[Marxism] Martin Scorsese Avenges the Auteur | The New Yorker

Jeffrey Masko j.alan.masko at gmail.com
Thu Nov 7 12:07:04 MST 2019

More silliness to me, the age of auteur theory is long gone...the* voice*
of the film comes from the screenplay, the technicians involved in
production, the director, and importantly, the editor in post. As Bill
Nichol's would have it, the voice of the film comes from an interplay of
all of these including the audience and their understanding of film
language and film genre convention. This is precisely why films are
ideological (as in the common assumptions) that order our lives; films are
so much more than the product of a single author and to limit them as such
takes away not only the unseen and often underpaid workers behind the
"genius" but it robs film of their value as sociological artifacts.

Directors lie to us, (Kubrick was famous for this), to themselves,
misunderstand their own art, are unaware of themes present in them, they
change their minds (sometimes many years after the fact). and so on. One
notion is that great art comes not from the intellect proper, but from the
subconscious. Kurosawa once remarked when asked about the meaning of a
particular film, if he could articulate it in words, he would be a poet,
but he is a filmmaker and so...

To see the meaning of a film in auteur theory means (now, not in the
orginal French theory) to elevate the individual, very helpful to the U.S.
mentality of the individual at the expense of the community. It enshrines
the idea of "genius" artists who are special and different than the rabble.
When Rob Cohen talks about being in a Cubist period when he did xXx and
using muliple angles of motorcycle jumps that doubled action, rather than
using traditional continuity editing, we can see his intelligence and
education; he like Marty, are smart people, but that doesn't mean xXx is
worthy of watching or that Marty's argument is autuerist rather than
against the blockbuster formula of the 70s that reigns supreme.

On Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 6:00 AM Louis Proyect via Marxism <
marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:

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> What Scorsese is decrying is not the use of fantasy characters in
> movies. (A few days ago, he said that he even considered making “Joker,”
> though I wonder whether he was joking.) There’s a word in the first
> sentence of the piece that, clearly but subtly, propels the through line
> of his argument. He doesn’t complain about “superhero” movies; he says
> that, in Empire, he was speaking of “Marvel movies.” He repeats “Marvel”
> in the second paragraph, and then, in the third paragraph, specifies
> what he’s talking about: “franchise films.” Scorsese isn’t inveighing
> against fantasy but against a system of production that submerges
> directors’ authority in a network of dictates and decisions issued from
> the top down—a network in which the director is more of a functionary
> than a creator.
> https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/martin-scorsese-avenges-the-auteur
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J.A. Masko

"The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without
becoming disillusioned."

           Antonio Gramsci.

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