If you don't know already, The Auteurs is an online cinematheque, streaming films all over the world complete with a cinema journal, a workshop and a thriving community of cinephiles.
Users are responding negatively to the new change, which is essentially a switch from exclusivity to accessibility. CEO & founder Efe Cakarel responded in the web site's forum:
"We are changing our name; the spirit remains the same. http://www.theauteurs.com was both a thing and an idea.
The thing: the premiere online destination for great cinema. Online meaning mixed media, meaning streaming rare festival gems, VOD premieres, and exclusive film festival collaborations, meaning a social network, meaning the latest and criticism and news, meaning a grassroots filmmaking community.
The idea: a repository and a starting point, a place to nurture and encourage the access to, and the enjoyment and appreciation of, all that is exciting and moving, impermenant and impermeable about the seventh art. The latest technology dedicated to a love for film, to film and the people who love cinema.
The name was the name: “The Auteurs” suggested not the actual place but the idea. One can’t go to “The Auteurs”; one can only nod ones head in agreement: yes, honor the art, yes make accessible the form, yes, bring together those who love moving pictures.
We are changing our name. We are an international website, not an American one or a French — even if our lingua franca is English (something our Brazilian, French, Filipino, Indian, Turkish, and Iranian co-workers might contest). We want a name all audiences can say and spell. We want a name without the burden of exclusory meaning — not all great cinema is auteur cinema. Auteurism is an old idea, and the idea of the website, while one that likewise honored great filmmakers, was a new one that did not quite fit the name. We love the website we’ve built and the community its drawn and we want a name that means that, the online cinema paradise we’ve build and are continuing to improve with your help.
In short: we want a name that we are free to giddily fill to the brim with the same passionate ideas as The Auteurs, a website for cinephiles — but one that is also open to those for which “auteur” means nothing, but HIS GIRL FRIDAY is his favorite film, Kiarostami her favorite filmmaker, A CITY OF SADNESS and TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER two of the best movies she or he has ever seen. We are as dedicated now as we ever were to distribute online, globally, the best cinema ever made, new and old, short and long, mainstream and obscure. We continue to bring the best news and criticism of film; we continue to connect someone who loves all of Godard’s films to someone who just discovered Wong Kar-wai and wants to know more. We continue as before: for cinema and for you, who loves the cinema.
We embrace great cinema in all its forms, and the change in name is to make that embrace all the easier."
The need for an ambiguous, universally applicable, catchy name is understandable from a business perspective, but a name like "The Auteurs" was reassuring for the type of people on the site. Only time can tell what changes the name can bring. What really matters is that an appreciation for cinema can be fostered online, and it remains the goal of Mubi to do so.