auteur (auteur theory)

Auteur is a French word for “author.” Auteur often refers to a director with a distinct or signature style. Directors are often seen as the “authors” of the film due to the amount of creative control they hold overall processes held within. In film criticism, used in the terms auteurism or auteur theory, denoting a critical theory (originally known as la politique des auteurs or "the policy of authors") popular in France in the late 1940s and early 1950s that Francois Truffaut introduced and the editors (including legendary film critic and theorist Andre Bazin) of the celebrated French film journal Cahiers du Cinéma (literally 'cinema notebooks'). Their ideas were subsequently enlarged upon in the 1960s by American critic Andrew Sarris, among others. The theory ascribed overall responsibility for creating a film and its personal vision, identifiable style, thematic aspects and techniques to its filmmaker or director, rather than to the collaborative efforts of all involved (writers, actors, producer, production designer, special effects supervisor, etc.).