3 Women-Directed Films to See at the Los Angeles Film Festival

THE VIEW FROM TALL

We love to highlight and showcase the work of women filmmakers here at Bitch Flicks. Here are three films written and directed by women you should check out at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Superheroines Week: The Roundup

BF Superheroines Week Roundup

Check out all of the posts from our Superheroines Theme Week here.

Superheroines of Color and Empowerment in Fantasy on TV

Vixen on 'Arrow'

It’s a rare sight to see women of color as superheroes, but rarest, probably, on television. … Superheroines are important. … Why can’t we have a Black or Asian or Latina or Arab or Native heroine acting as a universal hero for all girls of all races? Why must white continue to be the universal standard and everyone else is relegated to a niche audience? People of color want the empowerment fantasy too.

Scarlet Witch and Kitty Pryde: Erased Jewish Superheroines

Scarlet Witch and Kitty Pryde_narrow

Not only is erasing Judaism a disservice to both Scarlet Witch and Captain America, it’s also disrespectful to the Jewish writers who invested so much in making a statement about Jewish resistance in their artistic expression. … What’s aggravating about the omission of Kitty Pryde’s faith is the fact that the filmmakers didn’t do this to Magneto’s character…

Where Are All the Superheroines Who Are Getting Too Old For This Shit?

Jean Grey Phoenix_Xmen Last Stand 4

Even in the rare superhero films with more gender-balanced casts, the age gap between male and female performers can be seen time and time again. Men are allowed to age, to become grizzled, world-weary with experience, or stew for years on a plot of vengeance. … Their women counterparts, however, must remain lithe, “hot,” and never over the age of 40.

Batgirl / Oracle: A Superheroine with a Disability and Representation

Barbara Gordon as Batgirl 2

Barbara Gordon as Oracle is a more accurate and positive representation of people with disabilities. She’s way more real because despite the fact that she sometimes needs the help of more able-bodied people, like a real person living with paralysis from the waist down, she still lives a positive and active life.

Show Me a (Woman) Villain

Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy

Women are generally presented as easily manipulated and too emotional to be true villains. It is yet another characterization of the “soft” woman, dictated by her emotions, propelled by a propensity to nurture rather than destroy. But we need stories of women who hunger for power, who are willingly selfish, and who stick to their principles, no matter the cost. … No more scenes of men talking women into saving the world. Let them try their best to destroy it.

Stop the Fridging: The Invisible Feminism of ‘Arrow’

Arrow TV series

So while ‘Arrow’ seems pretty reluctant to move away from the traditional stance on women existing to be love interests and to be rescued, the individual female characters themselves sometimes show some hints of progressiveness… if only they’d be allowed to live long enough!

Brown Girls Can Be Heroes Too: Why We Need a Ms. Marvel Movie

Ms Marvel_large

I’d internalized the rather damaging notion that only white girls deserve to have their stories told. Only white girls can slay the patriarchy without breaking a nail. Only white girls get to be the heroes, and get to be heroes of their own stories. And the rest of us? We don’t matter. … It’s important for young South Asian girls to see that just because they’re South Asian doesn’t mean that they have to be relegated to the sidelines, to being the sidekick, to being the brainy Indian doctor, and so on. They can be superheroes too.

How Does ‘Vixen’ Collide with Race, Gender, a Black Sense of Home, and the Video Vixen?

Vixen animated series

There is more to be said about how essentializing African identities around myth, folklore, the continent, and animals can impose limits on how Black people, particularly Black women, can be written, and how those Black characters are experienced in a more accessible, mainstream outlet. In other words, even Black superhero characters, carry the burden of limitations if the racial stereotypes outweigh the plot and character development.

Why Black Widow Is the “Realest” Superheroine of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Yes, Even After All Those Tropes)

Black Widow in 'Captain America: Civil War'

It is this factor alone why Black Widow is so important. She is the longest standing female protagonist within the Marvel film franchise, having starred in ‘Iron Man 2,’ ‘The Avengers,’ ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier,’ ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and most recently, ‘Captain America: Civil War.’ She was the only female Avenger in both Avengers films (until Scarlet Witch switched sides at the end of ‘Age of Ultron’), and as such was subject to being the onscreen vessel of female representation in a superhero super-team otherwise occupied by straight white men.

How Hawkgirl Saved Me

Hawkgirl

This is about my favorite chess-playing, mace-wielding, war-crying, winged superheroine role model: Shayera Hol. … Hawkgirl taught me to be observant. She taught me that it’s possible to come through trying times. She taught me that being able to think was just as important as being able to fight, and that good and evil aren’t always absolutes.