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Great FlicksScientific Studies of Cinematic Creativity and Aesthetics$
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Dean Keith Simonton

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199752034

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199752034.001.0001

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The Auteur: Are Directors Experts or Artists?

The Auteur: Are Directors Experts or Artists?

Chapter:
(p.114) Chapter 6 The Auteur: Are Directors Experts or Artists?
Source:
Great Flicks
Author(s):

Dean Keith Simonton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199752034.003.0006

According to “auteur theory,” certain filmmakers—most often directors—can be viewed as artistic creators in the same vein as notable creators in literature, music, and the visual arts. This viewpoint is juxtaposed to the contrary notion that directors are technicians who apply their accumulated expertise to each successive film. These rival points of view have contrary predictions regarding expected career trajectories. Data from film polls, movie awards, and critical evaluations provide support for the auteur view. However, because directors do not all peak at identical ages, we also have to distinguish conceptual and experimental directors. A theoretical model of creative productivity suggests that conceptual directors may be more like poets, the experimental directors more like novelists.

Keywords:   auteur theory, artistic creators, expertise, career trajectories, conceptual versus experimental directors

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