Perhaps the defining medium through which we analyse films is the lens of a director: the auteur theory in other words, the idea that the director is the main authorial voice in a film.  First propounded in the pages of Cahiers du Cinema in France by a generation of critics who would go on to form the bedrock of the French New Wave – Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, and more – it was brought over to Anglophile film criticism by Andrew Sarris.  This kicked off a long-running debate between critics about precisely who is responsible for a film, with Pauline Kael being particularly vociferous against the idea of a single ‘auteur’ at the heart of a film...

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