Author Topic: Female Filmmakers  (Read 22845 times)

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godardian

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« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2003, 03:38:08 PM »
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Quote from: BonBon85


To go off topic a bit, I have to agree with you. I have several gay and bisexual friends who scoff at the idea of watching a heterosexual romantic comedy, but are constantly forcing me to sit through films that are equally bad but are elevated in their minds simply due to the fact that the characters are gay. They can't understand how I could dislike films like the ones you mentioned and yet they hate typical heterosexual romantic comedies that are really not any worse.


Exactly. When Spike Lee talks about the "ethnic" shows on the WB and how insulting they are in a roundabout way, like black entertainment = one-dimensional blandness and the easiest approach to the characters, I think I know how he feels... if you judge on the actual quality of the film, you get the feeling that the people who make gay-romantic-comedy genre films feel that they have a captive audience, so they don't need to try to make anything original or interesting, that it's enough that they depict gay people positively. This approach makes sitting through the film feel like you're watching a moving, breathing pamphlet of some sort, like a feature-length by-the-numbers platitude. It's a problem similar to that of those women who make little sharing-circle films which make you hope that's not all that's going on with women... it's so insular that it's boring at best and insulting at worst.

Your friends have a double standard that's all too prevalent, but in fact, I would say that "straight" films like Nora Ephron's, glib as they often are, are generally of a higher quality than the gay wannabe-equivalent because they at least try to individuate the characters and put some pep and lightness into it. There's more respect for the audience to be found there.
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MacGuffin

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« Reply #61 on: March 18, 2004, 05:33:04 PM »
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The women behind the camera
IFC documentary focuses on women and indie film

NEW YORK (AP) -- Nancy Savoca's movies pick up where Martin Scorsese's and Francis Ford Coppola's films leave off, according to film historian Emanuel Levy.

They portray immigrant life on a grand scale, while Savoca -- whose 1989 debut "True Love" about a skittish young Italian-American couple getting married made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival -- offers "a view from the kitchen," Levy says in IFC's "In the Company of Women."

Savoca is one of several directors profiled in the cable network's new 90-minute documentary airing 8 p.m. EST Thursday.

It's part history lesson, part movie montage and part dialogue about women's roles in front of and behind the camera, told from the perspective of women in the business including Jodie Foster and Susan Sarandon.

"It's a very rare holiday still for men to be given the opportunity to go into a woman's psyche and see the world and the existential experience of life through her eyes," actress Tilda Swinton says during the documentary.

Directors Gini Reticker and Lesli Klainberg focus specifically on independent films, but didn't make a documentary that bashes Hollywood -- even though few female directors get to make mainstream, big-budget films.

"We focused on independent films essentially by default. In doing our research, it's where most women's careers were fostered and developed. Also, it's where women were greeted on an open playing field," Klainberg said.

'More, more, more from women'

Klainberg and Reticker's film takes a comprehensive and interesting look at women in the film business, though sometimes the documentary seems to be taking on too much and the directors would be better served by a narrower focus.

If they came to any conclusions, Reticker said, "It's that we want more. More, more, more from women."

Klainberg and Reticker begin with the 1970s, when the women's movement coincided with a film boom, and more women attended film school. Those graduates burst onto the scene in the 1980s with character-driven stories and an alternative viewpoint.

"With the advent of 'Jaws' and 'Star Wars' Hollywood was moving toward these big blockbuster films, and there was suddenly this space in the independent film world to create these stories," Reticker said.

They point to Susan Seidelman's "Desperately Seeking Susan." The 1985 film starred Madonna in all her 1980s black-lace glory, and showed that a story centered on two female protagonists could appeal to the masses. It's one of the most successful independent films to date, grossing $27.4 million.

Several "indie queens" are featured, including Lili Taylor, Parker Posey and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Sexuality is easily the most discussed topic in the documentary. The film "Go Fish" featuring lesbian couples in everyday life complete with graphic sex scenes is juxtaposed with Gyllenhaal's performance as the submissive half of an S&M relationship in "Secretary."

Using sexuality as a tool is tricky and confusing for women, and the documentary captures that. Rosie Perez offers an anecdote about how refreshing it was to work with a female director because there was no sexual tension.

The idea of beauty, intrinsically tied to sexuality, is also discussed, peppered with scenes from Nicole Holofcener's 2001 film "Lovely and Amazing," and Savoca's 1991 film "Dogfight."

