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Name 5 female directors. Go!
February 12, 2013 8:04 PM   Subscribe

I’ve Spent 12 Years Surrounded by Hollywood Peen. Where Are the Women Directors?
posted by crossoverman (93 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Naming five isn't hard: Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion, Floria Sigismundi, Mary Harron, Penelope Spheeris.

Although naming five isn't the problem. The problem is that while many people can name five, I think most people would have trouble naming 20 without starting to look stuff up. In other words, tokenism.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:08 PM on February 12, 2013


Leni Riefenstahl, Ida Lupino, Cate Shortland, Kathryn Bigelow, Sally Potter, Sarah Polley…
posted by Omon Ra at 8:11 PM on February 12, 2013


The problem is that while many people can name five, I think most people would have trouble naming 20 without starting to look stuff up.

I guarantee you "most" people in the US would have trouble naming five. In fact, I would bet money that most people in the US would be unable to name two, and that only because of Kathryn Bigelow.
posted by jedicus at 8:11 PM on February 12, 2013 [15 favorites]


I would be quite surprised if the average person reading that article knew who any of those are, except Bigelow (and I still wouldn't bet on Bigelow).
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:12 PM on February 12, 2013


jedicus: "The problem is that while many people can name five, I think most people would have trouble naming 20 without starting to look stuff up.

I guarantee you "most" people in the US would have trouble naming five. In fact, I would bet money that most people in the US would be unable to name two, and that only because of Kathryn Bigelow
"

Fair enough. I did read the article as addressed to people who are above-average interested in film or working in the industry, though. "Most" people would have problems naming, maybe not five, but 10 or 20 directors in general.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:13 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


(I kept Catherine Hardwicke off my list on purpose, by the way. That'll show her!)
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:17 PM on February 12, 2013


From the article: Being a director is knowing what you want, instructing other people to do it, and making no apologies about it.

No, being a director is knowing what's right for the film, instructing other people to do it, and having no need to make apologies because that's what's right for the piece.
posted by scrowdid at 8:17 PM on February 12, 2013


Amy Heckerling, Martha Coolidge, Penny Marshall, Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion.

What do I win?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:20 PM on February 12, 2013


And staying within budget and being in compliance with all the various laws and regulations and pleasing your investors with a good return.
posted by The Whelk at 8:21 PM on February 12, 2013


Don't forget the great Andrea Arnold, director of Red Road and Fish Tank.
posted by anothermug at 8:22 PM on February 12, 2013


The Whelk: "And staying within budget and being in compliance with all the various laws and regulations and pleasing your investors with a good return"

Those are preferable, but, as history has repeatedly shown, not actually required.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:25 PM on February 12, 2013


Most normal people would have trouble naming five male directors.
posted by Ardiril at 8:26 PM on February 12, 2013 [33 favorites]


(I kept Catherine Hardwicke off my list on purpose, by the way. That'll show her!)

What is she guilty of (whatever, Twilight was a bad movie, not a crime against womankind) that, say, Penny Marshall isn't? Or, hell, even Lisa Cholodenko?
posted by psoas at 8:26 PM on February 12, 2013


I got Kathryn Bigelow, Julie Taymor, Brenda Chapman, Kelly Reichardt and Mo Ogrodnik, but I was kind of cheating because some of those were old professors at film school.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:27 PM on February 12, 2013


I was actually talking to someone the other day that didn't even know what the director does. She thought the actors just made the movie themselves from the script. I wonder how common that is.
posted by empath at 8:27 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Harlan Ellison used to complain back in the 70s that people seemed to think actors on TV just made up thier lines on the spot.
posted by The Whelk at 8:32 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


More importantly, name 5 women who run a studio. Sherry Lansing. Amy Pascal. Gail Berman. Who else?
posted by cazoo at 8:33 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Most normal people would have trouble naming five male directors.

I was going to say this. Even amongst some of my friends who watch a lot of films, they have trouble naming directors. But obviously this article is pitched at people who know a bit more about filmmaking and filmmakers than that. The point stands: the imbalance between male and female directors in Hollywood is massive and notable, even amongst people who could name fifty male directors.

What is she guilty of (whatever, Twilight was a bad movie, not a crime against womankind) that, say, Penny Marshall isn't? Or, hell, even Lisa Cholodenko?

