Ch 5. Do Films Have Authors?


In this chapter, I present the arguments concerning whether films have authors. We interpret films. They are the products of the intentions of artists.  Typically the author of a film is thought to be the director.  But this appears to be an over-simplification, as few contemporary films are executed by a single person. Hence we may wonder whether films really do have authors? And if not, how in the world can we decide which interpretations are more plausible than others?  This chapter explores the debate between those such as Livingston who argue that some films can have single authors, and those such as Gaut who think that films can have numerous authors.  It begins with a discussion of auteur theory and the Sarris-Kael debate. This ties the discussion into the evaluative concerns of previous chapter.  It then moves into the contemporary literature and concludes with a discussion of whether we should abandon the notion of author and simply use the less controversial term "artist." 

YouTube Channel - Playlist for Ch 5 [here]