“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.
Over a decade before fans were fawning over Stranger Things‘ 1980’s horror and pop culture nostalgia, Richard Kelly practically invented this formula for homage with Donnie Darko. In celebration of the 15th anniversary of the film, Arrow Video has created a beautiful 4K restoration of both cuts of the movie, taken from the original film negatives. This version of the film was released in U.K. theaters for a short period in late 2016, and Arrow Video followed up with a definitive home video package for the movie, which contains these lovely transfers and a mountain of engaging special features. This release is a must-have, even for casual fans of the movie. read more