I was also going to say this. Hardwicke got railroaded from directing more of the Twilight saga because she was apparently "difficult" on set. Given how often difficult male directors continue to get thrown big blockbuster movies, this pretty much underlines the problem women still have in the peen-heavy world of Hollywood directing.

More importantly, name 5 women who run a studio. Sherry Lansing. Amy Pascal. Gail Berman. Who else?

I believe only one of them runs a studio now - Pascal is still at Sony.

Interestingly, I don't believe women running a studio made it easier for female directors to come up through the ranks.
posted by crossoverman at 8:40 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Agnes Varda, Claire Denis, Agnes Jaoui, Chantal Akerman, Kelly Reichardt, etc. Yes, women are badly underrepresented among filmmakers but I always feel like American moviegoers have to take some portion of the blame for being kinda unadventurous in general. I thought Sarah Polley's Take This Waltz was really good, but everyone I know who saw it is a pretty hardcore cinephile. And Varda and Denis are flat-out great, world class filmmakers who are lucky to see their work released in the U.S. at all.

I just ran a Google search for "Claire Denis" at Jezebel.com and saw one whole hit -- really just a blockquote from a Wall Street Journal article on child models that has nothing to do with her, you know, career as an artist in her own right. So I am always a little irritated when stories like this show up in outlets that can't be bothered to write anything that might raise the profile of those women that they complain have such a low profile in the film business.
posted by Mothlight at 8:50 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


I work with the Directors Guild of America (an organization that, as mentioned in the article, has made some efforts to try to rectify the entrenched problems that female directors face in the industry). For a long time I assumed that the management of my office being largely run by women (female CEO; women managing five of our seven departments) indicated that there was something approaching gender parity in the production field. Then I looked at the numbers.

Women make up only 7% of the DGA's membership. Now, the DGA doesn't represent every director in the business, but it represents most of them, especially at the top tier. And not just directors, either; that 7% also covers all of the women working as assistant directors, stage managers and unit production managers. I have every confidence that the DGA would like to even those numbers out a bit. They have committees in place working on the problem (and it is a problem), and there are programs that they've set up to try to help things, but they don't really have the power to change who the studios are hiring, and that's the only thing that is going to make a real difference.

So yeah, asking people to name five female directors was a bad lead to this story, and don't we all feel special that we can name five, but this is a very real issue if you're a woman working in the entertainment industry today, and those numbers are terrible.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:52 PM on February 12, 2013 [29 favorites]


If everyone who wrote a thinkpiece asking "Where are the female directors" instead chose a single up-and-coming female director and hyped her and profiled her and made it impossible for people to not know who she was, then maybe this problem would be a tiny bit smaller.
posted by acidic at 8:53 PM on February 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Goodness that's an unfortunate mass noun.
posted by ead at 8:57 PM on February 12, 2013


Naming five isn't hard: Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion, Floria Sigismundi, Mary Harron, Penelope Spheeris.

Of these five, I only know Bigelow's work directly, and Campion is the only other one I've heard of. The other three could be made up, for all I know.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:58 PM on February 12, 2013


if your goal is to create an honest story about men and women interacting with one another — as was the aim of this particular show — you're definitely going to miss the mark if you don't have any input from a real, live female.

That should have been the real lead. I guess "Diversity leads to Quality" doesn't have the same comment baiting power as a race to name 5 things.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:58 PM on February 12, 2013


psoas: "What is she guilty of (whatever, Twilight was a bad movie, not a crime against womankind) that, say, Penny Marshall isn't? Or, hell, even Lisa Cholodenko?"

Twilight was atrocious, but apart from that, it's a rapey mormon screed.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 8:59 PM on February 12, 2013


Rory Marinich: "Naming five isn't hard: Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion, Floria Sigismundi, Mary Harron, Penelope Spheeris.

