Dan Schneider and James Berardinelli's Misconception of the Auteur Theory

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Dan Schneider and James Berardinelli's misconception of the auteur theory 19 JANUARY 2009 - BY FREDRIK FEVANG
In a recent post on his art criticism website Cosmoetica,  Dan Schneider interviews online film critic James Berardinelli about (tentatively) everything film and James Berardinelli. It is a refreshing form of journalism which, as Schneider and Berardinelli point out, has been outphased in modern media. The in-depth interview will be interesting to anyone who have an affiliation to film, criticism or the unification of the two, as Schneider formulates his elitist opinions on film into loaded questions which Berardinelli answers from his far more populistic and pragmatic viewpoint - and with head held high, I should say. To sum up, I find myself agreeing with both Schneider and Berardinelli in their request for more quality writing about film, and I also agree with Schneider that great films generally are and should be intelligent works of art, even if I cannot see why Schneider would want to reduce the art of film into the mimicing of another great art form, literature. Schneider acts like (an advocate for) the big brother who loves his kid brother, but doesn't want him to stray too far off the path he has chosen for himself. Although film is the younger artform (by centuries), it must be allowed to develop its own realm, even if this means accepting that realism in film deviates from realism in literature, and the possibility of having to equate visually exploitive superhero films with, say, Carl Theodore Dreyer's perception of film as literature's extended arm. However, it is in their discussion on auteur theory that I find the two guilty of misinterpretation, as both reject the theory with faulty argumentation, albeit from two different standpoints. In one passage, Schneider says: "Even the term [auteur theory] seems silly nowadays. After all, while there are certainly interchangeable journeyman and studio directors, the bulk of a filmic vision belongs...
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