Ecclesiastes 1:19 tells us: “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”
That goes double for Hollywood, an industry built out of repeating the same thing time and again though that’s less inherently negative than a statement of fact, after all, if it weren’t profitable for them to do so, they wouldn’t.
Similarity is similarity, which isn’t bad in and of itself and it’s also a handy way to separate the workman from the auteur in that I don’t think it takes a particularly special or gifted person to direct.
It takes an ability to organize, to offer some sort of “vision” while working within a system designed to produce profit over anything else.
It’s the auteur who manages despite barriers to produce something sublime, something amazing.
That’s why there’re a lot of directors, though in my opinion very few auteurs.
What makes one an auteur is a hard thing to quantify because whether or not if one is able to make a movie profitably has next to nothing to do with it, nor the budgets a director is able to marshal.
For instance, Michael Bay is without a doubt a talented director and his films have made millions – if not billions – of dollars in revenue.
But does that make him an auteur? I don’t think so. He’s a workman – admittedly a well-paid workman – but a workman nonetheless.
Which brings me to Shortcut, a horror movie by Alessio Liguori, a director to whom I was unaware of before recently.
I haven’t seen it though if the trailer is any indicator it looks a lot like Victor Salva’s Jeepers Creepers, hopefully minus that director’s repulsive notoriety.
And as I said, it’s not a bad thing in and of itself that Shortcut appears reminiscent of other movies, because what matters most of what Liguori brings to the project that separates it from the work of others.