Author Topic: Female Filmmakers  (Read 20300 times)

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md

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #105 on: February 18, 2009, 10:52:14 AM »
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And to respond to MD's last post, I won't say that that's necessarily untrue, but if it is true, then it sounds to me like it's rooted in a really disgusting mentality, and I hope that rather than shrugging it off as being just the way women are, we can think about why some women feel the need for that kind of attention, perhaps in relation to the kind of attention that men tend to seek out.  Are these desired forms of attention necessarily hard-wired, or could they be a manifestation of the different ways in which boys and girls are treated from day one?
Just because I say it, doesn't mean I believe it or adhere to it.  But that's not to say big shot movie executives don't.  And isn't that what we are really talking about....
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SoNowThen

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #106 on: February 18, 2009, 12:30:27 PM »
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you guys are full of shit.  "statistically speaking".  What statistics are you speaking of that suggests that girls can't crew?

MD didn't say "girls can't crew". Here is what he said: That doesn't mean women can't be successful at it, but as a highly laborious craft, you could make the comparisons to the amount of women who are firefighters.

In fact I don't think anyone said, at any point of this discussion, "girls can't". So YOU, actually, are full of shit.


now onto pas rap.
... you're not basing your argument on any truth that you know, but instead, hubris and self-importance.  Women just aren't good enough to entertain you, or, they're "differently entertaining."  Everything you've said is stupid and offensive, but because you're educated and you like art films, you deem yourself to be above offense...  And this is coming from someone who respects you sometimes.

Again, you are full of shit. Pas has frequently said he leans towards films that are not considered "high art". And he never said that women aren't good enough to entertain you. But I guess as one of those special xixax posters you speak of, you got all your facts straight before you chose to enlighten us.

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Expectations and accepted ways of judging success in any given society are that society's way of compressing knowledge and communicating a certain idea in the easiest manner. Anyone who decides to go against the grain is going to encounter opposition. This is the way things function. Everyone is not going to be accepted and encouraged for everything they do all of the time. Everyone here knows this, but just looking at it maybe helps. All this worrying about it being "possibly better another way" is akin, I think, to the idea that "if only I could start a revolution and force people to do things MY way, things would work properly". It's been tried again and again and still some large chunk of the given society is left unconvinced and unhappy. It is human to want to go against the grain and be an individual... for some. For others (I think the majority, again based on what I have observed personally and read about history, philosophy, etc) going with the flow and working within current accepted models is the only sane way to live. Chasing reasons for why this is (childhood, etc) may be both noble and an intellectual exercise, but it won't change anything in the balance of the way things are. The balance will remain because it is easier to go with the group. It just sounds like some want to change the group to go with. I think that is valid, but if that is the case don't fold it into some kind of higher morality that things would be "better", say things would be better for you and the people you want to succeed.

Also, systems are hierarchical by nature. Hierarchy creates a focused flow of information. Maybe I misread matt35mm's post, but it seemed like hierarchy in general was being looked down upon as inferior.

Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

matt35mm

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #107 on: February 18, 2009, 01:35:20 PM »
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Expectations and accepted ways of judging success in any given society are that society's way of compressing knowledge and communicating a certain idea in the easiest manner. Anyone who decides to go against the grain is going to encounter opposition. This is the way things function. Everyone is not going to be accepted and encouraged for everything they do all of the time. Everyone here knows this, but just looking at it maybe helps. All this worrying about it being "possibly better another way" is akin, I think, to the idea that "if only I could start a revolution and force people to do things MY way, things would work properly". It's been tried again and again and still some large chunk of the given society is left unconvinced and unhappy. It is human to want to go against the grain and be an individual... for some. For others (I think the majority, again based on what I have observed personally and read about history, philosophy, etc) going with the flow and working within current accepted models is the only sane way to live. Chasing reasons for why this is (childhood, etc) may be both noble and an intellectual exercise, but it won't change anything in the balance of the way things are. The balance will remain because it is easier to go with the group. It just sounds like some want to change the group to go with. I think that is valid, but if that is the case don't fold it into some kind of higher morality that things would be "better", say things would be better for you and the people you want to succeed.

Also, systems are hierarchical by nature. Hierarchy creates a focused flow of information. Maybe I misread matt35mm's post, but it seemed like hierarchy in general was being looked down upon as inferior.

