Friday Hoyden Quick Hit: Women Who Direct Films

With the Oscars mired in their annual refusal to see directing talent in anyone who doesn’t remind the Academy members of themselves, resulting in another disgraceful exclusion of any female directors from the Best Director nominations for yet one more predictable, narrow-minded year (I see no reason to hold back on this topic), here are some links to discussions, lists and clips of movies made in 2012 that were directed by women.

Please share any favourite female directors, favourite movies directed by a woman (not necessarily current ones), or favourite anecdotes about women directing films.

Bitch Flicks: 5 Female-Directed Films

Women and Hollywood: Consider the Women video

Women and Hollywood: Women-Directed Movies of 2012 list

ETA: Some more links, as the discussion continues.

Melissa Silverstein, from Women and Hollywood, has a post up at the New York Times, as does

Martha Coolidge, former President of the Directors’ Guild of America

Lauren Sandler: “Why Women in Hollywood Can’t Get Film Financing”

Margot Magowan at Reel Girl is worth reading at the same time, for a reminder of why this matters

Some more links and a, frequently depressing, conversation also going on at the Facebook page Destroy the Joint.

I’m sorry to have offered nothing more substantial than links here. It’s one of those topics where there is so much that needs to be said that it overwhelms me. If I get to the point where I am capable of tweezing out the incoherent ball of rage in my stomach into separate strands, no doubt I will lay them out for you.



Categories: arts & entertainment, fun & hobbies, gender & feminism

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10 replies

  1. Thanks for this list!
    (rant) It’s bad for women in front of the camera in Hollywood- getting only a third of the roles and narrow ones at that, but behind the camera it’s even worse! This male run institutions need to actively try and recruit female talent, ’cause this is just ridiculous. I have so much frustration about this. Hollywood claims to be liberal and progressive and it’s just as white and male as Congress.(/rant)

  2. Yes, behind the camera is much more of a boys’ club than front of the camera, and we know how unbalanced that is. How many women even belong to the director’s group of the Academy and are therefore able to vote on the nominations? When women are nominated they stand a decent chance of winning because the whole Academy votes on who gets the gong, but getting nominated in the first place can be a really tough gig.

  3. How many women even belong to the director’s group of the Academy and are therefore able to vote on the nominations?

    That’s right: 91% of the people who decide which directors are recognised are men (and almost all of them white, to boot).

    it’s just as white and male as Congress

    Spot on, eden. Here is an in-depth report from the LA Times a year ago about the demographic breakdown of American Film Academy members, and here is a bonus quote from former Academy president Frank Pierson:
    “I don’t see any reason why the academy should represent the entire American population. That’s what the People’s Choice Awards are for. We represent the professional filmmakers, and if that doesn’t reflect the general population, so be it.”

  4. I guess all we can do as outsiders is make a fuss on the internet and buy tickets to movies that break the mold (which is kind of difficult when they’re not even shown nearby).
    @Orlando. That level of cluelessness is kind of hard to believe, if it weren’t so prevalent. I bet you if you asked him he’d say we’re all equal now. Yuck.

  5. In this country, there is still a large imbalance in favour of men with regard to leading technical roles like DoP etc – these being the jobs in the film industry where it is actually possible to make a decent living, insofar as it’s ever possible.

  6. I haven’t seen Life of Pi yet, but I have never seen an Ang Lee film I didn’t adore, so he can have as many awards as he has shelf space for, as far as I’m concerned.
    I was thinking back to Winter’s Bone, and how Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for a best actress Oscar, and the film got a best picture nomination, so why was Debra Granik not a best director nominee? I am ready to sing Lawrence’s praises at any time of the day or night, but it does not diminish them to acknowledge the director’s role in shaping great performances. An actor doesn’t give that kind of performance in her first movie, at the age of 19, unless she’s getting great direction. I can’t find any information about what Granik is doing now, but if a man had made that film he would have been able to write his own ticket for his next gig.

    • Ah yes, the old when a woman makes a great film it’s a fluke thing. I’m still ropable remembering how Sharon Maguire’s pitch-perfect success with the first Bridget Jones film was swept aside as a blip on the back of Andrew Davies’ script (which was superlative, to be fair), and that she wasn’t given the sequel and that she had to pretty much self-produce her second big film project 7 years later (which didn’t do so well). I can’t imagine that career path playing out if it had been a man who directed the first Bridget Jones movie.

  7. The Seen and Heard film festival at the Red Rattler in Marrickville is about to give a profile boots to films made by women (7, 14, 21 March). I might put up a separate post with the details.

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