Women Directors Theme Week

Women Directors Week: The Roundup

Women Directors Week The Roundup

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

Leigh Janiak’s ‘Honeymoon’ as Feminist Horror


The film thus brilliantly puts the everyday (marriage) on a continuum with the horrifying (possession?), connecting the problem of Bea’s troubled self-expression and containment, now that she’s married, to the later seemingly supernatural plot. … Are the seemingly supernatural elements of the plot symbolic of Bea’s struggles with intimacy and the weighty expectations of married domestic life (sex, cooking, and reproduction)? Janiak’s expert writing and directing definitely leaves open this possible subtext of the film…

Lena Dunham and the Creator’s “Less-Than-Perfect” Body On-Screen

Lena Dunham 'Girls'

Every time someone calls to question the fact that Lena Dunham parades her rolls of fat in front of her audience, we need to examine why they’re questioning it. Is it because they’re wondering how it serves the narrative of ‘Girls’? Or is it because they’re balking at “less-than-perfection” (according to normative societal conventions) in the female form?

‘Making a Murderer,’ ‘Fantastic Lies,’ and the Uneasy Exculpation Narratives by Women Directors

Making a Murderer

What is most remarkable and perhaps most subversively compelling about both ‘Making a Murderer’ and ‘Fantastic Lies,’ and about the intentions and directorial choices of their respective creators, is that neither documentary endeavor chronicles the sagas of particularly defensible — or even, to some, at all likable — men.

I’m a Lilly – And You’re Probably One Too: All Women Face Gender Discrimination

IMG_0332 (1)

I’m a woman director who’s been working in Hollywood for nearly 3 decades. I was compelled to bring Lilly Ledbetter’s story to the big screen because her David-and-Goliath battles with an entrenched, American corporation resonated for me politically, professionally, and personally. The truth is that, while Lilly’s life and mine may seem worlds apart, we are both female workers in male-dominated industries — and gender discrimination hurts the same everywhere.

Individuality in Lucia Puenzo’s ‘XXY,’ ‘The Fish Child,’ and ‘The German Doctor’

XXY film

In the end, it is this focus on individuality that is the most striking common theme of Lucia Puenzo’s works. Each of her characters undergoes intense scrutiny from outside forces, be it Alex in ‘XXY’ for their gender, Lala in ‘The Fish Child’ for her infatuation with Ailin, or Lilith from ‘The German Doctor,’ who is quite literally forced into a physical transformation by a Nazi.

Andrea Arnold: A Voice for the Working Class Women of Britain

Fish Tank

British director/screenwriter Andrea Arnold has three short films and three feature films under her belt, and four out of six of those center on working class people. … [The characters in ‘Fish Tank,’ ‘Wasp,’ ‘Red Road,’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’] venture off away from the preconceived notions they have been given, away from the stereotypes forced upon them, and the boxes society has trapped them in.

Sofia Coppola as Auteur: Historical Femininity and Agency in ‘Marie Antoinette’

Marie Antoinette

Sofia Coppola’s film conveys, to me, a range of feminist concerns through history. Concerns of how much agency, even in a culture of affluence, women can wield given that so much of women’s lives are dictated by the structures of patriarchy.

Mary Harron’s ‘American Psycho’: Rogue Feminism

American Psycho

When the leading man isn’t laughing at remarks from serial killers about decapitating girls, he’s coming after sex workers with chainsaws (at least in his head). Yet ‘American Psycho’ espouses a feminist perspective that fillets the values held by capitalist men.

Susanne Bier’s Living, Breathing Body of Work

In a Better World

Women consistently make good films around the world, even if we have to look outside Hollywood to find them. Susanne Bier is one powerful example. Her vivid, probing explorations into family dynamics and tenuous relationships are fiercely suggestive marks of a female auteur that deserves recognition.

No Apologies: The Ambition of Gillian Armstrong and ‘My Brilliant Career’

My Brilliant Career

However, Armstrong also doesn’t mock Sybylla’s ambition or treat it as a joke. In Armstrong’s world, the fact that Sybylla has desires and wants outside of marriage and men is treated seriously because Sybylla takes it seriously. She never needs to prove herself worthy enough for her desires.

OMG a Vagina: The Struggle for Feminine Artistic Integrity in Kimberly Peirce’s ‘Carrie’

Carrie - Chloe Moretz

Carrie is a terrifying and compelling story, but there is certainly something to be gained and perhaps a certain truth to be found in watching the pain of her journey into womanhood as told by a woman director. … But even in the face of these small victories, we have to wonder how the film would have been different had Peirce been allowed to tell this story without being inhibited by the fear and discomfort of the male voices around her.