You didn't misread me, exactly.  I do think that pre-determined structures of hierarchy are, well, bad.  It creates a focused flow of information and action, yes, but in a narrow way that doesn't represent me as an individual.  I don't want to be part of the focused flow, I don't want to be part of the balance, and most of the things that you've describe above don't sound good to me, and I agree with your assessment that a portion of the population is still unhappy--quite possibly the majority of the population if you count all the people in the world who suffer un-necessarily because getting them fed and clothed doesn't help with efficiency and productivity and money-making.  (I guess I should confess that I am one of those annoying anti-Capitalists)

I do not suggest that people do things MY way instead, but rather point to this as perhaps a major reason why women and a whole bunch of people are not getting the same opportunities on a more fundamental level than grades and jobs and money (although things aren't really very equal there either).  That going with the flow is "the only sane way to live" points to the ugliness and pressure of it all, such that going against the grain and being an individual is not just for the sake of it, but almost the morally correct thing to do in the face of such disgusting pressure.  All I can do is try to develop myself as an individual and think quite frequently and seriously about why I am doing whatever it is that I'm doing, so I'm not suggesting another system in place of this system.

More specifically regarding filmmaking, I'm not suggesting that any organizational system is bad, and I agree with you that it's necessary.  But the problem of hierarchy today is that it becomes more than just what tasks are deligated to whom, but seeps into the very idea of a person's worth as a human.  A P.A. is just a fluff of dust compared to THE PRODUCER!  The LEAD ACTRESS must be treated delicately because she's essential and one-of-a-kind but the people who make the photocopies are dime-a-dozen non-persons.  People talk about "working their way up the ladder," which is pointing to a clear, pre-determined hierarchy and the desire to be at the top, rather than at the bottom where all the losers and beginners are (which, if we extrapolate to society at large, is the same as the poor people).  This then controls your actions as an individual by essentially having a system in place that says, "If you want to climb your way up, here's what you're gonna have to do."  So, because I want to be involved in making movies, now the next 10 years of my life is already planned out regarding how I am going to make my way up this ladder, blinding me from all the other options and actions I can take as an individual.  Except that the next 10 years of MY life aren't planned out because I just can't be a part of that.

Even most independent films these days assume this structure (even student films made for $100!  Without even thinking about it, they assume they need a 1st and 2nd AD to fulfill those specific duties and everyone waits around to see what the director has storyboarded, etc.).  What I really admire about Reichardt is that this whole thing is simply avoided by working with a small group of friends in a manner that doesn't suggest that she is closer to God than anyone else, and in that manner of filmmaking, I personally do not think than a man has any advantage over a woman with regard to effectively directing a damn good film.  The "male art form"-ness of it is taken out by making up your own rules according to what will work for you, and the specific group of people that you're working with.  I have experienced this, and it is beautiful, and I have experienced the dominant accepted structure of making a film, and it is ugly.  In My Humble Opinion, of course.  I will not say that I am right and you are wrong on an individual level, but I will say that I think that this system is wrong and out-dated and, in large part, a reason why there are fewer numbers of successful (and interesting) female filmmakers.

SoNowThen

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #108 on: February 18, 2009, 06:11:12 PM »
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I definitely can't argue with you at all about disliking the dominant accepted structure of making a film (mostly because it seems so wasteful of time and energy). And I definitely don't want to come off as endorsing "going with the flow" all the time, cos personally I don't find it the only sane way to live... I only worded it that way cos that is the feedback I have received from those who did feel it strongly. So I totally hear what you're saying.

Lately though I've been thinking that too much focus (at least for me) on being an individual can lead to being totally selfish, and that instances of going for the good of the group can be huge learning/growing experiences that actually take me out of my comfort zone and LEAD to new individual strengths. It's a crazy schizo balancing act.

