Female Directors

Vintage Viewing: Marion E. Wong, Energetic Entrepreneur

Marion_Evelyn_Wong

What is certain is that, while ultimately upholding the value of family and of traditional culture, ‘The Curse of Quon Gwon’ gives vivid expression to the frustrations of women within those rigid norms, doing so with a cinematic language of the female gaze that centers female perspectives.

The Unvoiced Indigenous Feminism of ‘Frida’

Frida

Frida Kahlo’s sense of kyriarchy, in which the tension between Indigenous culture and European imperialism is a core aspect of her multi-faceted narratives of oppression and resistance, is simplified in Julie Taymor’s film ‘Frida’ towards a more Euro-American feminism, focused on Kahlo’s struggle for artistic recognition and romantic fulfillment as a woman, to the exclusion of her ethnic struggle.

The Anti-Celebrity Cinema of Mary Harron: ‘I Shot Andy Warhol,’ ‘The Notorious Bettie Page,’ and ‘The Anna Nicole Story’

Valarie just can't fit into Andy Warhol's world

I’ve always thought Mary Harron’s work was the perfect example of why we need female directors. I think the films she produces provide a perspective we would never see in a world unilaterally controlled by male filmmakers. Harron appears to specialize in off-beat character studies of the types of people a male director may not gravitate towards, nor treat with appropriate gravitas. She treats us to humanizing takes on sex workers and sex symbols, angry lesbians and radical feminism and makes them hard to turn away from.

Call For Writers: Women Directors

Call-for-Writers-e13859437405011

Our theme week for March 2016 will be Women Directors. The gender gap in the entertainment industry has risen to the level of popular consciousness, such that prominent public figures are frequently commenting on it and demanding change, but while awareness of the under-representation and misrepresentation of women in film and television has grown, is there much being done to combat it?

Five Female Directors Who Helped Shape Nollywood

Amaka-Igwe

Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, has overtaken Hollywood in terms of its volume of output, and is now second only to Bollywood. What were once dismissed as stilted, static, and amateurish films made on home video, have now developed into their own distinctive visual style and genres, which are popular and influential across Africa and the African diaspora worldwide.

The Female Gaze: Dido and Noni, Two of a Kind

Belle 3

Directors Amma Asante and Gina Prince-Bythewood illustrate that when a story is told through the eyes of the second sex, themes, such as romance, self-worth, and identity are fully fleshed out. By examining an 18th century British aristocrat and a 21st century pop superstar, it proves that in the span of three centuries, women still face adversity in establishing a firm identity, apart from the façade, amongst the white noise of societal expectations.

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks

Recommended

Check out what we’ve been reading this week – and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!

‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’: A High Priestess Speaks of Rebellion

What Happpened, Miss Simone Netflix One Sheet

Dispersed among the footage are archival glimpses into Nina’s journals, where we can read quick sketches of her own thoughts and feelings. And although the particular journal entries are chosen and shaped to fit the narrative Garbus is presenting, it only helps to give us a deeper understanding of the complexity of being a Black woman artist in racist America. Nothing has changed.

Bigelow’s Boys: Martial Masculinity in ‘The Hurt Locker’

Poster for The Hurt Locker

The movie also, however, offers ideological and anthropological readings of masculinity which are, arguably, a little more complicated.

Bigelow appears to have a deep interest in, and respect for, martial masculinity.

Scavenging for Food and Art: Agnès Varda’s ‘The Gleaners and I’

Varga and her digital camera

The tools Varda employs are modest and made for the road. The handheld digital video camera she uses allows for both freedom and intimacy. She puts herself in front of the camera, filming, for example, her aged hands and thinning hair in candid close-up. Can you imagine a Hollywood director doing so? Varda rejects vanity and embraces vulnerability.

Vintage Viewing: Germaine Dulac, Surrealist Theorist

Germaine Dulac: auteur for sure

While America was building its clout as the commercial center of the global film industry, it was France that became the center of film theory, driving experimentation. A key figure in that development was Germaine Dulac.

Vintage Viewing: Mabel Normand, Slapstick Star in Charge

Mabel Normand: madcap maverick

Mabel Normand was once known as “The Queen of Comedy” and “The Female Chaplin.” Her name was featured in the title of her shorts as their star attraction, which she soon parlayed into creative control as director. Normand mentored Charlie Chaplin as well as Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, who went on to mentor Buster Keaton in his turn. Mabel is, therefore, a cornerstone in the development of the American slapstick auteur, but one whose role is regularly overlooked.