Of these five, I only know Bigelow's work directly, and Campion is the only other one I've heard of. The other three could be made up, for all I know
"

Spheeris directed a little thing called Wayne's World. Mary Harron did American Psycho, and Floria Sigismondi (I managed to fuck up her last name the first time around) got a lot of acclaim for "The Runaways" in 2010. She's also done a lot of very well known music videos.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:04 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lena Dunham would also work as an answe but yeah outside of a few big named blockbuster directors I bet most people would struggle to name male directors as well.
posted by mmascolino at 9:11 PM on February 12, 2013


Wait this author is TWENTY ONE? Nevermind she is wrong and should be banned from directing any more movies until she is old and bitter.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:16 PM on February 12, 2013


Potomac Avenue: "Wait this author is TWENTY ONE? Nevermind she is wrong and should be banned from directing any more movies until she is old and bitter"

Don't worry. Trying to break into directing will make her bitter in no time, and she'll be old before she gets to make a feature.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:17 PM on February 12, 2013


Nora Ephron (R.I.P.)
posted by maggieb at 9:18 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Goodness that's an unfortunate mass noun.

I'm more concerned by the "surrounded." How do you get "surrounded by peen"? Doesn't that mean you're inside the urethra? (Or should that be "reeth" or something?) Is she really saying she's Hollywood's kidney stone?
posted by RogerB at 9:18 PM on February 12, 2013


Vanessa Redgrave.
posted by angerbot at 9:20 PM on February 12, 2013


'Peen'? Really?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:44 PM on February 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Naming five isn't hard: Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion, Floria Sigismundi, Mary Harron, Penelope Spheeris.

Of these five, I only know Bigelow's work directly, and Campion is the only other one I've heard of. The other three could be made up, for all I know


Have you really never seen American Psycho?
posted by adamdschneider at 9:47 PM on February 12, 2013


Harlan Ellison used to complain back in the 70s

No, no - you can stop right there. Point taken.
posted by gompa at 9:55 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Elisabeth Guy, Ida Lupino, Maya Deren, Chantal Akerman, Catherine Breillat.
posted by Wolof at 10:01 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


She thought the actors just made the movie themselves from the script. I wonder how common that is.

It's a pretty old gripe of writers that they're the ignored creative class.

Mildred Atkinson: Before I started to go to work at Paul's, I used to think that actors made up their own lines.
Dixon Steele: When they get to be big stars, they usually do.

posted by dhartung at 10:02 PM on February 12, 2013


Have you really never seen American Psycho?

Lots of people have really never seen American Psycho.
posted by crossoverman at 10:06 PM on February 12, 2013


crossoverman: "Have you really never seen American Psycho?

Lots of people have really never seen American Psycho
"

Which is a shame, it's pretty great. Not quite as good as the book, perhaps, but still very good.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:16 PM on February 12, 2013


I didn't think this was the best-written piece of prose ever, but thought it made good points and provided some insight. Surprised at the hate for it here.

I cannot even name one female director, and maybe half a dozen male directors. I am not a film nerd.
posted by maxwelton at 10:24 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jamie Babbit, Guinevere Turner, Allison Anders, Sofia Coppola, Leslie Iwerks.
Of course, I am a film nerd, in an inside baseball kind of way.

Also, Nina Hartley, but that's.. um.. different.
posted by ApathyGirl at 10:34 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


>ahem<

Amanda Bearse

carry on...
posted by Ardiril at 10:37 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Deepa Mehta, Lynne Stopkewich, Catherine Breillat, Karyn Kusama, Lana Wachowski
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:41 PM on February 12, 2013


Jodie Foster is pissed at y'all.
posted by ShutterBun at 10:41 PM on February 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah I just realized I was forgetting Jodie Foster, and Home for the Holidays is one of my favorites.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:48 PM on February 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Don’t forget Lina!! Lina Wertmuller. One of my favs.
posted by quazichimp at 11:27 PM on February 12, 2013


To be perfectly honest I couldn't even think of one. But I have a hard time coming up with five male ones.

And I was a head projectionist at a 8 screen theater for three years. I now hate movies.
posted by johnpowell at 12:06 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is it OK for me to start using the expression 'surrounded by poon' now?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:08 AM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Which is a shame, it's pretty great. Not quite as good as the book, perhaps, but still very good.

As far as I'm concerned, it's one of those rare "better than the book" movies. Why the hell hasn't Harron made more movies?
posted by mr_roboto at 12:22 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, Drew Barrymore.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:23 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


mr_roboto: "As far as I'm concerned, it's one of those rare "better than the book" movies."

It's good in a different way, and focuses on some aspects of the book (the humor, particularly) at the expense of others. One thing I really loved about the book is the uncertainty about whether or not Bateman's actually doing the things he's describing or just fantasizing about them, and whether he even knows himself. This is something of an afterthought in the movie, but it's absolutely central in the book.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:25 AM on February 13, 2013


Interestingly, I don't believe women running a studio made it easier for female directors to come up through the ranks.

