Every once in a while, a film critic comes out of the woodwork and tries to pose the idea that the auteur theory is bunk and that film authorship should be based on the work of the writer, and not the director. Currently, auteur critics consider the director the author of a picture (and it has to be a picture with personality, otherwise, the director isn't really an author, but rather a technician).

Recently the San Francisco International Film Festival started paying tribute to writers. Last year the recipient was Paul Haggis, about whom I think we've heard quite enough. He's worked on just about every movie that came out in the last couple of years: Million Dollar Baby, Crash, Casino Royale, The Last Kiss, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. I guess I don't need to point out that the only good movies on that list were directed by Clint Eastwood, and that the other good one, Casino Royale, depended on a good deal more than just its script. And if you take away the directors of those films, there's not much connecting them thematically or otherwise.

categories Columns, Cinematical