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      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2016
    popcorn
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
  1. Edmund Meinerts wrote
    I'm glad that Dogme 95 thing didn't catch on more than it did. The whole no-scores thing alone would have been a major bummer. wink


    The traditional-score approach and the diegetic-only approach produce totally different kinds of movies. I'm reluctant to suggest the first is better than the second, or the second better than the first. This is a film music forum, after all. Must step lightly. But Michael Haneke is not the same as, say, Spielberg. Nor is one categorically better or worse, I guess. But certainly different. (In every way, music being one of them.)

    But I do think it's striking that movies made in the diegetic-only style can give what (little) music there is such a powerful storytelling role. Sometimes a more powerful role than wall-to-wall score. I'm thinking of the Martin Luther hymn that closes The White Ribbon, which is a totally chilling and unforgettable musical moment.
  2. Thor wrote
    Oh, really? I give you this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duV7nDkXtr0

    A nice enough piece, but I don't hear anything that any other reasonably competent composer couldn't have produced. Some decent string writing but I hardly qualify that as "interesting textures". Also, most of my complaints were directed at JXL's action writing, which this isn't.
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      CommentAuthorSouthall
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2016
    Thor wrote
    Martijn wrote
    How can you say that? shocked It's as if the editor has mis-matched every single scene! When it needs drama, you get pop energy, when it needs introspection, you get fanfares. It's really a total shambles (in the film)!


    I don't know what film you've watched, but it can't be LADYHAWKE. You're WAY off here, or you've COMPLETELY forgotten everything about it. I urge you to re-watch it, and tell me where this socalled "mis-match" is occuring.


    These "arguments with Thor" are so frequent but never lose their appeal. Literally the only person in history who thinks Ladyhawke's score worked in the film acts genuinely surprised at someone expressing the opinion of every other single person who has ever seen Ladyhawke, even though one post previously he acknowledged that everyone thinks it's terrible.
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      CommentAuthorSteven
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2016 edited
    Trying to apply reason or logic to Thor's arguments is like trying to devide zero by infinity: it has no defined value.
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2016
    Southall wrote
    Literally the only person in history who thinks Ladyhawke's score worked in the film acts genuinely surprised at someone expressing the opinion of every other single person who has ever seen Ladyhawke, even though one post previously he acknowledged that everyone thinks it's terrible.


    Ah, but you forget we are all victim of a terrible psychological bandwagon of delusion. An emotional snowball that has been rolling downhill since 1985, gathering sociological momentum with each turn and has swallowing all and everyone in its path.

    Everyone?

    No! One indomitable Norwegian still holds out in braev opposition!
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2016 edited
    Martijn wrote
    Of COURSE it does.
    No one sees Luhrman's version (or West Side Story) as THE Romeo and Julia.
    Just as none see David Niven's James Bond as THE James Bond.
    These are more or less successful creative interpretations. They have their place and their worth...but they are in no way THE thing they interpret or represent.

    If Supes vs. Bats was an "auteur" piece it would have had to step clearly outside of the existing canon and expectations and make clear from the start that this is not THE Superman and THE Batman, but an out-of-the-box take on them, a creative re-interpretation, if you will.
    But it isn't.

    It's clearly reported and clearly defined to be within established continuity.

    Hence there is no way it can be an "auteur" piece: Snyder is not the author (and it's arguable if he even has a trademark style; compare Tim Burton's take on Batman that stayed within continuity, yet clearly bore a Burton signature. It still was in no way, shape or form an 'auteur piece').


    I'm sorry, but you don't seem to know what an auteur stamp means (at least not in film theory). It doesn't matter what source material you use, or how established the characters are in other forms of fiction. What matters is how you conceptualize it visually, and how you add your own thematic strains to the story. That's what Snyder did on MAN OF STEEL, for example -- rather successfully, IMO. There are successful elements in this film as well, in the first two thirds, but then it's compromised in the last third, when it becomes more generic (due to studio interference or other things, I don't know).

    I wouldn't want to live in a dreary world where a text -- no matter how established or iconic it is in popular culture -- only had a "set" number of possibilites for interpretation/adaptation. I say: ANYTHING GOES! As long as there's a clear vision behind it.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016
    Had you said 'auteur stamp' then I would not have gone on about 'auteur piece'... smile A 'stamp' is exactly what Burton did to Batman. Snyder I do not recognise for any particiular style or vision at all just yet.