From what I've seen in my hierarchy-heavy environment (healthcare), women in power are absolutely horrible to other women. Neutral to men. I wonder how much of that contributes to any 'no women in X profession' reality. Granted, most people in healthcare seem emotionally stunted by their very narrow list of life experiences and what proportion of 'being in the hospital' that covers.
posted by legospaceman at 2:10 AM on February 13, 2013


I always feel like American moviegoers have to take some portion of the blame for being kinda unadventurous

But why aren't women getting the opportunity to make unadventurous shit too?
posted by biffa at 3:09 AM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm more concerned by the "surrounded." How do you get "surrounded by peen"? Doesn't that mean you're inside the urethra?

Bucket of cocks.
posted by biffa at 3:18 AM on February 13, 2013


Of these five, I only know Bigelow's work directly, and Campion is the only other one I've heard of. The other three could be made up, for all I know.

As above: Spheeris did Wayne's World and the fairly fantastic Decline if Western Civilization music documentaries. Harrington has done several features and a bunch of good TV. And Floria I went to school with, so I assure you: she is quite real.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:01 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Twilight was atrocious, but apart from that, it's a rapey mormon screed.

I don't doubt that, but lamenting the underrepresentation of female directors is not the same as lamenting the underrepresentation of feminist directors.
posted by psoas at 5:01 AM on February 13, 2013


Okay, her films are fluff, but fun fluff. And I've had a crush on her since Hill Street Blues. Betty Thomas.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:12 AM on February 13, 2013


Gillian Armstrong, Amy Heckerling, Jane Campion, Sarah Watt (Look Both Ways is an excellent movie), Penny Marshall, Nora Ephron, Allison Anders, Ida Lupino, Sofia Coppola, Jodie Foster, Rachel Perkins. More than five but nowhere near as many as the male directors I can name off the top of my head.
posted by h00py at 5:24 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Adding Agnieszka Holland and Lynne Ramsay to the list. I could probably name 20 off the top of my head. No telling how many men I could name.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:37 AM on February 13, 2013


Lynn Shelton also hasn't been named yet.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:43 AM on February 13, 2013


And Valerie Faris.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:45 AM on February 13, 2013


So yeah, asking people to name five female directors was a bad lead to this story, and don't we all feel special that we can name five, but this is a very real issue if you're a woman working in the entertainment industry today, and those numbers are terrible.

And yet, instead of talking about the issue, people are continuing the "Lookit! I can name five female directors!" aspect to this topic.
posted by Kitteh at 5:47 AM on February 13, 2013 [12 favorites]


As sad as it is to say this, the fact that this is being addressed and talked about as a problem, and that there actually are a small but definitely plural number of women active is a good sign. It reminds me of the senate - when I was a kid, it was just sort of assumed that senators were men, except occasionally when a male senator died and then maybe his wife would serve. It wasn't until the 1990s (!) that a small number of women were actually elected to the senate (I think there were literally like three in 1992).

Now we have 20 women in the senate, and a woman running is perfectly normal - still a long way to go, but clearly progress. It looks that way with film to me. We're reaching a point of awareness that will have a continuing effect on those considering their future - the idea of "maybe I'll direct" becoming more of a simple unthreatening possibility than a great feminist undertaking.

I'd have expected to see Kimberly Peirce and Lisa Cholodenko by now...
edit: not reading carefully enough :)
posted by mdn at 5:52 AM on February 13, 2013


Pro tip: any time you challenge your readers to do something in the first line of your article they won't really start reading it until they prove they can or cannot do it.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:53 AM on February 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Miranda July been mentioned yet? (What I'd give for a search feature on my phone).
posted by nathancaswell at 5:58 AM on February 13, 2013


Pro tip: any time you challenge your readers to do something in the first line of your article they won't really start reading it until they prove they can or cannot do it.

Some people are able to read an article without the need to prove themselves capable of meeting an obviously rhetorical challenge.
posted by jonnyploy at 5:59 AM on February 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


You must not love trivia like I do.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:01 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not enough women in the armed forces, either. Nowhere near half. It just reeks of peen in the death-dealing department.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 6:26 AM on February 13, 2013


I'll admit, I was surprised to click trough to this thread, having read the article, and discover that nearly all of the discussion is mocking the rhetorical question it opened with. Like, I know that's a thing we do here, but....well, okay?

