew Sarris coined the phrase "auteur theory" to translate la politique des auteurs and is credited for popularizing it in the United States and English-speaking media. He first used the phrase in his 1962 essay Notes on the Auteur Theory in the journal Film Culture, he began applying its methods to Hollywood films, expanded his thoughts in his book The American Cinema: Directors and Directions 1929–1968. The impact of Sarris's work was that critical and public attention on each film focused less on its stars and more on the overall product. In the 1960s and the 1970s, the filmmaking industry was revitalized by a new generation of directors. Known as the New Hollywood era, these directors were given increased control over their projects. Studios showed an increased willingness to let directors take risks; the phase came to end in the 1980s, when high-profile financial failures like Heaven's Gate prompted studios to reassert control. The auteur theory had detractors from the beginning. Pauline Kael was an early opponent and she debated it with Andrew Sarris in the pages of The New Yorker and various film magazines.
Kael opposed privileging the director and instead argued that a film should be seen as a collaborative process. In her 1971 essay Raising Kane, on Orson Welles's Citizen Kane, she points out how the film made extensive use of the distinctive talents of co-writer Herman J. Mankiewicz and cinematographer Gregg Toland. Richard Corliss and David Kipen have argued that writing is more important to a film's success than the directing. In his 2006 book, Kipen coined the term Schreiber theory to refer to the theory that the screenwriter is the principal author of a film. Film historian Georges Sadoul pointed out that the main author of a film is not the director, but can be the main actor, producer, or the author of the original story, he argued that the film can only be seen as a work of a collective and not as a work of a single person. Film historian Aljean Harmetz, referring to the creative input of producers and studio executives in classical Hollywood, argues that the auteur theory "collapses against the reality of the studio system".
Some criticize the auteur theory, the practice of praising auteurs, for being male-dominated. Writing for IndieWire in 2013, Maria Giese noted tha