And for sure what you say about the Lead Actress being treated like a princess over the copy dude is true, and generally disgusting. But again, if I was making the film, when push came to shove I can go do copies myself, but I NEED the lead actress. That is a huge factor and it can't be disregarded. Because, in perhaps one case, helping a copy dude save face to stick it to the lead actress and keep her on what we might call a level playing field might cause her to walk off the film, screwing everyone else involved. So being in a position of authority means taking the production as a whole into consideration as well. But if the crew sees you treating the copy dude as a sub-human then they will see that as an affront to them, so it goes on and on.
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

matt35mm

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #109 on: February 18, 2009, 07:15:48 PM »
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I definitely can't argue with you at all about disliking the dominant accepted structure of making a film (mostly because it seems so wasteful of time and energy). And I definitely don't want to come off as endorsing "going with the flow" all the time, cos personally I don't find it the only sane way to live... I only worded it that way cos that is the feedback I have received from those who did feel it strongly. So I totally hear what you're saying.

Lately though I've been thinking that too much focus (at least for me) on being an individual can lead to being totally selfish, and that instances of going for the good of the group can be huge learning/growing experiences that actually take me out of my comfort zone and LEAD to new individual strengths. It's a crazy schizo balancing act.

And for sure what you say about the Lead Actress being treated like a princess over the copy dude is true, and generally disgusting. But again, if I was making the film, when push came to shove I can go do copies myself, but I NEED the lead actress. That is a huge factor and it can't be disregarded. Because, in perhaps one case, helping a copy dude save face to stick it to the lead actress and keep her on what we might call a level playing field might cause her to walk off the film, screwing everyone else involved. So being in a position of authority means taking the production as a whole into consideration as well. But if the crew sees you treating the copy dude as a sub-human then they will see that as an affront to them, so it goes on and on.

Cool.  Yeah, and of course, I am not necessarily consistent at all this stuff and want to clarify that I don't think of myself in any higher moral ground than anyone else.  So just in case any of what I said came off as high and mighty, I certainly didn't mean it that way.

Just as a quick response to your second paragraph, I see what you mean, but I would specify that focusing on oneself in a materialistic way is what can be selfish.  Focusing on oneself in terms of personal development (thinking and re-thinking about who you are, what you're doing, and what you think you should be doing) is something that I think is worth doing as much as possible, though.  Even what you say about working in groups is phrased in a way that points to it being a personal development, and that's good!  And doing things for the good of a group is excellent, too; I'd just say that it's worth thinking about what that group is and how its actions are taken.  For example, things being "for the good of the nation" can be used to justify really nasty things.  I find it helpful to keep asking, "What is this group that I'm a part of, how is it run as a system, and are these things that I (who keeps developing as an individual through serious, sustained consideration of things) agree with enough to commit my action toward its benefit?"

Because at the end of the day, you are a human being who will do a lot of actions in your life, and that gives you power.  I do wish that everyone could feel empowered in that sense, if only because it makes me really sad when people don't feel like they are capable of much.  So the point of developing yourself as a person is in large part to figure out what YOU want to do with that power, with your actions.  And that's something that I think that YOU should be at liberty to decide and act upon, but my experience of the world is that most people are not seriously encouraged to make those decisions for themselves, and that's where a system that already has a slot for you and an arc for your life mapped out can be, and is, dangerous and detrimental.

And yeah, people working on a set do have different degrees of necessity, but that's no excuse to have a general poor treatment of these people, to the point where they're not even treated as real people with real hopes, dreams, feelings, thoughts, etc.  I don't make the argument that we should treat everyone from the lead actress to the copy dude exactly the same or pretend that they are both equally necessary to make the film.  There's usually not a problem of the director treating the copy dude as sub-human so much as the copy dude feels sub-human because of the whole of that system which does not respect him as a human being.  I also think that women get less respect in the predominent filmmaking structure, and I point to that as more of a reason that it is a male artform than any inherent abilities of females and males.

I just see it as so problematic that people who want to get into the industry actually feel like they have to look at themselves in the mirror and say, "I want to make films so much that I am willing to be a complete nothing for several years and climb my way up that ladder."  I KNOW people who do that exact thing!  That is hierarchy gone mad.

children with angels

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #110 on: February 18, 2009, 08:19:13 PM »
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First can I just say: way to go with the extended dialogue on the internet between two people with opposing views not degenerating into a ridiculous slanging match!

However, you've got a long way from the main area. I really think it's crazy that there's even debate being offered against the idea that the fact women have been historically socially disadvantaged has ramifications for how few female filmmakers emerge, even now.

