March 14, 2010
Finally!!! A woman won an Academy Award for Best Directing at last Sunday’s Oscars! Woohoo! Big ups to Kathryn Bigelow and her movie The Hurt Locker! Here’s why it’s a significant win for film-making women:
She was the fourth woman to be nominated in the directing category, after Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, and Sofia Coppola. This is in an industry where 83% of all directors, writers, and producers on the top 100 grossing films last year were male, where, of the 600 movies reviewed in The New York Times last year, only ten percent were directed by women. So it matters.
So, only 4 female directors ever nominated for an Oscar? Well, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences doesn’t always recognize everything good and everything they recognize is not always good. Also, read up on how women often end up on the under-valued side of artistic and aesthetic binaries: Art (men) vs. Craft (women), Genius (men) vs. Muse (women), Culture (men) vs. Nature (women), blah, blah, blah…
Anyway, here’s a list of movies by women. The movies on this list will get you started, and I promise they’re not crappy:
1-3. The Piano by Jane Campion, Holy Smoke by JC (calling all Kate Winslet fans; she pees on herself while walking!), and An Angel at My Table (my very favorite JC movie).
4. Whale Rider by Niki Caro.
5. Boys Don’t Cry by Kimberly Peirce (which I think is just as good as the big film of 2000, American Beauty. It should have at least been nominated for Best Picture; I mean The Sixth Sense was nominated for cryin’ out loud!).
6. Savages written and directed by Tamara Jenkins.
7. Persepolis co-written and co-directed by Marjane Satrapi.
8. Whip-It directed by Drew Barrymore. Get your heads out of a$$es, film snobs! This is an awesome movie!
9. The Virgin Suicides by Sofia Coppola.
10. High Art by Lisa Cholodenko. If you feel like revisiting the 90s…
11. Frida by Julie Teymour.
Movies made by women that I want to see, that look good in my humble opinion:
1. The Hurt Locker (shut up! it’s on the Netflix queue!)
2. Coco Before Chanel, directed by Anne Fontaine.
3. Bright Star, directed by Jane Campion.
4. Seven Beauties, directed by Lina Weretmüller. In 1977, she became the first female director to be nominated for an Oscar.
5. Frozen River, directed by Courtney Hunt.
Any thoughts about any of these movies, my smarty friends? Anything I should add to the lists immediately, like howthehell did I leave it off?