Click on Read more and the links which appear. In tiers, most essential first, the rest in year order. Placings based on various polls, lists, selections, ratings etc- especially Mubi (where Agnes Varda is Queen)-, with leeway for hidden treasures and personal taste.The list was created in the early days of Mubi lists, before some more comprehensive ones on films by women came along: it’s intended as a manageable selection and a guide for where best to start. Comments, suggestions welcome. ~ ~ ~ Other lists:
*The HIStory of cinema is still to be re-written. Alice Guy-Blaché was one of the great pioneers of cinema, made hundreds of films, the first in 1896, before Méliès. Do check her out, there is skill and charm aplenty: I’ve done a list Alice Guy-Blaché, Queen of the Pioneers. In 1910s Hollywood, in films like Suspense, Lois Weber matched Griffith for panache. Lotte Reiniger was a pioneering feature film animator in the 1920s, with her silhouettes in The Adventures of Prince Achmed, while Germaine Dulac is widely credited with the first Surrealist film, The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928). Before Fantasia’s animated abstract Bach Fugue there was Mary Ellen Bute’s. Maya Deren was very influential on the post-war American avant-garde, though i must say her husband Alexander Hammid, who co-directed Meshes of the Afternoon, deserves more recognition too. Marie Menken is described by our great list-maker Grey Daisies as the unsung heroine of the avant-garde. Agnes Varda is the mother of the French New Wave, Chantal Akerman surely a major director, Jeanne Dielman one of the great minimalist films. The Bulgarian Binka Zheliazkova’s The Attached Balloon is just one of various neglected treasures by women. In notoriously patriarchal Iran, there have been several prominent female directors, putting Hollywood to shame. Often female co-directors get overlooked; Miéville with Godard, Ágnes Hranitzky with Bela Tarr, Evelyn Lambart with Norman McLaren, Katia Lund with Meirelles, Charlotte Zwerin with the Maysles….
This site is honoured to have Chantal Akerman, Maria de Medeiros, Sally Potter, Julie Dash, Sadaf Foroughi, Allison Anders, Ava DuVernay among the users. Sally Potter has even done a list, My Teachers, as has Julie Dash. And good to have Agnes Varda’s liaison with the site and her films being championed so successfully. The Essential Agnes Varda .
With uncertainty, I’m not including films by Lilly and Lana Wachowski who made their name when officially male, before their transgender assignments.Read less