The Hateful Eight and The Auteur Theory

So, last night I just rewatched Inglourious Basterds for the first time in about two years, and as I love that movie, it prompted me to look up any news on Tarantino’s new movie The Hateful Eight. Not surprisingly it is another western that follows eight skillful gun men/women as they are trapped in some sort of snowy frontier. Although not much is truly known about the project yet, much about it is already known solely by the fact that it is directed by Tarantino. Auteur theory has been a fairly prevalent aspect of big budget American cinema for the past few decades, and slowly it has turned the process of garnering attention for movies from being about the film itself, to relying on the director’s notoriety to bring in money. Yes, there is nothing wring with a successful and talented director gaining praise for his works, but this gradually has become a perpetuation and thus has diminished opportunity for new directors to jump onto the scene. If you are shown two trailers and given the choice to pick one movie or the other to watch, your opinion is based solely on the interest the trailer evoked in you. However, if you are then told one trailer is by Scorcese and the other by a relatively unknown ┬ádirector, chances are you will choose the Scorcese film to watch, regardless of the trailers. My favorite example of this is how M. Night Shyamalan has continued to produce big budget movies and bring in money, even though his past five films have been terribly received. So why do his films keep getting big budgets and continue to see at least some box office success? People remember Shyamalan’s old films like The Sixth Sense and thus go into his more recent films believing they will be just as good as his previous ones, when in reality they are not. So, in many ways it is a double edged sword that somehow should be better understood, and viewers must realize that we cannot watch a film or believe that it is automatically a masterpiece solely by who it is directed by, but rather we must make truly informed decisions based on the film itself.

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