Mar 07

This weeks readings discuss the “Auteur theory”. I like the idea that a director can have a trademark in their films, as it can distinguish them from any other director, and perhaps help them build a fan base. I noticed the writers all loved listing their favorite directors, and some of them even went on to make lists of them. I also noticed all of these lists were outdated there was no mention of today’s great auteurs such as Scorsese, the Coen brothers, or Tarantino. Well that being said I would like to make an argument for another one of modern days film directors; Michael Bay. When I bring up Michael Bay I want to make it clear that I personally despise his work, but if you look at all of Bay’s work you will see what seems to be “trademarks” of his work. From Bad Boys, to Pearl Harbor, to this years god awful Transformers, there is clearly a trend in Bay’s work; tons of terrible action, shitty dialogue, terrible effects… Film critic Peter Wollen writes about another mediocre filmmakers work, saying “all of these films…exhibit the same thematic preoccupations, the same recurring motifs and incidents, the same visual style and tempo” (FTC, Peter Wollen pg 457) How can we not say the same thing about Michael Bay? His films are all quite similar in that sense, as I mentioned before his trademark is pretty much being able to make terrible commercial movies on a constant basis. So is Michael Bay not an auteur?

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13 comments so far

  1. 1 elliotzahler
    2:23 pm - 3-8-2010

    Hey,
    How are you!
    I liked your short writing about Auteur Theory. I sort of wrote on similiar lines what you discussed about trademarks in film. Although I will agree with you and opine that the “newer” producers produce more interesting films- that is just because we were not born in that period of time. Unforunately we cannot appreciate the older styles of film as much as our twenty first films that we go to the cinema to watch. But all trademarks were meaningful and sent a powerful message to the audience. Each auteur has his own opinions and self-thoughts and he/she protreys it in his/her film.

  2. 2 dcooper101
    4:15 pm - 3-8-2010

    I hear you on me not knowing older directors. I’ve seen a bunch of Wells, but that’s about it.

  3. 3 Amy Herzog
    1:58 am - 3-10-2010

    Michael Bay is totally an auteur– his interior meaning is a driving demand for awesomeness:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiHsxQJ9ZOo

  4. 4 David Cooper
    10:53 am - 3-10-2010

    “awesomeness”? I beg to differ.

  5. 5 Ronnie Jaber
    2:03 am - 3-15-2010

    Honestly anyone could have directed the film Transformers. It was riddled with special effects, which were emphasized in the script. Michael Bay had very little leeway in changing the visual narrative of the film. That left him with directing the actors. All the actors were all playing roles they had frequented. So much direction probably wasn’t necessary. As all his previous films were all dependent heavily on the screenplay or events that occurred in real life(reenactments of actual events).

  6. 6 jarrodlabine
    10:05 am - 3-17-2010

    Prof. Herzog is hilarious!

  7. 7 David Cooper
    11:18 am - 3-17-2010

    well, while anyone could have done it, it’s Michael Bay who does it on a consistent basis.

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