'Auteurs' and the New Hollywood
The aurhor examines authorship in the so-called New Hollywood. With the arrival of a new generation of directors (i.a., Coppola, Spielberg, Lucas, Scorsese) the policy of authors (la politique des auteurs) came to be perceived in an entirely new way whereas the film maker's name alone was frequently identified with a trademark or a brand, which enabled the film distributors to sell a specific production at a good price. Names of the 'great' directors served as a kind of remedy in the era of the waning American studio system. In line with such a definition of film marketing, the institution of the author was to serve as the guarantee of communication between the audience and the film. The author alone ceased to be a vague presence (like the literary author or like the author promoted in European films) but became a representative of big business. What's more, 'being the auteur' turned into a business. He also points out that the emergence of the contemporary 'auteur' in the New Hollywood was influenced by three major changes in the film culture: the increase in the number of blockbusters made by syndicated film studios, the emergence of films made by the mini-major studios and the importance of the technology of home video. The author also points to the characteristic figure of the 'auteur'-star ('auteur' defined by his commercial star status) in which two significant groups of authors can be distinguished; commercial 'auteur' - e.g. Mel Gibson or Robert Redford and 'auteur' of commerce - e.g. Steven Spielberg or Brian de Palma. Citing Barthes' essay, he closes his essay by concluding that as 'auteurs function' in such a commercialised form, they are far from being dead - on the contrary - they are more vital today than ever.
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