    Thor wrote
    I wouldn't want to live in a dreary world where a text -- no matter how established or iconic it is in popular culture -- only had a "set" number of possibilites for interpretation/adaptation. I say: ANYTHING GOES! As long as there's a clear vision behind it.


    And that of course leaves the perpetrator completely expectedly open to extremely widespread criticism, because fucking about with something that the entire world knows and loves generally is not a very worthwhile and thankful excercise.

    It completely escapes me why anyone so desperate to leave an "author piece" wouldn't actually "author" a "piece, i.e. actually create something, y'know, new and original... But I guess that may be very reactionary of me...
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016 edited
    Southall wrote
    These "arguments with Thor" are so frequent but never lose their appeal. Literally the only person in history who thinks Ladyhawke's score worked in the film acts genuinely surprised at someone expressing the opinion of every other single person who has ever seen Ladyhawke, even though one post previously he acknowledged that everyone thinks it's terrible.


    Your post is a bit confusing, but there are quite a few fans of both film and score, more than you think. Even here on Maintitles (Elin is one).

    But I'll say that what you wrote here is a typical example of the 'slander' the score receives. It's rarely -- if ever -- judged fairly and rationally. For example, I suspect you haven't seen the film in years, but you can easily mouth off at it because it comes up so often in 'worst' threads. You take it "for granted" because the "posse" has already defined it for you. No need to go back and double-check what it ACTUALLY sounds like and how it ACTUALLY works. If film scores were rhetorics, it would be a fallacy akin to argumentum ad populum ("if many people say it is bad, it must be bad").

    It's more or less the same thing happening now with this film and score. It's quite fascinating to witness -- albeit a bit irritating.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016
    Martijn wrote
    Had you said 'auteur stamp' then I would not have gone on about 'auteur piece'... smile A 'stamp' is exactly what Burton did to Batman. Snyder I do not recognise for any particiular style or vision at all just yet.


    I mentioned a few aspects earlier in the thread (both in terms of visuals and thematics). There are more. You can have them in the back of your mind the next time you see a Snyder film. Or not. Up to you.

    And that of course leaves the perpetrator completely expectedly open to extremely widespread criticism, because fucking about with something that the entire world knows and loves generally is not a very worthwhile and thankful excercise.

    It completely escapes me why anyone so desperate to leave an "author piece" wouldn't actually "author" a "piece, i.e. actually create something, y'know, new and original... But I guess that may be very reactionary of me...


    I think there's room for both -- creating original pieces from scratch (which Snyder did with the divisive SUCKER PUNCH, for example) and re-molding existing pieces. Both things can have your stamp on it.

    I must admit I don't understand why you are so opposed to re-interpretations -- radical, if you must -- of iconic figures in popular culture. That's an argument I've never really encountered from anyone before. Of course, I've encountered people who didn't LIKE a particular interpretation, and that's fine, but to have an ideological stance against it seems rather bizarre to me.
    I am extremely serious.
  3. Not to put words in people's mouths, but I don't believe that's what Martijn is saying. He's not against radical re-interpretations per se. What he's saying is that such re-interpretations need to be clear that that's what they're doing. To take his example of West Side Story - yeah, it's basically Romeo and Juliet, everybody knows it's Romeo and Juliet, but the characters are not literally "Romeo" and "Juliet". We don't take what Tony and Maria say or do as part of Shakespeare's canon.

    Batman v Superman, on the other hand, places itself within a pre-existing canon and is therefore subject to discussion of whether it falls in line with what is expected of that canon (an example of a non-canon take on Batman, and a fine one, can be seen in The Lego Movie). Even then, I don't think Martijn is suggesting that significant creative liberties are off-limits...merely that the filmmakers need to understand what makes these characters work, and then either follow suit or choose to reinvent (and have a good reason for doing so).

    If Zack Snyder were really such an "auteur" then he wouldn't sign on to a major superhero project that would inevitably severely limit his "artistic vision". But, then again, I don't think he really is an auteur. There's a significant difference between having a personal style (which I agree Snyder does have at least the rudiments of, even if I don't much care for it) and being an auteur.
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016 edited
    Edmund Meinerts wrote
    If Zack Snyder were really such an "auteur" then he wouldn't sign on to a major superhero project that would inevitably severely limit his "artistic vision".