I assume that those with a problem with this idea would have no problem with admitting that from the beginning of the movies until around the late 60s the reason so few films were made by women was not because cinema was a "male artform", but because of women's position in society. I assume that you could also have no problem with admitting that this subservient position of women in society had been true in human relations (obviously changing and varying, but sticking to the essential male-female hierarchy) for thousands of years prior too. This isn't opinion - it's fact.

So what we're basically talking about is the last 40-50 years, following the successes of feminism, women's liberation etc., in securing something like gender equality for some women (e.g.: the equal pay act, which only came in 1963). Can you truly expect the previous thousands of years of male domination of power, of the workplace, of everything, to suddenly drop away in 40-50 years to such an extent that the playing field is totally equal, and to the extent that we would be justified in 2009 of talking of women simply CHOOSING not to make films? This is the height of ahistoricism. Apart from (1) the millenia-old psychic legacy of masculinism, which means that (2) women still earn significantly lower on average lower than men, and (3) that men still hold the vast majority of positions of power in all fields of work - there is still simply the fact that women growing up and deciding on professions have not had the high profile role models in the film industry that would legitimate a decision to move into the business in large numbers - precisely because of this history. Again, none of this is opinion.

This is a position that can and will change - but slowly: it is not "natural", just as it is not "natural" that women should still be prized in the public sphere infinitely more often for their beauty rather than their talents. These kinds of assumptions about "naturalness" were exactly the kinds of lies that helped keep women in the lowest-paid job roles for so long while the men ran the show - it's called sex-typing. It's not something dreamt up by some evil bad guys, but it IS something that history falsely hard-wired into culture, just like the belief that black people are lesser humans, or homosexuality is an abomination. These are not myths we should be buying into - they are ones we should be exposing so things can change - and they will change. The more Sofia Coppolas make it into the public eye, for example, the more women filmmakers we will see emerging - I guarantee it. We are still near the beginning of this area of social change: let's let it run its course before implicitly decrying it as a failure.
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matt35mm

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #111 on: February 18, 2009, 08:24:26 PM »
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First can I just say: way to go with the extended dialogue on the internet between two people with opposing views not degenerating into a ridiculous slanging match!

Hooray!

Pas

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #112 on: February 18, 2009, 09:13:01 PM »
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I don't know if what I'm saying is true I'm just having this flash : could it more condescending towards women to say that they can't choose to do what they want because of men than to say that their choices are just different ?

I consider women not to be lesser than men but different. I don't see why a woman couldn't be able to do whatever she wants. Yet you, supposedly women defenders, claim that a ''male society'' prevents them from doing what they want. Is that not stating some kind of male superiority (holding a power over womenkind)

I'm just thinking out loud don't lash out at me.

children with angels

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #113 on: February 20, 2009, 10:10:19 AM »
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What you say can be taken in two ways, so I'll respond to both of them.

Are you saying that I'm tacitly supporting "power over womankind" because it is me, a man, who is saying that women deserve more of a position in areas of society (like the film industry), and it thus looks like I (a man) am telling women what to do? If so, this would be crazy logic: I am taking my lead from feminists, not the other way around, and feminists are taking their cue from the simple, common sense theory of equal rights. And to imply that I am telling women what they should want would be absurd because that statement rests on the premise that they are free to do whatever they want in the first place, which my whole argument is denying. You would need to prove that I am wrong in saying that women's place in society is unavoidably still unequal with men's in order for that accusation to make sense (if that was your accusation - as I said, it's ambiguous).

Or are you saying that I'm assuming male superiority because to say that women are being oppressed is to say that men are implicitly more powerful than women - or else they wouldn't be able to do the repressing? This again would be a mad logic that would equally assume that the people of colonising nations are implicitly stronger than the colonised, or the people of an oppressed race are implicitly weaker than their oppressors. It's not something "natural" in the people that are stronger or weaker: it is their place in a particular historical, social, and ideological moment and structure that has conferred power upon them.

Which proposition seems more plausible: that fifty percent of the world population who were oppressed and treated as second-class citizens for thousands of years, and only began to gain some semblance of equality 40-50 years ago, simply don't FANCY entering all the areas of society (almost all) still dominated by men? Or that the historical oppression of this 50% which began to be dismantled 40-50 years ago is still (entirely unsurprisingly) having a psychic and social knock on effect which acts to slow the assent of this group to a level of equality with those who had been previously oppressing them since the beginning of civilised man?


