Women Directors Theme Week 2017

Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Meek’s Cutoff’: The Camera’s Relationship to Characters and Power

Meeks Cutoff

In reclaiming the era, Kelly Reichardt created a representation that centers the experiences of those not served by the traditional Western. A view of the life of women divorced from the patriarchal lens, a view of the treatment of Native Americans divorced from the lens of white supremacy.

Amma Asante Shows that Period Films Can (and Should) Center Black People

A United Kingom

Actress Thandie Newton argues that “historical dramas ‘limit UK Black actors’.” Churning out endless projects about the royal family and the so-called “good old days” isn’t doing Black actors any favors. …”Historical/period drama” is one of the worst genres for inclusion of Black characters, with a whopping 80% of such films having no named roles for Black actors whatsoever. …Period dramas and Black stories aren’t mutually exclusive, as Amma Asante shows us in ‘Belle’ and her latest film, ‘A United Kingdom.’

“You Are Who You Eat”: Digging in to Antonia Bird’s ‘Ravenous’

Ravenous

In ‘Ravenous,’ the primary meat and potatoes of the terror the audience feels isn’t provided by novel sights on the screen. While the visuals are gorgeous, its true potency comes from its sense of self-confidence. … Director Antonia Bird is unafraid of long silences; she trusts her skills to communicate plot and character visually without the need for exposition. … It makes for a moody, evocative, distinctive, and extremely memorable personal style.

Amy Heckerling: A Retrospective on Her Filmmaking Career and Her Perspectives on Women in Hollywood

Clueless

It’s easy to accept that Heckerling’s lack of recognition is typical of the treatment of female directors, and her challenges have included obstacles unknown to many male directors, such as taking time off for children and caring for elderly parents. However, her work in less prestigious mid-budget comedies and teen films, and therefore with new and lesser known actors, has often been by choice. Her great accomplishments as a feminist director come not from breaking into the prestigious and male-dominated genres, but in how she has presented female characters and female sexuality in her films.

Genres “for Men” Directed by Women

Love and Basketball smaller

It’s pretty uncommon in Hollywood to see a movie directed by a woman as only 3.4% of all film directors are women. It’s even more uncommon to see women directing films in genres intended for a largely male audience. Granted, all movies of any genre can be and are watched and enjoyed by people of any gender. However, Hollywood tends to market certain genres towards men, and for that reason, it’s even more difficult for women directors to get in on the market.

Vintage Viewing: Marion E. Wong, Energetic Entrepreneur

Curse-of-Quon-Gwon-scene-1.5mb

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 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…

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.