Directors and actresses speak candidly about body image, nude scenes, age and the tendency to glorify sex scenes.
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eward

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« Reply #62 on: February 05, 2005, 12:02:49 PM »
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claire denis.  beau travail.  trouble everyday.  chocolat is okay, too.  that was her first film, i believe.  but seriously, beau travail.  masterpeice.
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« Reply #63 on: February 05, 2005, 12:09:36 PM »
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Quote from: eward
claire denis.  beau travail.  trouble everyday.  chocolat is okay, too.  that was her first film, i believe.  but seriously, beau travail.  masterpeice.


Beau Travail is really good, but Chocolat for me. Friday Night is also pretty good.

eward

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« Reply #64 on: February 05, 2005, 01:56:24 PM »
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yeah, i've been meaning to see friday night.  she, for me, is easily the best female director working today.
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cron

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« Reply #65 on: February 05, 2005, 02:23:52 PM »
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not only that ,but she's an extremely intelligent and eloquent person.
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New Feeling

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« Reply #66 on: February 14, 2009, 12:33:25 AM »
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I was noticing how there's no female filmmakers on my previously controversial best american filmmakers list, and then I was thinking abut how there are virtually no female filmmakers on my radar at all.  I mean I can think of a few who have made one or two good films but no one who has put together a seriously compelling body of work.  Please tell me I'm wrong and drop some names in this thread.  Or feel free to discuss theories as to why men still outnumber women directors like 100-1 (an exaggeration but still..). 


 

private witt

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #67 on: February 14, 2009, 12:38:40 AM »
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Lynne Ramsey, Miranda July, and Kelly Reichardt all have pretty amazing bodies of work, though not in Hollywood of course.  Great thread, BTW.
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New Feeling

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #68 on: February 14, 2009, 12:49:49 AM »
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I liked Me and You and Everyone We Know a lot and would like to see another from Miranda.  And yeah Kelly Reichardt seems to be one to watch.  Old Joy was good and I still need to see the new one.  Need to check out some Lynne Ramsey too. 


private witt

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #69 on: February 14, 2009, 01:06:53 AM »
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There's a film written/directed by a husband and wife couple who live up here in the PacNW entitled 'Apart From That' that is very centered around strong female leads.  There's trailers and clips on youtube and the home page is here at:  http://www.foreignamericanpictures.com/apart_from_that/

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #70 on: February 14, 2009, 01:10:09 AM »
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Margarethe Von Trotta is one of the larger names in filmmaking. She came to be during the German New Wave, but never got the press that Wenders and Fassbinder did. The reason had nothing to do with her lack of talent, but her filmmaking (for me) comes out of the vein of Ingmar Bergman. The major difference is that Bergman's films are always reminscient of stage because of the few sets he likes to work with in a given film. The intimacy in all his films are a hallmark of his first craft.

But the major similarity between the two is the power they exude in simple stories. Her direction never tries to overshoot her films and she has a distinct femine personality in all of her tough films. It's not as well established that female filmmakers can be as tough as their tortured male counterparts, but Von Trotta directed (and wrote) films that played to her psychological conflicts and political ideology. Compared to Bergman, she is much more the political animal. I recommend everyone give her a shot.

I also like Claire Denis, but I know less about her. One of my favorite films is Chocolat from 1989. It's about the childhood of a french girl growing up in Africa. Denis has a personal style that exhibits distance well. It requires a lot of static shots and reminds me of Antonioni a little bit, but Denis developed to experiment with handheld the way Steven Soderbergh does (like in Friday Night). Besides, Antonioni's static shots were meant to exude the idea of environment in character. That's why his films always have a distinct beauty in its cinematography. Denis is more established in using static shots to exude conflict between characters. It's a little more traditional, but still effective.



SiliasRuby

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #71 on: February 14, 2009, 05:12:16 AM »
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Lynne Ramsey, Miranda July, and Kelly Reichardt all have pretty amazing bodies of work, though not in Hollywood of course.  Great thread, BTW.
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MacGuffin

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #72 on: February 14, 2009, 05:20:59 AM »
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Agnès Varda
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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #73 on: February 14, 2009, 07:24:35 AM »
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There's a film written/directed by a husband and wife couple who live up here in the PacNW entitled 'Apart From That' that is very centered around strong female leads.  There's trailers and clips on youtube and the home page is here at:  http://www.foreignamericanpictures.com/apart_from_that/



Looks very cool.  Thanks for letting us know about it.

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #74 on: February 15, 2009, 12:27:48 PM »
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word to both claire denis and agnes varda.  denis, one of my favorite filmmakers, has worked almost exclusively with a female cinematographer named agnes godard, my favorite working dp. see beau travail, i can't sleep, friday night, and chocolat.  there's also chantal akerman.  i've only seen two of her films(jeanne dielman and je, tu, il, elle) and they're both incredible.

 

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