Eric Rohmer & Jacques Rivette on the auteur -- Dec. '61
The December 1961 special issue of Cahiers du Cinema dedicated to "Criticism" featured a debate between Eric Rohmer (at that time the editor of Cahiers), Jacques Rivette and three non-Cahiers critics, Morvan Lebesque, Pierre Marcabru and Georges Sadoul. This is a short excerpt from that debate . (page 17, my translation)
Eric Rohmer: The politique des auteurs is not an axiom, it is a postulate.
Jacques Rivette: A postulate which, in my judgment, has to be brought into question with each new viewing.
Georges Sadoul: Completely agreed; and while taking what is essential into account.
Jacques Rivette: That said, the principle of the politique des auteurs is, all the same, to complete that postulate with the following postulate: A filmmaker who in the past has made great films can make mistakes, but the mistakes which he makes have every chance, a priori, to be more fascinating than the successes of a journeyman.