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The Auteur
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Auteur More at IMDbPro »

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24 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Very Funny - Westby's Best Film Yet

8/10
Author: greg-253 from Portland, OR
9 December 2008

Caught this at the Cinema 21 in Portland, Oregon last week - and was knocked over by how funny it was.

James Westby continues to improve as filmmaker - delivering his most polished, unrepentant comedy yet. Melik Malkasian kicks in a strong performance as the veteran Spanish porn director Domingo - who parlays a retrospective of his classic films into a half-pickled, ego roller-coaster involving his estranged wife (Cara Seymour in a choice role) and his favorite male porn actor (John Breen).

Full of shameless pot-smoking, nudity and sex - Westby manages to push the trash envelope while keeping the script tight and intelligent. This one is full of choice zingers and great (sometimes uncomfortable) laughs. The audience I watched this with was howling all throughout - something I haven't seen in years. The vibe was a cross between John Waters and Judd Aptaow - shameless and sharp. At the same time, the film has a certain dramatic sweetness - as you watch Domingo struggle to recover his mojo, you start to root for him, despite his personal shortcomings.

Easily one of the funniest indie films in recent memory - and hopefully a harbinger of things to come from this team.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Mildly Arousing, But I Didn't Climax

7/10
Author: funkfox (funkfox@hotmail.com) from New York
4 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just saw this at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, and here are my two cents...

The Auteur is a decent film. It starts off strongly, a cinema verite look into the life of a raffish, pot-bellied Italian director going to Portland, Oregon, to put in an appearance at a retrospective film festival being held in his honor. (And no, the meta-riffic irony is not lost on me about making a film which revolves around the protagonist, who is a director, going to attend a film festival, and then showing it at a film festival). It's kind of like Wes Anderson decided to shoot a softcore porn film. There are moments of humor both subtle and overt, and the protagonist, Arturo Domingo, played well by Melik Malkasian, a guy who, judging from his surname, is definitely not Italian, manages the accent of an Italian speaking English handsomely, complete with soft "H's" and missing articles. The scenes where he is directing his stars are wildly entertaining, and the crowd roars with approval.

This movie is good enough to be picked up by a studio, but there are too many dangling penii ('penises' sounds weird) and there's a fairly drawn out and sticky money shot involving a circle jerk at the end of Domingo's career-destroying "Full Metal Jackoff", and these will probably prevent the film from getting a wide release, or a release at all, because what rating do you really expect after all that? To his credit, in the Q & A which followed the movie, the director addresses this and says he didn't really care about ratings when making the pic - now THAT'S the spirit of independent film-making! Still, though, an admirable effort all around, with some strong performances and funny set pieces.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Only when I breathe.

7/10
Author: raimund-berger from Switzerland
30 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Arturo Domingo, hardcore porn director in a crisis, it's whom we are following onto a film festival, held in his honor but then again just giving him fresh evidence about how his fan base seems to be dwindling. An experience that is coming all the harder on him because he's not just a porn director. He's an auteur.

And that's where we're already at the heart of the parody. Which doesn't make fun so much of the blue movie but rather the normal film business itself. As the auteur has actually been a student of USC film school, no less. And his film titles, like "Five Easy Nieces", strangely remind us of well known film classics anyway. Also, whatever happens in his films, it has to fit the story.

There's in fact a plethora of fun references to films and popular culture of the seventies onwards mingled into the plot of the auteur trying to regain his lost status and creativity. Likely many more than I realized and all of them very well done. So for a film friend, having all this served draped up in a fairly mild porn setting, is already thoroughly entertaining.

But what makes the film really amiable is an assemblage of very likable characters, each having their very personal weaknesses and strengths. Most of all of course the lead character himself, who's perfectly projecting the strange mix of South European melancholy, passion and pride, but the people surrounding him just the same. Including two cops you would be looking for your entire life.

In fact, this has been one of the better, rather quiet comedies I've seen in quite some time. Thorough fun, including some good laughs and, as said, all the more entertaining for the film buff. Who will, as in so many other things, take delight in recognizing one of the last dialog lines being that famous quote from Chinatown: "this must hurt - only when I breathe."

Liked it a whole lot. Very recommended.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pleasantly Surprised

8/10
Author: wheflin
19 December 2013

Lot's of wonderful reviews on Amazon as well. What a nice surprise over the normal B-reel movies I run in the background at work all day. This isn't for everyone and I feel bad for the people that trashed it so well. Life must get hard without a sense of humor. I wouldn't watch it with the kids or my parents. I wouldn't watch it with anyone that can't handle sexual content. It is by no means a porno but if you read some of the spoiler reviews you can easily guess what you might see. I did recommend this to several people I know. I'm saddened that it took me so long to find this gem. After seeing the first negative review on the main IMDb page I felt I had to write my 1st review. In my opinion this film was undeserving of such low marks but everyone is entitled to their own. Worth the time!

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Dreck

1/10
Author: artpf from United States
12 October 2013

THE AUTEUR follows formerly renowned porn director Arturo Domingo (Five Easy Nieces, Requiem for a Wet Dream) through a bizarre weekend as he receives a lifetime achievement award at a film festival in Portland, OR.

Encountering crazed fans, former collaborators, bitter enemies, and free-loving hippies, Arturo attempts to put the pieces of his broken career and personal life back together.

Not one frame of this horrible amateurish movie makes sense. It doesn't even lampoon the porn industry well. It's idiotic.

I'd bet it as written by some loser who has never even seen a porno. It's 3rd grade level writing and kindergarten directing. Not one frame is funny or poignant.

A huge waste of time.

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3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Was this a joke?

2/10
Author: tpaladino from United States
24 April 2012

Wow, um... okay so apparently this is an actual movie, and not the summer project of a second-year community college film student? Which is odd, because I cannot imagine any other way that this film could have gotten made.

Seriously, it was pretty bad. Amateurish all the way through, and not even slightly entertaining. It's reminiscent of a Cinemax late-night T&A flick, but without the charm. I have to assume that the couple of positive reviews here were written by people associated with the production, because no reasonable person would think this was even remotely worthwhile.

It has an interesting enough premise, and I suppose a good film could have been made around it, but this one is an abject failure. Avoid.

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3 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

OMG they used a promo clip from Malaysia!

5/10
Author: sakatsu from Malaysia
3 February 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Decided to check out this indie film after seeing the poster at the IMDb recommendation section. Quite enjoyable. I thought i'd bring to light a surprise i had. About 10mins in the movie, at the motel room where Arturo is staying there is a TV commercial for Frank E Normo's travel porn program. it features clips of actual promo video for a popular Malaysian Nature Park destination. Images of the nature park were interspersed with porn clips and Franks narration. I doubt the director got clearance for this and the editor should really not use a clip with a website on it. Malaysian government won't be happy with this if they knew. The blatant use of the promo with no foresight to hide the origins of the clips is culturally and politically rude. I'm open minded enough to enjoy the film for what it is but many will not.

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