The Auteurs

The notion of the director as an “auteur,” a creative intelligence in charge of every aspect of the film came out of Europe and became an organizing principle among film lovers in the sixties and seventies.  It can be overdone—many of the best moments in Bergman, for instance, result from Sven Nyqvist’s camera work—but there’s some truth to it.  This list introduces the filmmakers whose vision holds my interest even in the films I don’t love: Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, Michelangelo Antonioni, Akira Kurosawa, Pedro Almodovar, Federico Fellini, and Jia Zhangke, by far my favorite director of the new millennium.