Co-auteur (Eric Overmyer)
In the 50's and 60's the French cinema term auteur arrived in America with the La Nouvelle Vague, with films by directors like Truffaut, Godard, Rohmer and Renais, at a time when Americans were interested in foreign film — and was promoted in the United States by Andrew Sarris of the Village Voice, among others. The auteur theory, that the director of the movie is the author of the movie, the singular creative force, gained immediate traction among many critics and proved very popular with American film directors — so much so that the directors' union, negotiated a possessive film credit for its members: American films now carry a credit that reads, 'A film by Steven Spielberg' or 'A Clint Eastwood film.' As you can imagine, this possessive proved unpopular with others who also considered themselves auteurs — especially screenwriters.
In television, the medium in which I work, the auteur notion has also taken hold. 'Creators' of shows like NYPD Blue, Homicide, Mad Men, The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Six Feet Under — in order, Steven Bochco, Tom Fontana, Matthew Weiner, David Chase, David Milch, my colleague David Simon, Alan Ball — are celebrated as auteurs, some of them literally compared, by American critics at least, to certain 19th Century authors like Dickens and Balzac. It is my contention, even though I am, with David Simon, the 'Creator' of Treme, that the very notion of an auteur in television is ludicrous, a convenient shorthand for critics and fans, and one that betrays their ignorance of the realities of making a television drama. There are only co-auteurs — and many of them.
Pour citer cette ressource :
Eric Overmyer, "Co-auteur (Eric Overmyer)", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), mai 2014. Consulté le 07/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/litterature/entretiens-et-textes-inedits/co-auteur-eric-overmyer-