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    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?

    • An interesting question. We do still have this with filmmakers such as Guillermo del Toro and Quentin Tarantino, but they are not prolific filmmakers and we do see people wanting to put their stamp on their films. I think this would be a good discussion to have. – SaraiMW 6 years ago
    • After a little more thought, Pedro Almodovar (in his early incarnation) would be a 'classic' auteur. Can an auteur be classified on the basis of one film - that is another thing to consider e.g. Robert Rodriguez after El Mariachi, or is he an 'incidental auteur' based on the expediency-triumphs approach he took to making a film for less than $30k... – Menadue 6 years ago

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    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:

    What is the Purpose of Dystopian Literature?

    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…

    What is the Purpose of Dystopian Literature?

    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.

    Thin Slicing in Jane Austen's "Emma"

    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.

    The Enhanced Reality of Reality TV