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private witt

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #114 on: February 20, 2009, 08:59:28 PM »
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I consider women not to be lesser than men but different.

You're right.  When a woman demands equal pay for the same job she is totally out of line and needs to realize that she's just different.
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Lottery

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #115 on: June 14, 2018, 06:31:21 AM »
+1
I was reading some reactions to the new Oceans movie, one of the reviews had this quote "no amount of fierce, fantastic female ensembles can overcome the mediocrity of a dull male director". Which was a bit odd to me I must admit, but it got me thinking about female directors.
I realised that none of my favourite directors are female- I'm not sure that a female director would be in my top 20 if I had one. The obvious factors being that I haven't seen enough films by women and that the ratio of male to female filmmakers is very uneven.

Anyway, have a quick think about your absolute favourite filmmakers, how many of them are women?
We appear to be living in a time where diversity and representation are becoming more important in mainstream media.
So if we assume that we'll be seeing a greater number of female filmmakers as well as more prominent female filmmakers in the coming years, do you think that our regular list of favourites will begin to include a considerably greater number of women? Will film canon fans/audiences resist (or even care)?
Or are my assumptions wrong?

Also recommend recentish films by women directors.

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #116 on: June 14, 2018, 12:32:50 PM »
+1
Definitely more men in my favorite directors list, as would be expected, but several female filmmakers have been and continue to be hugely inspirational.

Those working today: Claire Denis, Lynne Ramsay, Sofia Coppola, Jane Campion, Kelly Reichardt, Amy Seimetz, Josephine Decker, Lynn Shelton, Greta Gerwig, Sarah Polley, Karyn Kusama, to name a few...

The Great Godmothers: Chantal Akerman (RIP<3), Elaine May, Agnes Varda, Ida Lupino....Leni?
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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #117 on: June 14, 2018, 05:00:11 PM »
+3
"no amount of fierce, fantastic female ensembles can overcome the mediocrity of a dull male director".

how about it was just a stupid fucking idea in the first place and was bound to be garbage?  i imagine though that had a woman directed it, virtue signalling groupthink wouldve deemed it oscar-worthy.  when it comes to assessing films, i subscribe to the herzog adage that “all that matters is what’s on screen.”   i find the good faith exultation of films with conspicuosly diverse casts and crews to be condescending and troubling.  i get that representation is important and valuable, but i dont think arbitrarily celebrating it is good for the shifting paradigm in the long run.

eward’s list covers most noteworthy filmmakers who happen to be female.  my personal faves are the frenchies, particularly claire denis, who i consider to be among the five best fillmakers working today.  theres also lina wertmuller, who i havent seen much work by but shes held in high esteem. 

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #118 on: June 15, 2018, 08:25:24 PM »
+1
how about it was just a stupid fucking idea in the first place and was bound to be garbage?

No more stupid of an idea than any other Ocean sequel. I haven't seen it but I love the cast and there's no reason why it couldn't be fun. I wish Soderbergh directed it.

i imagine though that had a woman directed it, virtue signalling groupthink wouldve deemed it oscar-worthy.

This is nonsense. You're smarter than this.

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Re: Female Filmmakers
« Reply #119 on: June 15, 2018, 11:23:30 PM »
+2
how about it was just a stupid fucking idea in the first place and was bound to be garbage?

No more stupid of an idea than any other Ocean sequel. I haven't seen it but I love the cast and there's no reason why it couldn't be fun. I wish Soderbergh directed it.



were you as optimistic about the ghostbusters remake?  i don't see how dusting off old material and swapping out the male leads for females (or vice vera, for that matter... god forbid charlene's angels ever happens.) is of any value.  it's the studios blatantly doing the least they can do to appease and monetize the new social standards and demands.

i imagine though that had a woman directed it, virtue signalling groupthink wouldve deemed it oscar-worthy.

This is nonsense. You're smarter than this.

am i, though? 

thought the hyperbole in that statement was fairly obvious.  it's as nonsensical as someone attributing the shortcomings of a mostly female movie to the mediocrity of its male director.   

being good for the "movement" (whatever it may be) is being equated with quality work, and i find that disconcerting.

 

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