I thought it was interesting to see a working actress and director talk about the ways in which the "please everyone and apologise for bothering people" upbringing so many of us experience interfered with her ability to do the job as she wanted to, how she pushed back against that, and how her peers do or don't want to take on that challenge themselves.

Because we may or may not be able to name some arbitrary number of women directors, but as was pointed out by one or two comments earlier im the thread, there's a pretty seriously unbalanced split along gender lines. (Also racial lines, but that's a whole other problem.) I'm glad the article took the time to discuss, from an informed perspective, some of the reasons that might be true in her particular sphere of the industry.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 6:44 AM on February 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Marzieh Meshkini! Everyone go find a copy of The Day I Became a Woman. I expect everyone in America to know this experimental feminist film from Iran by the end of the week.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:50 AM on February 13, 2013


Since we still seem intent on proving we know woman directors, why don't we name one or two of their best works, or say something about their upcoming projects? Hearing a name says nothing, but connecting the name with their work would be really helpful.
posted by troika at 6:52 AM on February 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Lynn Ramsay is one of my favorite directors. Both Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar are gorgeous, gorgeous, and when she got booted from The Lovely Bones for dumb old Peter Jackson I was furious.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:58 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Adrienne Shelly.
.
posted by hmo at 7:01 AM on February 13, 2013 [6 favorites]


Mira Nair.
posted by fiercekitten at 7:39 AM on February 13, 2013


Shakespherian, totally agree about Lynne Ramsay. Ratcatcher is a masterpiece, as is the first half of Morvern Callar (the second half kind of degenerates into an interesting mess IMO). The way she sees the world and how she tells her stories is just stunningly unique, alternating Ken Loach realism with these incredible lyrical shots drenched in symbolism... like the shot in Ratcatcher where the father is attacked by thugs and one of them pulls something out of his pocket and it just cuts to the little girl's ice cream cone as bright red strawberry syrup drips down it. Fantastic. I am epically jealous of her talent.

Have you seen her shorts on the Ratcatcher DVD? They're also amazing. She basically won Cannes, Clermont Ferrand and Cannes again with three shorts in a row.

I wasn't blown away by We Need to Talk about Kevin though.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:02 AM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, we actually looked at her short Small Deaths shot-by-shot in one of my undergrad film classes.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:05 AM on February 13, 2013


It's TV, but Michelle MacLaren deserves some mention - her episodes of Breaking Bad are amazing. Sounds like she's a great executive producer, too.
posted by L. Ron McKenzie at 8:51 AM on February 13, 2013


"asking people to name five female directors was a bad lead to this story"

Forget RTFA. Now we can completely ignore the FPP as well.
posted by Ardiril at 9:50 AM on February 13, 2013


Another fantastic woman director is Pascale Ferran, director of the wonderful Petits Arrangements Avec Les Morts (sadly unavailable, so far as I can tell, with English subtitles) and a stunning adaptation of Lady Chatterly among other works.

Coline Serreau is another who I don't think has been mentioned yet, too (La Crise is just a treasure). There do seem to be a lot of French women directors...I wonder why that would be?
posted by yoink at 9:58 AM on February 13, 2013


Ok now we can talk about the article
posted by Riton at 10:41 AM on February 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


One point that may be being missed here is that while we may be able to name some prominent female directors, we haven't really looked at how their careers have compared with similar men in the Hollywood system.

I'm going to pick a few female directors I can name off the top of my head who made successful mainstream movies - lets say ... Penny Marshall, Nora Ephron, Amy Heckerling, Angela Robinson, Katherine Bigelow.

Now I'm going to pick a few random male directors who have made successful mainstream movies. Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Chris Columbus.

I did no prior research and am making no judgement about quality of filmmaking. These were literally simply the first five names that I remembered, for whatever obscure reason, in each category. Let's compare.

Penny Marshall: Born 1943. First film (as director, with theatrical release) 1986. About 7 films total.
Nora Ephron: Born 1941. First film 1992. About 8 films total.
Amy Heckerling: Born 1954. First film 1982. About 9 films total.
Angela Robinson: Born 1971. First film 2004. About 2 films total.
Katherine Bigelow: Born 1951. First film 1982. About 9 films total.

