Films By Women

International Women-Directed Films at the 2017 London Feminist Film Festival

Talk Back Out Loud

The London Feminist Film Festival is all about “celebrating international feminist films past and present.” It “will provide a safe space to explore, celebrate, organise, and inspire.” Now in its fifth year, the festival will run from August 17-20.

‘Busted on Brigham Lane’: A Woman-Directed Short Film about a Young Woman’s Reconciliation with Her Father

Busted on Brigham Lane

“When Momo spots her estranged father on the subway, she’s determined to reconcile their relationship in time for her 18th birthday party, despite her sister’s misgivings. Will the family be able to reconnect, or will Pop let Momo down once again?”

‘The First Date’: A Woman-Directed Short Film about LGBTQ Dating

The First Date

“Amanda recently went on a blind date with Kelly, the perfect woman. Unfortunately, their romantic encounter didn’t go so well. Amanda retreats to her work bathroom to vent to her friend Jill, but both are in for a shock when they find out there’s someone else there hanging onto their every word.”

‘The Girl Down Loch Änzi’ and Our Slippery Relationship with Ghosts

lochanzi2_thumb.jpg

‘The Girl Down Loch Änzi,’ which had its North American premiere at the 2017 Hot Docs film festival, is a ghost story. Laura lives on a Swiss farm that borders the fabled Änziloch – a deep ravine that, legend has it, is home to the ghost of a woman cast out from the village several centuries before, and either left to die or imprisoned below. …An unusually stylish documentary, with beautifully-composed shots and scenes that play out with a feature film’s attention to blocking…

‘The Fits’ and the Complicated Choreography of Adolescence

The Fits

Director Anna Rose Holmer… described her film as portraying “adolescence as choreography.” I personally cannot think of a more apt way to describe the delicate movements one takes throughout the teenage years. One yearns to step into the spotlight and embrace one’s individuality while also fearing the consequences of doing so. It’s a delicate balancing act, wanting to be your own person while also wanting to fit in with everyone else.

Women-Directed Films at the Asian American Showcase

Finding Kukan

The lineup included The Tiger Hunter, (directed by Lena Khan)… Light (directed by Lenora Lee and Tatsu Aoki), and Finding Kukan (directed by Robin Lung). … Depictions of stories that are absent from an experience that is generally thought to be collective is definitely the point of film festivals like the Asian American Showcase. The film offerings this year illuminated the immigrant experience as an American one. At the same time, the breadth of the experiences represented, while hardly a cohesive or even complete picture, offered nuanced views of stories never heard in textbook discussions…

The Fellowship of the Fling: How our Romance Film Team Came To Be

Im Having an Affair with My Wife

‘I’m Having an Affair With My Wife!’ is the first U.S. romantic comedy in 17 years to star a Black woman and an Asian-American man as the romantic leads. … Just let go of the fear you have of diversity, and let art move you, because the spirit of art, taken to its logical conclusion, reflects the beauty and variety of reality. Support diverse movies, listen to diverse stories, and start telling a few of your own.

Adolescence and Female Friendship in Gurinder Chadha’s ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’

Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging

After chronicling the clashes among family, football, and adolescence in ‘Bend it Like Beckham,’ Gurinder Chadha delves into similar territory with the ebullient coming-of-age tale ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.’ An adaptation of the 1999 novel ‘Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging’ by the late Louise Rennison, the film tells the story of Georgia Nicolson, a teenager growing up in Eastbourne, England, whose entry into the world of romancing boys is as fraught and funny as you might expect.

Courage, Death, and Love in Dorothy Arzner’s ‘Christopher Strong’

Christopher Strong

In spite of the ending or what the trailer suggests, ‘Christopher Strong’ doesn’t demonize Cynthia for her ambition and her desires; instead, the film sheds a sympathetic light on her story even as it depicts her pursuit of independence and love as an impossible one within the context of the world she occupies. The story of such a pursuit and the societal pressures attached likely felt familiar to director Dorothy Arzner, writer Zoë Akins, and star Katharine Hepburn — each of whom occupied positions of creative control in the film’s production and led successful careers in an industry still notorious for undervaluing women today.

Too Feminine, Too Pretty, and the Gendered Bias in the Critique of Sofia Coppola’s Films

Marie Antoinette

When it comes to the critique of Sofia Coppola, her filmic style is too often described along the lines of being too pretty, too feminine, or as style over substance. … Male directors, however, who exhibit the same attention to style and aesthetics, are not held to this same ideal. … There is a double standard in the way prettiness is regarded in cinema. “Pretty” is for female directors, but for male directors, prettiness isn’t ever uttered, and reverence is received in its place.

One Woman’s View: Martha Fiennes’ ‘Onegin’

Onegin

Director Martha Fiennes unlocks this costume classic for a modern audience, deftly allowing the two main characters to take their share of the center stage to tell their stories. While Ralph Fiennes’ Onegin plays a familiar type of romantic male, Liv Tyler’s Tatyana is not often familiar, even in modern love stories. She does not play the martyr, pining for someone she can’t have, but rather takes stock of what she needs in life and makes her choices accordingly, regardless of how others may feel.

‘The Love Witch’ Looks Familiar but Feels Remarkably Fresh

The Love Witch

Yet behind the eye-catching homage to Technicolor cinematography, the retro-glamorous hair and makeup, and the stylized performances of the pitch-perfect cast [Anna Biller’s ‘The Love Witch’] is a sharp-eyed satire of how society views female sexuality as simultaneously desirable and dangerous. …It is a remarkable look at the way our modern world views and values women  —  a serious statement about sexual politics wrapped up in a cocoon of cats-eye liner and cake, making it all the more dangerously potent.