Wondering what to put in your Netflix queue? Well, my new weekly post for Broad Humor, “Queue This!” can help you with that important task. Every Thursday I’ll give readers five queue-worthy films directed by women. Take a look at my first post containing five award-winning suggestions: Broad Humor Blog
Steven Spielberg has been tapped to lead the jury of the 66th Cannes Film Festival!
I like it. He’s had a good history of nurturing and promoting the careers of women directors (see: Lesli Linka Glatter and Mimi Leder, among others) so I expect he’ll be a good influence. But first, fingers crossed that Thierry Frémaux and friends will manage to locate films directed by women to include in this year’s festival!! It’s just so hard to find the women directors, you know…
There’s now a Twitter account to go with thedirectorlist.com - https://twitter.com/TheDirectorList - Please follow and RT to help us raise awareness about the many talented women directors making features today.
The Women Directors board now has 550 women! Of course, there are many more to be added, so stay tuned… #Oscars #OscarWomen
“THE BIG BLUR” This is what Cannes feels like— ARE YOU READY? Time to finalize plans if you’re going to attend this year. Let me know if you have any questions.
Great showing for the women at Sundance this year! Congrats to Jill Soloway for her directing award. Can’t wait to see “Afternoon Delight!”
“Afternoon Delight” just won Best Director at Sundance for writer/director Jill Soloway. It was her first feature. The film stars Kathryn Hahn as a hipster-suburban wife and mother struggling with what she’s supposed to do with her life. After she goes to a strip club with her husband and gets a lap dance, she decides that she’s supposed to save the stripper - so she brings her home to live with her family as the new nanny. Supporting cast includes Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother), Michaela Watkins (Wanderlust), Jessica St. Clair (Bridesmaids), Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids) and Michael Keegan-Key (Key & Peele) and Jane Lynch (Glee).
Notable in this film is its Bechdel-busting lineup: there are seven named female characters, all of whom talk to each other, about things other than men. (The Bechdel Test is really simple, and yet it’s amazing how many movies fail it spectacularly.)
From “The Feminist Delights of Afternoon Delight“ which I wrote for BitchMedia:Marriages need spicing up. Romance fades in the face of diapers. Familiarity breeds contempt. Strippers are agents of downfall, redemption, or both. And perfect suburban life has its dark side. Is it different this time, in the hands of a female writer/director? And should that matter?
Yes and yes. Damned straight yes.
More:Filmmaking is about storytelling from a specific perspective. When that perspective is dominated by one type of person—generally white men—then storytelling as a whole suffers. This is definitely a film that men will watch and enjoy… But in the evolving subgenre of film where former twentysomething romantic leads suddenly find themselves grappling with a new kind of hipster malaise, it’s nice to have a woman’s perspective in there, along with Judd Apatow’s.
And:It’s no secret that there are way more roadblocks for woman making movies. At Sundance, where Afternoon Delight premiered earlier this week, a comprehensive study called “Exploring the Barriers and Opportunities for Independent Women Filmmakers” also had its debut, finding a ratio between male and female directors of 15.24 to 1. The reasons for this disparity included significantly less access to funding; fewer women as prestige and pay scale increase; and being cockblocked in Hollywood’s world of “male-dominated industry networking.”
The study also found that films directed by women involve more women across the board—a female director means an average of 21 percent more women working on narrative film and 24 percent more women working on documentaries. This means more roles for women on-camera and off, more opportunities for experience and advancement.
Amazing to see “Afternoon Delight” get recognition as a smart, complex and provocative film. Its success will pave the way for other Bechel Test-smashing filmmakers - and honestly, that’s good for everyone.
(Also, I love Kathryn Hahn. So there’s that.)
SHORT FILM CLICHES (from the Sundance Programmers)
The Sundance ShortsLab returns to L.A. for a third year on Sat, August 11! Have you registered, yet? I’ve attended the last two years, so I think I’m going to take a little break and let other people experience the magic. I really enjoyed both, very different, programs in 2011 and 2010 (2011 was dedicated to comedy and it was awesome) so if you have the cash to spare, I recommend it.
They always have great guests, and this year it’s taking place at the Venice offices of Google (giant binoculars!) and they’ll be having a panel about online video that sounds very interesting…and tempting (resist, Destri!). One other big reason to register is that most of the programmers attend— and it’s never a bad thing to know what they look like for future stalking. I mean, it’s a good place to meet and get to know them and see what they look like should you run into them at other festivals…or the grocery store…or in front of their apartment… I kid, I kid!
Anywho, the video above is one thing I will never forget from my first ShortsLab— both enlightening and horrifying. Since we filmmakers can often get stuck in our little bubbles, it can be hard to know just how original or unoriginal our ideas are. This fine video can take a bit of the guesswork out of it. But seriously, I KNOW my take on “The Tell-tale Heart” is the most genius version they’ve seen…