Steven Spielberg: Born 1946. First film 1968. About 31 films total.
Michael Bay: Born 1965. First film 1995. About 10 films total.
Martin Scorsese: Born 1942. First film 1967. About 23 films total.
Francis Ford Coppola: Born 1939. First film 1962. About 27 films total.
Chris Columbus: Born 1958. First film 1987. About 15 films total.

Now, of course, these are random names pulled out of the hat that is my head, there are plenty of reasons these are terrible comparisons, etc., etc., etc. But here's what I'm seeing:

Not one of the successful female filmmakers have directed a double digit number of films, even the oldest and those who worked the longest. All of the male directors have, even the youngest and those who have worked the least length of time.

The male filmmakers seem to be averaging about a film every two years. Only one female filmmaker (Nora Ephron) achieved about that, with the rest coming in at one every three or four years.

The men started directing films in their 20's, generally early to mid, with one starting at 29 or 30. One of the women started in her late 20's, two started in their 30's, one started in her 40's, and one started in her 50's.

The earliest movie made by one of the men was made in 1962. The earliest movie made by one of the women was made 20 years later. This is despite the fact that the age range of the random choices is not terribly dissimilar.

Now, maybe you could pick ten random names in the same general categories and find completely different stats. But I doubt it.

What I'm seeing is that female filmmakers in the Hollywood system - even the succesful ones who direct popular films that make money - end up starting later and get to make fewer projects. Much later. And over the course of a career, a lot fewer films.
posted by kyrademon at 1:15 PM on February 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


Most normal people would have trouble naming five male directors.

I know I do. I spent 5 minutes thinking, and this is the entire list of directors (of any sex) that I can think of:

1. George Lucas
2. Stephen Spielberg
3. Quentin Tarantino
4. Diablo Cody (she "made" Juno, so I assume she directed)
5. ...that Dutch guy...whose name I forget*...you know, the one who gets mocked because all he does is make movies with big explosions and little plot

* This doesn't count, since I can't actually name him. I'm not even sure if I'm conflating two people with that description or not.
posted by cosmic.osmo at 2:10 PM on February 13, 2013


....yeah, I guess I will be that pedant who shows up and says, "Diablo Cody was the screenwriter for Juno, the director was Jason Reitman."
posted by Narrative Priorities at 2:43 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


5. ...that Dutch guy...whose name I forget*...you know, the one who gets mocked because all he does is make movies with big explosions and little plot

Paul Verhoeven? Jan de Bont? There aren't many Dutch exploders and they're all not that terrible TBH.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:39 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Adrienne Shelly.
.


Ugh, yes, so much. Sad.
posted by sweetkid at 3:54 PM on February 13, 2013


> What I'm seeing is that female filmmakers in the Hollywood system - even the succesful ones who direct popular films that make money - end up starting later and get to make fewer projects. Much later. And over the course of a career, a lot fewer films.

Yeah, I keep being bummed out by this. Whenever I see I great film by a female director or auteur (e.g. Frozen River by Courtney Hunt or Winter's Bone by Debra Granik) I invariably click through to imbd to discover they've directed nothing since. Or a few episodes of Law & Order at best. It's fucking depressing.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:56 PM on February 13, 2013


I think it's very useful to name and remember female directors, particularly in the light of someone saying they've never heard of them. Now we can all look them up if we haven't heard of them.
- Just as I was delighted and surprised in the 80s to find that there have been bona fide documented successful women artists in the western world throughout history! Remembering and recovering the names of women who succeeded in a difficult profession against high odds is a huge boost to the ambitions of women now and in the future.
In that spirit: Alice Guy, Germaine Dulac, Matilde Landeta, Julie Dash (surprised nobody's mentioned her yet), Fanta Nacro, also at http://www.fanta-nacro.com/

Oh my god, I remember being eight years old and finding, to my intense disappointment, that Carol Reed was a man, because I had already noticed at that age that making films didn't seem to be something women did.
posted by glasseyes at 6:00 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Name 5...

The Daily Glean blog asked a similar question back in August with a post about the little-known, but apparently highest paid director in all of Hollywood in 1916-17, Lois Weber. (The first female director that post listed, not mentioned above: Barbra Streisand.)