    Why not? And how is it limiting? Why can't that be a platform as much as a brand-new, entirely original concept? Again, I maintain that source material is 100% irrelevant in this context. What matters is how you shape things -- preferably with a clear vision. Snyder is an auteur (we can agree to disagree on that you wish, but it's fairly well established by now -- google around!) who has a clear vision of what he wants to do with his projects, whatever they are. So it doesn't matter if he takes on Cinderella or an original story about purple kitchen utensils. The question is how he can channel "Snyder" through the framework.

    It's interesting, because I went to the press screening with two of my colleagues, and none of them had any particular relationship to Batman or Superman as comic book characters. They went -- much like me -- because they're fascinated with Snyder as an auteur.
    I am extremely serious.
  4. Edmund Meinerts wrote


    If Zack Snyder were really such an "auteur" then he wouldn't sign on to a major superhero project that would inevitably severely limit his "artistic vision". But, then again, I don't think he really is an auteur. There's a significant difference between having a personal style (which I agree Snyder does have at least the rudiments of, even if I don't much care for it) and being an auteur.


    Well, I disagree here.

    Nolan is today quite widely regarded as an auteur for, mostly, his thematic choices and, also partly, the way he handles parallel editing with his large sequences and all that. His Batman films are regarded as much as "his" films as they are regarded as part of the comic book canon. Same with Tim Burton, who, I think, quite often works with material that is not his own.

    Terrence Malick and the case of The Thin Red Line, a novel which is far from his interests and yet, he adapted it.

    Spielberg taking on something like Tintin, which you could argue is also a huge part of culture way beyond him... I think the examples of auteurs handling "mainstream" material in Hollywood is nothing particularly absent from that way of thinking. There are even auteurs in European cinema who never even wrote any original script and if they DID co-write the script, it was, actually, a novel adaptation. It's not that simple.

    Making a general point. I saw only Man of Steel of Snyder's and hated it to the point I decided for a FREE screening of Batman v Superman only a few minutes before the deadline. If I didn't get on the list, however, I do NOT intend to see the film at all.
    http://www.filmmusic.pl - Polish Film Music Review Website
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      CommentAuthorBobdH
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016 edited
    Ha, I find this whole is he/is he not discussion of auteurship regarding Zack Snyder all the more amusing since his announcement last week that he's looking into filming Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, arguably one of thé major works on auteurship versus compromise. I'm expecting this whole discussion to fire up again in a big way once (if) he releases the film.
  5. So far I had been under the impression that an auteur-film is defined by being written and directed by one and the same fellow and also by being independently produced. Which results in a maximum of artistic freedom and a minimum of marketing considerations.

    smile Volker
    Bach's music is vibrant and inspired.
  6. BobdH wrote
    Ha, I find this whole is he/is he not discussion of auteurship regarding Zack Snyder all the more amusing since his announcement last week that he's looking into filming Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, arguably one of thé major works on auteurship versus compromise. I'm expecting this whole discussion to fire up again in a big way once (if) he releases the film.

    Zack Snyder does Ayn Rand?

    Can I file a restraining order on that film? I don't want it within 100 meters of me. vomit
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016 edited
    Captain Future wrote
    So far I had been under the impression that an auteur-film is defined by being written and directed by one and the same fellow and also by being independently produced. Which results in a maximum of artistic freedom and a minimum of marketing considerations.

    smile Volker


    It doesn't have to be written by the director, nor does it have to be produced independently. It's really a fairly innocent term that doesn't connote any level of quality -- it just insinuates that a filmmaker has a certain set of stylistic and thematic trademarks that he or she employs in most, if not all of their work, regardless of source material.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016
    Edmund Meinerts wrote
    BobdH wrote
    Ha, I find this whole is he/is he not discussion of auteurship regarding Zack Snyder all the more amusing since his announcement last week that he's looking into filming Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, arguably one of thé major works on auteurship versus compromise. I'm expecting this whole discussion to fire up again in a big way once (if) he releases the film.

    Zack Snyder does Ayn Rand?

    Can I file a restraining order on that film? I don't want it within 100 meters of me. vomit


    I hate Ayn Rand's ideologies, but if Snyder is able to make something subversive out of it, I'm game.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorBobdH
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016
    It depends, the bigger the budget, the bigger the studio, the less likely they are to bet their entire budget on the artistic vision of a single person. However, it also depends on that persons track record. When you got someone like, say, Christopher Nolan, who has proven himself on several occasions to be able to make profitable films and simply has made the studio a lot of profit previously, the studio will want to keep the director and keep him happy, resulting in more creative freedom.

