It’s a loose definition, and as far as I can tell Lehtonen, myself, and others have ascribed most selections somewhat intuitively. There’s room for negotiation between the definition and those it defines yet. It’s a topic worthy of some serious debate.
One question: Can an auteur make some “Vulgar Auteurist” films and some that aren’t…..Proposed Case Study: Clint Eastwood
Adam, I think that one could definitely make a case for a split between “vulgarity” and “non-vulgarity” in a filmmaker’s oeuvre. In addition to Eastwood I would include Soderbergh, Spielberg and Linklater.
And of course we cannot forget one the leading lights of American comedy, Greg Mottola.
Although these two are not considered “under sung.”
I think that Doug wants to stick to those who are not as well known or appreciated… correct?
Adam’s definition is the exact one I operate by, though, as he said, it is intuitive.
Spielberg, Eastwood and Soderbergh all fit for me, but that is due to my personal opinion of their work in contrast to the popular critical opinion.
Also, I’d like to say that I poached the term from a comment in the depths of the Mubi Notebook. If I remember right, it was used in a derogatory fashion against the perceived new movement of reevaluating auteurs. The two that really seemed to start this, at least on Mubi, were Michael Mann and Tony Scott. There have also been memorable threads on Paul Verhoeven and John McTiernan. The idea that this was some organized force was pure paranoia, at least in the beginning. I’d love to see it actually happen ;)
A couple actors to suggest Douglas:
How is Bob Clark an auteur exactly? What are the common threads that link his work? Apart from the fact that he is a genre director that moved around a bit and made two movies with a Christmas theme?
A lot of the directors mentioned are not undervalued though. Do you guys have any idea how many papers and journals have been written about Greg Arraki? esp in the 90’s? I think the guy sucks personally, but he definitely had his moment in the indie spotlight.
Same with Abel Ferrara(although i don’t think he sucks). I wouldn’t say he is particularly undervalued either, unless you think he is one of the top 10 directors in the world. There are 3 or 4 books written about him, and a whole shitload of articles written by critics/academics like Kent Jones, Adrian Martin etc. He might be undervalued by the above 50 crowd perhaps, but that’s about it. I think given how inconsistent he has been since the late 90’s, he is appropriately rated.
Of course he is probably undervalued in the U.S. Definitely not in Europe though. But even then, hardcore Ferrara fans are nut jobs anyway. They act as if the dude gets no acclaim whatsoever and is the perrenial underdog.
Please, please, PLEASE…Do Brian de Palma.
They act as if the dude gets no acclaim whatsoever and is the perrenial underdog.
LOL Those kinds of people are annoying, whoever they are “supporting” (I think it’s ultimately themselves who want some acclaim)…
Maybe this will sound dumb, but haven’t you forgot Tarantino-Rodriguez tandem? They are massively popular auteurs, but they’re still kinda categorized as “light reading”?
@Joks – there is a personal nature to all of Clark’s work. He invented one genre (the slasher film) with Black Christmas and helped popularize another (teen sex comedy). Porky’s was based on real life experiences. His aesthetic always seems to involve a form of puerile humor and lurid fixation on sex. I am not saying the guy’s work is high art. I am saying that his work seems to fit the mold for this discussion. Discussions on Sean Cunningham, DePalma, Craven and Hooper might lead to a discussion of Clark.
^^Craven and Depalma are certainly auteurs. Hooper i guess too.
Maybe i haven’t seen enough of Clark but to me he seems all over the map. What you said is interesting though.
Ah Joks, it took you too long to get here.
Isn’t the knock on him that he is too pedantic?
The man who wrote Piranha, Alligator, The Howling? I don’t think anyone seriously knocks on him so much as people rarely seem to mention him when discussing great contemporary US writer-directors. He always sort of slips by under the radar.
@hellshocked: I think of Sayles as more of a rebel.
Very much so, but he has certainly more than dabbled in vulgarity.
What I’ve seen of his works are methodical. They avoid pop culture and delve deeper.
“Ah Joks, it took you too long to get here”
I bet you are crushed too eh? ;-)
Watching Trading Places today, it occurred to me that during the ’80s at least John Landis was a vital vulgar auteurist. Case in point, the aforementioned film, Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London, Animal House, Three Amigos, Into the Night.
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez
Stuart Gordon, Bruno Mattei, Lucio Fulci? and of course Verhoeven and Sirk.
As for ‘vulgar auteur’ actors/actresses, my suggestions:
Divine, Mink Stole, Edith Massey and all the Dreamlanders
and indie queens like Chloe Sevigny, Parker Posey, Natasha Lyonne
Actors- Harry Dean Stanton, Charles Napier…
Ok, after watching Dreamdream by Bob Clark, it has now become painfully obvious to me that Porky’s derailed his career. He should have stuck to the horror genre instead of spreading himself thin over the years. it would have greatly increased his chance of being remembered as an auteur rather than just a guy that made a few cult movies, two hit movies and a whole bunch of bad ones later on in his career.
no doubt he was great at horror, absolutely.
I put forth my ballot for one of the finest filmmakers of the 1990s: James B. Harris.
Jack: If I recall, it was a comment on my archive essay for Rollerball.
Herschel Gordon Lewis
Wes Craven (1970s)
Tobe Hooper (1970s)