“Auteur filmmaking”- a term used to describe movies which are the product of the sole vision of their director- has been used to describe the process and works of such masters of cinema as Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese since the concept originated in France in the 1940s. The term “auteur” has since been reserved for directors whose approach is so signature and iconic that their works would simply be altogether different had they been directed by anyone else. While the “single-vision” concept has resulted in some of the greatest films of all time, the approach has since taken a back seat to the contemporary “filmmaking by committee” style employed by many major studios (which is why most of the Marvel superhero movies- with some notable exceptions, such as Guardians of the Galaxy– have mostly been directed by newcomers or hired guns with experience in completely different genres, yet they all have the same unmistakable market-tested sense of humor and mind-numbingly unimportant finales). Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that the auteur style is dead entirely. Some contemporary expert directors are currently turning in their best work, and any student of film knows them by name: Denis Villeneuve, Darren Aronofsky, Paul Thomas Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, and David Fincher.
There have been warning signs for quite some time that Darren Aronofsky’s mother! isn’t for everyone. It’s debut at the Venice Film Festival garnered every reaction from boos to high praise, and it soon became clear that the violent nature of the film would absolutely affect viewers’ assessments of the film itself. Then came the dismal opening weekend box office ($7.5 million) and the Cinemascore rating of an F, and mother! instantly became the commercial failure that everyone loves to talk about. read more
The legendary, Oscar-winning actor, Martin Landau has passed away at the age of 89. His publicist, Dick Guttman, told the Associated Press that Landau passed on Saturday due to “unexpected complications during a short stay at UCLA Medical Center.” Landau was truly a jack of all trades during his lengthy career in Hollywood, creating numerous unforgettable characters and greatly contributing to the very fabric of filmmaking.
Martin Landau has documented acting credits on 177 works. His major works include his roles in television’s Mission: Impossible from 1966-1969, Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, Francis Ford Coppola’s Tucker: The Man and His Dream, and Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors. Horror fans know Landau best for his unforgettable sympathetic role as Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s greatest film, Ed Wood. His performance earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His flawless portrayal of Lugosi at the end of his life in the final scenes of the film takes on a new level of poignancy with the news of Landau’s passing. read more
Variety just announced that NBC-Universal’s television company Universal Television Productions is in development on a new anthology series entitled Welcome to Hitchcock that will be based on Alfred Hitchcock’s vast body of work.
The series will focus on a single season story line (ala American Horror Story) and will capture the suspense and crime thrillers that Hitchcock is known for according to Dawn Olmstead, the executive vice president of development at Universal Cable Productions. ““Long after his death, Alfred Hitchcock continues to be one of the most celebrated directors and visionaries in the world, a master manipulator of the macabre.” Olmstead went on to say that “We’re honored that the Hitchcock Estate has put its trust in our studio to pay homage to his work.” read more