    In the case of Batman and Superman, there's two directorsinvolved that have proven successful in the past for Warners (Zack and Chris) which will give them on the one hand quite some freedom, on the other hand the finished product will likely have to stand the approval of DC Comics as well.

    I reckon given the scope of the whole project it was developed under the watchful gaze of both Warner and DC, it all had to be studio approved (I know there was heavy input regarding the script, thus getting several revisions which delayed production), but also left enough room for artistic input from the director.

    For me the auteurship can be boiled down to a single question:

    - Can you recognize the director solely by watching the film?

    In the case of Zack Snyder, the answer is Yes.

    But it's not a very black/white thing. Would you say Batman v Superman is 100% the same film he would have delivered when there was no studio system but he did have the same budget? Hell no. Ultimately he is also a director for hire, and many conversations with friends studying film in New York and LA/Hollywood kept me clear of any naive thoughts. Yes, you recognize several of his traits, but the bigger the budget, the bigger the gamble, the more he is losing them (having seen Batman v Superman last night I was -pleasantly- surprised how much of his Snyderness he had lost in this film)
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016 edited
    I agree. You can clearly see the studio involvement in the last third of the film, when it becomes less a Snyder movie and more a generic, Marvel-type film. If you compare something like SUCKER PUNCH with this film, you can clearly see this external involvement. While there is plenty of excessive action setpieces in BvS, a lot of it doesn't look like Snyder. In fact, his stamp is most profoundly felt in the fantastic opening sequence as well as the dream sequences.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorBobdH
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016 edited
    Thor wrote
    I hate Ayn Rand's ideologies, but if Snyder is able to make something subversive out of it, I'm game.


    I read elsewhere of your hatred of Rand, but have you read The Fountainhead? I'm reading it as we speak (halfway through, currently on a small break to look around here) and I find myself very much in agreement on points being made regarding that auteurship/progress through originality/diluting progress by dependency on public opinion, and people walking around just as a vessel of collected opinions of others, instead of thinking by themselves and develop their own critical thought (drawn out in extremes to make a point, sure, but just one look at social media and I instantly recognize this).
  7. Thor wrote
    Captain Future wrote
    So far I had been under the impression that an auteur-film is defined by being written and directed by one and the same fellow and also by being independently produced. Which results in a maximum of artistic freedom and a minimum of marketing considerations.

    smile Volker


    It doesn't have to be written by the director, nor does it have to be produced independently. It's really a fairly innocent term that doesn't connote any level of quality -- it just insinuates that a filmmaker has a certain set of stylistic and thematic trademarks that he or she employs in most, if not all of their work, regardless of source material.


    Seems like "Autorenfilm" or "Cinéma d'auteur" isn't a term that is commonly used in the English speaking world. In Germany, Italy and France the term is used in the way I insinuated before. In addition the director also has control over the "final cut". I might not be a scientific term in the strictest sense but a term used in the popular discourse.
    Bach's music is vibrant and inspired.
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016
    I think there may be a massive misunderstanding on what an auteur/author actually IS.
    It's not someone whise trademark style is recognisable, it is "someone who originated or gave existence". To define a director who simply (so to speak) executes someone else's story based on someone else's characters in a fully predefined universe as an "author" is simply insulting to proper authors.

    You may creatively redefine the concept of 'author', but that doesn't make it any more or less true. You then just quite postmodernly equate anything to everything, making everything mean nothing. slant

    Bats vs. Supes may carry some Snyder trademarks (apparently his style is recognisable. Fine. I find it completely generic and wouldn't be able to distinguish his stylistic elements from any MTV-generation director, but I am not a student of his, nor do I care enough. So I'm happy to simply accept that apparently he does have a proprietary style), but ut simply isn't in any way an author piece. He did not author anything. He imbued an existing blablabla with preexisting blablabla based on existing et cetera (you can fill in the blanks by now wink ) with some of his iwn trademarks (like, I guess, Spielberg would do with diffuse light and John Williams).
    Not an author action.
    A directing action.
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016
    Thor wrote
    I must admit I don't understand why you are so opposed to re-interpretations -- radical, if you must -- of iconic figures in popular culture. That's an argument I've never really encountered from anyone before.


