Or not if that’s your kink.
Before Jim McKay jumped exclusively into directing episodes for television series (mainly The Wire and now Treme) he made a couple of my favorite women’s centric pictures in Girls Town and Our Song. Both are very naturalistic films that opt for emotionally and thematic honesty, rather than melodrama, when it comes to young women’s maturation and the issues they face. Bonus points for them actually being ethnically diverse and depicting characters that are not middle class. Even though McKay is stuck in TV Land he’s still helping producing films centered on female characters like Mosquita y Mari.
We have the lovely Ava DuVernay who posts on Mubi. She just won the best director’s feature at Sundance with her film The Middle of Nowhere which is being released in the coming months at select theaters. In 2010 she released I Will Follow which was about a woman coming to terms with the death of her aunt. There was also Dee Rees’ film Pariah that came out last year. It’s often lazily read as “just another coming out story”, but that’s almost always by (white) men who do not understand just in fact how radical it is for a Black person, ESPECIALLY A BLACK LESBIAN WOMAN, to openly explore the dynamics of sexuality. I mean it’s 2012 an they’re still asking Ain’t I a Woman?
I’ll let the other posters discuss films from around the globe (even though I do have a couple of my own examples in my pocket). Two I would like to mention are Satoshi Kon and Hayao Miyazaki. Two animation directs that consistently (Noooooooooooooooo Satoshi Kon :‘( RIP) put forth beautifully drawn (literally and figuratively) female characters of all ages. It’s interesting with all the talk of women’s pictures being unable to sell that Miyazaki constantly makes smash hits in Japan with almost exclusively featuring stories starring female characters of all ages that are beloved by males of all ages.
We can discuss more examples throughout the thread. As to answer the question that was prompted before stupidity ensued, a large reason there are far less films that directed about women is because they’re regulated to being ONLY for women (that’s not even before factoring things like race/sexuality that further other women). They are seen as specialty/niche films that do not deserve serious consideration. It doesn’t help that even when a great many men attempt to direct/write women suck at writing women because they only exist as hackneyed stereotypes rather than people. Even if they start out as people, as soon as they do something deemed uncomfortable by a male they are thrown into that stereotype. Doesn’t laugh at a joke she deems sexist? She is now a frigid humorless b****. I think Junot Diaz pretty much summed up my position in The Atlantic.
The Atlantic: It sounds like you’re saying that literary “talent” doesn’t inoculate a write—especially a male writer—from making gross, false misjudgments about gender. You’d think being a great writer would give you empathy and the ability to understand people who are unlike you—whether we’re talking about gender or another category. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Junot Diaz: I think that unless you are actively, consciously working against the gravitational pull of the culture, you will predictably, thematically, create these sort of fucked-up representations. Without fail. The only way not to do them is to admit to yourself [that] you’re fucked up, admit to yourself that you’re not good at this shit, and to be conscious in the way that you create these characters. It’s so funny what people call inspiration. I have so many young writers who’re like, “Well I was inspired. This was my story.” And I’m like, “OK. Sir, your inspiration for your stories is like every other male’s inspiration for their stories: that the female is only in there to provide sexual service.” There comes a time when this mythical inspiration is exposed for doing exactly what it’s truthfully doing: to underscore and reinforce cultural structures, or I’d say, cultural asymmetry.
Yes, let’s keep the dialog going.
For the umpteenth time, everyone needs to see Born in Flames. It’s visually arresting in the DIY down and dirty off the streets using a rotten dumpster as a tripod way.
I am a little confused by these threads. My understanding: back in the golden age of Hollywood and on through the fifties a “Women’s picture” was a specific genre film like the western and the gangster film. It’s an unfortunate name for a genre because it implies to our modern ears either films about women or films by women or films that women feel genuinely represent them. The genre probably probably should have been called “romantic melodrama” (to distinguish it from romantic comedy) and a woman was often the central subject. I would include Brief Encounter and the Heiress as great examples of the genre. But this genre does NOT include art films or or romantic slapstick but might include period pictures like Gone With the Wind This was a genre that studio executives would discuss without necessarily making quality judgements. George Cukor was known as a maestro of the genre. As far as “visually arresting” – I am not sure that exists in the genre anymore. For some reason the fantasy and glamor and the heightened melodrama have all been replaced by the ordinary. Douglas Sirk has been replaced by Pottery Barn product placements. My two cents. And I am not an expert, so feel free to correct me you cinema studies folks.
