Auteur Theory: Film vs. Music Videos

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I was just wondering. Does the auteur theory only pertain to film directors or can it pertain to directors who direct music videos as well?

Francis Lawrence directed I Am Legend and he also directed Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. In my opinion, I believe he is an auteur even though he has not directed many other films except Constantine. Is he considered an auteur?

I can’t understand, if I am incorrect, why it wouldn’t fit the criteria.

Any comments?

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Posted by christina421   @   15 March 2010

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Mar 17, 2010
9:26 am
#1 Shana Santos :

I think it only relates to film directors. Although music videos can be very creative and have a distinct style, they are at max 7 minutes long. I believe all the articles are relating to Auteur Film makers, I don’t these two forms directing would fall in the same category. Maybe he can be an Auteur in the music video industry but you wouldn’t be able to compare him to a film Auteur.

Mar 17, 2010
1:06 pm
#2 Amy Herzog :

I’d disagree with Shana here. I think there are certain video directors who have achieved auteur status (Hype Williams, Spike Jonze). Their work is released on “Director’s Series” compilations, and they are highly sought after for their distinctive look. So much of auteurism ultimately boils down to branding and marketing, so why not carry this over into the realm of commercial video!

Apr 14, 2010
3:38 pm

I agree with Professor Herzog – Why put a minimum length on it? That seems very arbitrary to me. If the director has a distinctive style, then he’s an auteur. Even if a director’s music videos seem very different from his feature films, I think you would likely find many stylistic similarities if you examine them closely.

I’d say the same thing about short film directors, such as Chuck Jones. Most of his good films are 7-minute shorts (Rabbit of Seville, Duck Amuck, One Froggy Evening) but I’d definitely call him an auteur.

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