The Auteur Theory

Evan Oppenheimer
Th 1/18 9:30pm; Sun 1/21 9:15pm

1999, 80 min, 35mm

Seen one too many indie films about making indie films? Well, so has writer/director Evan Oppenheimer, whose "Auteur Theory" hilariously skewers every sacred indie film cow you've ever come across. George Sand, a timid Brit who thinks declaring himself A Documentary Filmmaker should make ordinary mortals quake in awe, is making a film about a student film festival. He's looking for the drama and intrigue every doc-maker hopes for, but gets way more than he bargained for when the entrants begin to be killed off in rapid succession in unusual ways that smack of poetic justice. His muck-raking, Nick Broomfield-esque instincts kicking in, he's determined to both solve the crimes and become the hero of his own film. Collaborating with a cop named Blank who knows the work of both Tarkovsky and Foucault (and little, it seems, about solving crimes), as well as a cute but morose goth filmmaker (played by Natasha Lyonne in a fine Christina Ricci imitation), Sand scours the films and filmmakers for clues. The entrants are all cut-throat, self-important snobs who include Asmali Jawad, the Hindu Tarantino, Spike Levy, an Hasidic Jew, and the Unknown Filmmaker (yes, he wears a paper bag on his head). And their films? Does anyone really need to see "JFK, Jr.," which re-stages the Kennedy assassination with a cast of eight year-olds, or "Hamlette," a feminist reworking of you-know-what? Oppenheimer has made the "Naked Gun" of filmmaking films, a non-stop barrage of shameless puns and courageously stupid jokes, with a cast of hams (who include not one but two Star Trek spin-off stars) that makes OJ Simpson look like Sidney Poitier. It's easily the funniest indie film since "Clerks."

Contact 212.481.0372,

In Attendance Director Evan Oppenheimer

Watch the Trailer

preceded by:

When The Day Breaks
Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis
1999, 9 min, 35mm

Contact 212.629.8890

You spend two years on the regional festival circuit, garnering audience awards and great reviews. You survive on breakfast panels and "meet the filmmakers" buffets. You never sell your film. Finally, when you are considered too old to be a young filmmaker, you become a professor at USC.


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The Auteur Theory
Th 1/18 9:30pm

The Auteur Theory
Sun 1/21 9:15pm

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