thanks for this malik =)
: I think that unless you are actively, consciously working against the gravitational pull of the culture, you will predictably, thematically, create these sort of fucked-up representations. Without fail. The only way not to do them is to admit to yourself [that] you’re fucked up, admit to yourself that you’re not good at this shit, and to be conscious in the way that you create these characters. It’s so funny what people call inspiration. I have so many young writers who’re like, “Well I was inspired. This was my story.”
Funny Junot should feel this way when “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” (and to a lesser extent Drown) is the most accurate representation of modern and contemporary Dominican culture I’ve ever read. He definitely seems to be consciously working against the gravitational pull of Dominican and Dominican-York literary culture but he is very much steeped in the day-to-day language, attitudes, values and behaviors of the past 3 generations of Dominican men and women. I also heard him say that Drown was, at least in part, autobiographical.
And I’m like, “OK. Sir, your inspiration for your stories is like every other male’s inspiration for their stories: that the female is only in there to provide sexual service.” There comes a time when this mythical inspiration is exposed for doing exactly what it’s truthfully doing: to underscore and reinforce cultural structures, or I’d say, cultural asymmetry.
He manages to avoid this in Wao , though not in Drown, by making two of the main characters strong, intelligent, self-reliant women and exposing a dichotomy that lies at the heart of his/my culture: even as women are usually the dominant parent in the household the levels of institutionalized misogyny (often transmitted by women themselves to their children) and femicides are sky-high and have, if anything, increased over the past 20 years.
Who put the BUMP in the BUMP-a-lomp-a-lomp ♪
I’ll sign up with Two Plus Two on this one.
But I can see what Malik was going for. Hard to say whether you could classify something like Morvern Callar as a sort of arthouse woman’s picture genrewise, but it looks great. Of course the conditions of women have changed dramatically since the 40s and 50s so the movies aren’t going to be based in the same sort of world or setting, and with the decline of the studio era set based shooting and art departments, even if the films were set in the same milieu they still would be hard pressed to be the same unless there was a dedicated effort made to duplicate that past result like with Haynes or Mad Men, which isn’t too far from a Woman’s picture series in some ways, from what I understand.
^^On that note, it must indeed be enthusedly exclaimed that Mad Men continuously offers shatteringly cogent and nuanced explorations into the actual personal and social realities of female experience, and, particularly with regard to this last season, a notably profound, and seethingly relevant meditation on misogyny.
Edit: Oh, and the program most certainly meets the mark of Visually Arresting.
^ i’ll have to try it again. i admit the first few episodes made me so angry that i quit watching lol. i think the last one i saw is where draper’s wife goes to a therapist who immediately calls draper to report everything she says. reminded me of being a kid but at least i had no illusions and didn’t tell them anything important :P
Japanese cinema still has a decent representation of - what could they be called? - neo-classical? women’s pictures. Sort of like the melodrama as filtered through the eyes of a generation that grew up watching Antonioni and Hou Hsiao-hsien (Taiwan, too, is a nation filled with masters of this… uhhh… genre?).
Films like Maborosi, M/Other, Bashing, even something as abstract as Underwater Love and The Rebirth follow a basic narrative outline akin to the classic genre. Plus they’re some of the most visually complex films made, ever, in any nation, at any time.
As usual, I shall leave this here.
Whoops, bumped into this thread. Pardon me, thread. Carry on, thread.
Oops . . .sorry . . . just couldn’t hold ’em back any longer . . .
Culmination not only of Lynch’s whole oeuvre but primarily his career-long meditation on the feminine condition. A throttling epic of empathy into the female self, in which finally, to quote a track from Lynch’s recent album, ‘she rise up.’
Good discussions here: http://mubi.com/topics/your-interpretation-of-this-film?page=1
^^To get started, note the posts by David Adams and Captain Crunch.
les adieux a la reine
we need to talk abut kevin
women in love
Yes, “We Need To Talk About Kevin” is an unexpected but relatively appropriate choice.