Sunday, December 14, 2008

Your movie's vagina is showing

How many female directors can you name? I think the average person kinda runs dry after "uhhhh, Sofia Coppolla?". I'm always like ' That woman who did Point Break? Wasn't The Piano directed by a woman?". I'm obviously bad with names. I once put the test to Sam and he actually named about 20 female directors. Good thing I keep him around.
Anyhow, does anyone remember last year when Warner Bros. president of production, Jeff Robinov, claimed that they were no longer going to do movies with women in the lead. Yea, he actually said that. Then there was this article in Salon that got me thinking more about the topic of women in the movie industry. About Robinov, one female producer said "I don't think you can blame the Robinovs of the world. It's not something that every other studio head doesn't think." So even if you don't generally notice who directed the movie you're watching, it isn't as simple in the actual biz. And I still blame the Robinovs of the world.
Luckily, there is something you can do. These days movies are shooting for the teenage boy demographic, because apparently they spend the most time at the movies. So don't feel strange throwing some dough to decent female leads or directors. Do we really need another HellBoy movie?
However on a more positive note, in the past year Baby Mama did pretty good in the box office, Sex and The City and Mama Mia brought loads of women to the theater and Diablo Cody was the first woman to win a solo writing Oscar. The more women see movies they like - the more writers and the big movie companies will cater to their interests.
Unfortunately sometimes they see that we spent money on Sex and The City and they give us Confessions Of A Shopaholic. In the words of the cartoon Cathy "aakkkkk". I am absolutely horrified by this movie. Oh and also Bride Wars. Seriously, what were they thinking? These two movies go straight to my theme of Unconscious and Irrational. Girls are just craaazy when they have credit cards(magic cards) or weddings. We all define ourselves by our shoe collection and how well our wedding dresses fit. Its just hilarious to watch us destroy our friendships and relationships in order to be viewed as having more shoes and a smaller wedding gown. Personally, I'm not spending money on either of these (if they end up on cable there is the chance I'll watch a bit in a 'driving by a car crash' kind of way).
On a different note, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke is now the highest box office grossing female director. She has already been denied the sequel which will be directed by Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass). I'm dealing with this by reminding myself that its fairly normal, all the Harry Potters were done by different directors. Anyhow, I thought she did a great job, despite the book's silly themes of chastity (don't get bitten!). She managed to really get the high school relationship vibes across with prolonged glances from sexy vampire Edward "Maybe I am the bad guy" Cullen. Throw in some pop punk and take out the fangs and you'd have my first relationship. Also, leading lady, Kristen Stewart has been a favorite of mine since Panic Room.
Soooo I started out this post because I just wanted to tell you all to go see Wendy and Lucy. Its solemn and simple yet beautiful - the story of a girl driving to Alaska with her dog, Lucy. Wendy and Lucy is directed by Kelly Reichardt and stars Michelle Williams, who just gets more awesome with every movie. Its one of the few movies that neither denies nor stereotypes its protagonists gender. You can read more details at this awesome blog.
Here's the trailer:


Al Miller said...

Let's hope Jerry Bruckheimer's attempt to dip his diesel-fueled WMDs into the chickflick honey pot is met with a public reaction as bogus as its premise. Someone who doesn't care about image politics will just say it's business as usual, but who would ever think that the man who has produced every big budget action picture since Ronald Reagan destroyed America's social contract would even consider having a lead actress do anything beside flirt with nic cage? Let's hope this movie passes though america's consciousness like all the other movies dumped in the new year wasteland.

p.s. Aside from the Golden Compass we can all thank Chris Weitz for greatest contribution, co-directing "American Pie."

Melissa Silverstein said...

Great blog. Thanks for following Women & Hollywood. I have migrated over to wordpress and am trying to figure out all the details but wanted to let you know. You can see the site now at I'm still tinkering with it but it will be fully up and running by the new year.