    And you haven't now.smile
    It's not what I said, nor what I meant, but rather than retread the whole thing I'll refer to Edmund's response as he reworded it perfectly.
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorBobdH
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016 edited
    Martijn, that's true and I recognize that tháts the main, original definition of authorship, but when translated to film you get in grey area's in which it's difficult to maintain that definition 100%. Of course, directors like Haneke and Paul Thomas Anderson, who usually write their own scripts, are more of an author when they create their original films, but when PTA, who I definitely recognize as an author director, makes There Will Be Blood, originating from Upton Sinclairs novel Oil! yet repurposed and completely transformed in a distinct PTA film, the line blurs. As such, I've come to, yes, postmodernistically, if you will, or want to call it that, modify the term to refer to characteristic traits of a director by which you can recognize his style of what he/she adds to pre-existing material. For example, Fight Club is a film that is both distinctly Chuck Palahniuk but also very much David Fincher, Chuck having said he thought Fincher improved his novel enormously, thus in the film both being co-authors. Ultimately, I just like to think of the term as not being too strictly black/white, also in appreciation of directors that dare to push their creative stamp onto a film and stand for their vision.

    Also, according to authorship in the strictest sense, Stanley Kubrick could never have been called an autheuristic director, and I refuse this notion. If there's one director in the history of cinema who has built in his career a distinct vision and cinematic language...
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016 edited
    My post was more to Thor than to you, Bob.smile But you make some good points that I do not disagree with.
    However (and you knew there would be a 'however' ), the examples you cite, however true, are not really comparable to phenomena like Superman or Batman.
    Nobody knew Fight Club and no one had read There Will Be Blood (I'm facetious, of course, but you know what I mean) before the films came out and won universal acclaim.

    Snyder doesn't have that luxury (like Spielberg had with Jaws, to cite another good example) as he's dealing with very well-established, much-loved and admired and universally known icons! (Yeah, I'm sure there must be five or six people in the world who haven't heard of them. But I'm equally sure all of these wear difficult, heavy-rimmed glasses and lumberjack shirts, and heavy yet neatly kept beards. I'm equally surer all of them are lying.)

    But Snyder simply cannot be an author in any way here, like Luhrmann couldn't be with Romeo and Juliet.
    All he can hope to do is put his recognisable stamp on it, akin to what Burton did with Batman.

    At the end of the day though I don't think our -you, me, Thor- meanings differ that much (if at all) .
    I just find the term 'author' an absolute misfit, is all.
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
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      CommentAuthorBobdH
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016 edited
    Hehe, we're indeed more like quibbling over nuances, but I do get what you mean. smile

    I brought in those examples to argue that there's a scale to authorship, and you're right, the more established original material is, especially as pop icons as huge as Supes and Bats, the more difficult it gets to remain an 'author'. And this is the main point where we disagree probably, since you argue that at this point there is no authorship and the term is misguided, while I'd say the creative vision laid on top of those icons (in cinematography, visual style, etc.) is what I'd still call authorship, despite it is indeed getting harder and harder to spot in a film like Supes v Bats, because you're getting so restricted in your own artistic sensibilities. I could go on here about what I think of Snyder and his tendency to always stick so close to imagery of the graphic novels, but that would probably be digressing, something that's more suited to wine/whiskey/beer infused talk wink.

    In that same vein, I personally WOULD argue Luhrmann's Romes+Jules ís an authoristic film (or The Great Gatsby, for that matter) since it is also so clearly a Luhrmann film full (and I mean, FULL, in-your-face, extravagantly FULL) of his own creative traits.

    In other words, I don't really take popular/mass stuff into account when defining the term. But this is just the point where we agree to disagree, I guess smile.
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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016 edited
    Thor wrote
    Another contention I strongly disagree with, most recently exemplified by the extremely emotional INTERSTELLAR.


    Actually, because INTERSTELLAR was actually his one break for some years now, from all this 'cool sounds' 'cool beats' mixture with newer Minions and XL, and it was a score full of emotion and drive, this is why it came out so good. When he's in the 'playing with the cool kids' mood, the scores he (And his team) puts out, aren't nearly as good.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2016
    Oh, and: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwXfv25xJUw
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  8. Martijn wrote

    I just find the term 'author' an absolute misfit, is all.


    So do I. (Without having seen the film in question.) It is my understanding that an auteur film may very well be the adaptation of a novel or stage play or something. Although definitions seem do differ here. In France the originality of the script seems to be more important than in Germany.
    Bach's music is vibrant and inspired.