While it sometimes comes across platitudinous and trite, one cannot stay in any conversation about arthouse film more than five minutes without hearing the phrase “auteur” tossed out. It has become a tad sterile, but, as Andrew Dudley
pointed out in The Major Film Theories, it is a valid form of critical theory. So for an August Blu-ray round-up, the conversation will revolve around three classic Hollywood “auteurs” and films from each that often go overlooked. Kino Lorber released Billy Wilder
’s critique of war-time Hollywood, A Foreign Affair; the Warner Archive
presented John Ford
’s passion project Wagon Master
; and Criterion added Douglas Sirk
’s first foray into widescreen Technicolor, Magnificent Obsession
, to their illustrious collection. While each release is a fairly underrated title in their director’s larger filmography, a close watch unveils tricks and tropes that each respective filmmaker would later use in their more popular works.