Contributing writer for The Artifice.
Junior Contributor I
What is the fundamental distinction that makes a film-maker an 'auteur' today?
Historically we could argue that there were film makers who genuinely controlled all aspects of their creative work, Sergei Eisenstein, Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick come to mind. Today in an increasingly complex cinematic world and one in which investment in films is perhaps more directly controlled by mega-studios how do we make this distinction?
It is interesting that Margaret Atwood’s rejection of the label ‘science fiction’ for her novels is actually at odds with the general perception of readers, an indicator that regardless of the position of an author on the nature of their work, it is the public who define it – even when bookshops put it on shelves in other categories. An example of this can be seen in the comments on this Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/oct/14/margaret-atwood-road-to-ustopia
Something that is very clear in the works of Ursula K. LeGuin – which serve predominantly as commentary on issues of a recognisably human nature discussed in non-real settings…
As a matter of interest, the first major work of digital literary criticism was based on analysis of the works of Jane Austen – Computation into criticism: a study of Jane Austen’s novels and an experiment in method (1987) – ground breaking for its time.
American Family (shot in 1971, aired in 1973) might be considered to be the first ‘reality’ TV show, so the genre is actually quite old. The first ‘big brother’ type show, certainly in the UK, was The Living Soap, filmed by the BBC in Manchester in 1993 and featuring a student house. The Living Soap featured many of the editorial techniques that are familiar now – telephone voting and ‘the diary room’ concept. It’s interesting to consider how the genre has both retained historic features and changed over time – although the changes seem to be relatively minimal.