What is an auteur? The label has little to do with entertainment value or critical acclaim, and plenty to do with consistency and a trademark personal style.
According to that definition, you might say Michael Bay is an auteur in his invented field of crash-heavy, explosion-filled chaos cinema. But whether the definition fits or not (it's debatable) is irrelevant because I'm not here to talk about Michael Bay. I'm here to run you through some film directors who have not only earned the auteur label, but have left an indelible mark on the cinematic world in the process.
1. Wes Anderson
In the one scene described above, we can witness several of Wes Anderson's key directorial trademarks: slow motion scenes, retro color palettes, vintage soundtracks and center framing.
Anderson is a true auteur. His whimsical style makes his films instantly recognizable, and he dreams up entire film universes populated by quirky characters we can somehow relate to. Others can imitate, but his style is truly his own.
2. Alfred Hitchcock
105Master of Suspense.106MacGuffin107https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacGuffin) and the sneaky cameos by the man himself.
The vault robbery scene.
3. Hayao Miyazaki
Director Hayao Miyazaki has created many beloved animated films centered around strong female characters. His stories often feature ambiguous villains with complex motives, and explore the murky, at times parasitic relationship between man and nature. Miyazaki's films are not only beautiful but enjoyable to both children and adults, and while there are great Studio Ghibli films by other directors, they always feel like something is missing. Specifically, the gentle, nuanced touch of Miyazaki's hand.
4. Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino gets away with things that no other director in the world can. His films are laced with the gore-splattered enthusiasm of a 15-year-old fanboy, but that's exactly why they work: You get the sense that Tarantino is creating films for Tarantino. If he thinks something is cool, critics be damned, he runs with it.
Scene from Pulp Fiction. Image via mentalfloss.com
It would be pointless to describe a typical Tarantino scene, since no doubt you're well familiar with his iconic style. Suffice to say there's usually surreal and stylized dialogue, graphic violence, super-cool soundtracks and, more often than not, an appearance from Samuel L. Jackson.
5. Tom Ford
250A Single Man251