Would someone kindly fill me in (briefly) on female film directors, a topic on which I am woefully ignorant?
I have only heard of three – the Belgian Chantal Akerman (no relation), the Swiss-Canadian Lea Pool and Jody Foster.
Surely there are more. What are their names and their works?
(Just off the top of my head)
This topic has already been addressed here:
Corduroy – I understand that. I am hoping for new input from new people. Thank you.
-there’s gotta be more…
There are many, but not enough.
Recently, look at THE WOODSMAN, Nicole Kassell. A special film. Kevin Bacon in a great performance. It had the feel of a good 50s movie: a tightly focused character study, an unblinking exploration of the interior (and exterior) life of a convicted child abuser. The supporting players were all quite fine (especially Mos Def as the cop), but Bacon was extraordinary, one of the best performances I’ve seen in some time. This was Kassell’s first film, just out of NYU film school. Watch out for her!
Don’t forget Liliana Cavani!
Maya Deren. Works: Meshes of the Afternoon, Ritual in Transfigured Time and At Land, amongst others.
Gordon, Corduroy Suit is right, please resurrect existing topics rather than posting new ones. The people who have already contributed would like to have their input recognized, and anyone who is new is welcome to add to that but there is no sense in having redundancy. Unless you have a more specific or detailed question about these directors.
nancy savoca directed two nice films early in her career(true love and dogfight) that are well worth the time it takes to check them out.
The big one you REALLY need to know is Jane Campion (An Angel at My Table, The Piano). Allison Anders and Kathryn Bigelow are also highly respected in the industry.
Joe – Is that “The PIano” by the New Zealand female? Wonderful!
Justin – Go ahead and delete it or change it – I don’t know how to do it.
Gordon – Yes. Campion is a New Zealander.
Okay, my post is gone where I talk about Ida May Park, Dorothy Arzner and Lois Weber for the women that were directors during the silent film era. I also mentioned Vera Chytilova and Catherine Corsini. I’m sorry if someone found these too obscure and deleted my post. Not sure what is going on here. I have been studying the work of female film directors and find this insulting.
Oh great, so there’s like 3 female directors threads now:
why?…because women directors in particular and women in general are worth at least three separate threads :-)
Lucrecia Martel, for sure! I haven’t seen her name here yet.
My favourites by women:
Madchen in Uniform (Sagan)
Silences of the Palace (Tlatli)
Take Care of my Cat (Jeong Jae-eun)
The House is Black (Farrokhzad)
The Piano (Campion)
The Ascent (Shepitko)
and i imagine The Attached Balloon (Zheliazkova) is wonderful
“patriarchal” Iran has put Hollywood to shame.
The Iranian Samira Makhmalbaf deserves a mention- The Apple (1998) was a precocious debut for a teenager, followed up by the fine Blackboards and At Five in the Afternoon.. As part of the famous Makhmalbaf family her younger sister’s got in on the act, as has their aunt/step-mother Meshkini, who directed the excellent The Day I Became a Woman.
When Alexander Dovzhenko died, his last great trilogy, including Poem of the Sea and The Enchanted Desna, had been written but filming had not yet begun. His wife, Yulia Solntseva, stepped in and directed all three films, giving full credit to her late husband.
Any masterpieces made by a woman? The Piano, maybe. Perhaps Whale Rider-which I loved, though I hesitate to call it a masterpiece. I wouldn’t call Lost in Translation or Cleo from 5-9 a masterpiece…
I think there have been lots of good and very good films by women but not many truly outstanding masterpieces- obviously i think my favourites above come closest. I guess Akerman, Varda, Denis, Campion, even Riefenstahl may have their champions. I especially like the pioneering films of Alice Guy-Blaché and have long imagined the Bulgarian Binka Zheliazkova’s The Attached Balloon to be wonderful, surely a hidden treasure, only reinforced by the less than a minute i’ve now seen of it! And of course there’s always Chantal Brejchova, on a thread i did, her films are fabulous.
Oh and has anyone mentioned Germaine Dulac? Her The Smiling Madame Beudet and the seminal surrealist The Seashell and the Clergyman are excellent.
No one have mentioned Julie Taymore yet.
Yes i thought Titus was excellent
Two Bodies is a masterpiece. If Beth B never did anything except that film, she’d be an important director. I also think Beau Travail and Fat Girl are masterpieces. As is Meshes of the Afternoon by Maya Deren. I think we may need to redefine “masterpiece” a bit: in western civilization, we tend to think of masterpieces as being about the struggles, crushed illusions, and self-important philosophy of a male figure (Oedipus, Hamlet, David Copperfield, et al.). Because women often make films about women, the problems depicted by the drama are considered of secondary importance to begin with.
It would be great to be able to say that a woman directed the greatest film ever made about a woman, “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” but it was a guy. Sometimes things like that just happen.