A friend of mine recently had the following to say after watching an Ingmar Bergman film, "Wow, I'm so full. It's like I just ate a five-course meal." I've been known, too, to gravitate towards some notoriously difficult work: Bruno Dumont's Humanite, Leos Carax's Pola X, and Hou Hsiao-hsien's Goodbye, South, Goodbye, to name but the first that come to mind. So I understand the appeal and the unique sense of satisfaction that can sometimes come from watching a more difficult film.
It's been my experience that many of the great filmmakers don't necessarily give themselves to you. Sometimes you have to find your own special door into them. And without it, you're just left out, trying to understand what others are raving about. For instance, it took seeing La Chienne for me to first get Jean Renoir. Before that, I just didn't get all the fuss. And I've been fortunate to find other "key" works like that for people like Rossellini, Wenders, Antonioni, Bresson, Eustache, Pialat, Dreyer, Moretti, Kiarostami, Almodovar, Godard, Kitano, and Ophuls.
However, there are a few of the greats that I still have not connected to, for one reason or another. A few elusive auteurs. For me, from the past, the key one is Pasolini and among those currently working, I'd name Zhang Ke Jia and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Is it just me? Or does this phenomenon of the elusive auteur also affect some of you?
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