I wrote about why Joachim Trier’s films - Oslo, August 31st and Reprise - are just the best, for The Paris Review Daily. I also get a kick out of how the star of both films, Anders Danielsen Lie, is a doctor in real life, released a concept album about autism, is married to a supermodel, and the couple of films that he’s been in - including one he made as a ten year old that was nominated for an Academy Award - have done wonderfully. Do his friends hate him for being very successful at life?
For those who like to keep score (check Richard Rushfield’s “The Painfully Brief Candle of Modern Auteurs,” a totally fun theory) Trier is now two for two with great films, and I’m really curious as to whether he can keep it up - for two directors that I was very excited about at one point, Wes Anderson and David Gordon Green, their third film was where the seams started showing (Team Rushmore, less The Royal Tenenbaums), and they’ve been up and down ever since, one director sticking to a vision, the other… not. I think it’s different for foreign directors that can get arts funding, however.
I have slight issues with the use of the word “auteur” as an French, chic-sounding catch-all replacement for “film director,” as, contextually, Kael and Sarris-ly, at the least, it referred to seeing a director’s signature even in work-for-hire stuff, when it’s more used willy-nilly these days with relatively visionary directors of any stripe, including writer/directors. Kind of like the evolution of the word “peruse,” which I think means to read thoroughly and carefully in the OED and now is used for indicating that you flipped through something.