5, even 10, would be easy for someone like me, who reads books with titles like 501 Movie Directors, but the point seems to be that of the 76 names listed on the back of that volume, only 5 are women (Sofia Coppola, Marguerite Duras, Amy Heckerling, Beeban Kidron, Ida Lupino... and Kidron seems to have been left out of the actual book).

The only feature film I've ever appeared in, Pet Sematary (as an extra extra, in the big-fight-at-the-funeral scene), was directed by a women: Mary Lambert.

p.s. I find it mind-boggling that someone can't name 5 male directors — Spielberg, Lucas, Tarantino, Michael Moore, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone today; Hitchcock, Fellini, Bergman, Kubrick, Kurosawa, Scorsese before them, and also people like Woody Allen, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Clint Eastwood, and Orson Welles — but then again I guess we all have our blind spots.

on preview: Carol Reed was a very good (male) director. (The Third Man is justly acclaimed, of course, but I like The Fallen Idol, made a year earlier, even more.) Also along those lines: Jean Renoir.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:38 PM on February 13, 2013


Reckon I should add a bit more info to my comment. Just to be polite.

"Alice Guy-Blaché was a French pioneer filmmaker who was the first female director in the motion picture industry and is considered to be one of the first directors of a fiction film." Link goes to L'Emeute Sur La Barricade, 1906.

"Germaine Dulac was a French filmmaker, film theorist, journalist and critic. She was born in Amiens and moved to Paris in early childhood...The Seashell and the Clergyman (French: La Coquille et le Clergyman) is considered by many to be the first surrealist film. It was directed by Germaine Dulac, from an original scenario by Antonin Artaud, and premiered in Paris on 9 February 1928. The film follows the erotic hallucinations of a priest lusting after the wife of a general."

" Matilde Landeta, hija de la Revolución. Julianne Burton-Carvajal México: CONACULTA and IMCINE. 2003. 169pp. from Project Muse.
"The life of the recently deceased, pioneering Mexican film director Matilde Landeta unfolds over the course of a days-long interview that is now available in Spanish under the title Matilde Landeta, hija de la Revolución. Julianne Burton-Carvajal's interview with Landeta fills a gap in the literature and is an easy and coherent read complete with anecdotes and descriptions that explain the Mexican cinematographic ambiance in the first half of the twentieth century. " Link goes to her IMBD entry, which has very little information apart from a filmography. The film of hers I've seen is La Negra Angustias (1950), Historical film about a black female Mexican revolutionary. Black heroine, Yay! Acted in blackface by white actress, Poo!

"Julie Dash is an American filmmaker and author, a member of the L.A. Rebellion. Her Daughters of the Dust was the first full-length film by an African-American woman with general theatrical release in the United States. " Link goes to trailer for Daughters of the Dust. Plenty of info about her online.

"Fanta Régina Nacro is a film director from Burkina Faso. She received her first degree in audiovisual science and techniques from INAFEC in 1986 and also earned a Master’s Degree in Film and Audiovisual Studies at the Sorbonne." Link goes to IMBD. Here also is an article from the Guardian about her 2004 film The Night of Truth (La Nuit de la Verite) Incidentally I'm not so sure it is her first feature-length film.
posted by glasseyes at 8:55 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


...that Dutch guy...whose name I forget*...you know, the one who gets mocked because all he does is make movies with big explosions and little plot

I'm guessing you mean Uwe Boll, who is German and "makes" about three films a year. And that does tie in to the topic at hand, since I'd be hard-pressed to think of a woman with that much... uh, hubris & chutzpah.
posted by psoas at 5:44 AM on February 14, 2013


As above: Spheeris did Wayne's World and the fairly fantastic Decline if Western Civilization music documentaries. Harrington has done several features and a bunch of good TV. And Floria I went to school with, so I assure you: she is quite real.

Argh. HARRON, not Harrington. Damn autcorrect.

(And of course, "of," not "if.")
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:29 AM on February 14, 2013


i have literally never met one person who has used the word 'peen' in real life

not even via skype call
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 12:02 AM on February 16, 2013


i have literally never met one person who has used the word 'peen' in real life

There's a lot of online slang terminology that I've never heard people use in real life. But whatever, I've heard enough slang terms of female genitalia - I'm happy people are branching out when it comes to the cock.
posted by crossoverman at 4:02 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


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