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David Thomson on His ‘History of Movie Directors’

April 1, 2021

On this week’s episode, Sonny talks to David Thomson about his new book, A Light in the Dark: A History of Movie Directors. The book is a look at the evolution of the very idea of a “director,” from the workmanlike efforts out of studio system craftsmen to the auteur theory to the world of TV, where directors get very little notice and writers get all the glory. It’s a personal history, in a way—you see who Thomson enjoys and who he respects—as well as an economic history. The business of building up directors is a fascinating one, given all the financial and social and artistic imperatives that come with identifying a singular vision and person as the author of a massive project like a feature film.