Woman Directors: Ida Lupino, the Mother of Us All (MOMA Show)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Zaz, Jan 24, 2010.

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  1. Zaz Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 9
    The State of Femme Fatality

    I thought it was a rather odd article; yes, Ephron and Meyers are both hacks, and what of it? There are plenty of the male variety, too.
  2. JediKnightOB1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2003
    star 5
    I agree with you and disagree with you at the same time. People are expendable in HollyWeird. In the old Golden Era of Cinema everyone was on contract, and the women that were working were sticking around because the studio had a vested interest in keeping them. Even older women that had been in many films were staying around because of "cheese cloth" over the camera lens to create a softer look. Today if you were that age you would be washed up.

    With regards to Kathryn Bigelow, she directed "Point Break" still one of the best movies out there. But this is what people seem to forget. People that don't know anything about the industry do go to see a movie because of the director or the Studio. They go to see the movie because of the hype that is created months before it is released, and they go because of an actor (big/medium) that is attached.

    Look at the films Penny Marshall directed, or that Victor Silva directed? Who you ask? That just proves that it doesn't matter to the general public. It's the studio that wants to blame someone if the movie sucks, and the studio will stand by the director if the film makes them money. Welcome to HollyWeird!!!
  3. Asterix_of_Gaul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 5
    The Hurt Locker and Point Break--Kathryn Bigelow is an awesome female director.

    Personally, I'm waiting for SJ to get there. :p

  4. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Ida Lupino was a very gifted director; Kathryn Bigelow is the next big hope for female directors, I think, because, like Lupino, she directs in genres not typically associated with female audiences. She's done horror, sci-fi, action, war, history and, often embroiled in some of those, camp.

    This is not to say that there are not the occasional great 'woman's movie' in the parlance of the studios, that is artistically of merit and interest. Only to point out that Bigelow is the first director in ages to find success as a woman directing across genres over a long period of years. I hope she wins an Oscar this year; more than Sofia Coppola (admittedly occasionally a great artist herself), I would love to see a cadre of females (and, yes, our very own solojones among them hopefully) follow the Bigelow model.

  5. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    jane campion.

    kathryn bigelow.

    there is a woman who directed 'you and me and everyone we know' which i haven't seen yet.

    this is embarrassing, i have run out of people who make exciting films. hollywood sucks.
  6. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I haven't seen any of Meyers work and no, it doesn't look very good. But I certainly wouldn't call Nora Ephron a hack. Sleepless in Seattle is a good movie. You've Got Mail is a great movie, IMHO. Romantic comedies are nearly my least favorite genre but I think You've Got Mail meets the criteria of just being a good movie. I know there probably aren't a lot of film fans who'd agree, but I also think almost no one ever seriously considers the value of that genre anyway.

    I don't like the genre much, and a lot of it is extremely bad. But that's also true of any genre. It's just extra embarrassing to women in the business because there are so many romantic comedies and they are, whether by virtue of target audience or female writer and directors, associated with our gender. So bad romcoms just make women look bad in general. But that doesn't mean there aren't good ones. And as far as female romcom directors go, I think Ephron is pretty good. It's not my thing but I don't think she's a hack.

    Well, I don't know if 'next' is the right word for someone who's almost 60 and has been making successful films for years, but yes ;) She's certainly someone I am interested in and look up to to the extent that I know her work (the only film of hers I've seen so far is The Hurt Locker, but that's enough to admire the hell out of her). Of course, the important thing, and what I think you might be getting at, is that Bigelow is able to do the genres she likes. I don't think there's any inherent virtue to women *not* doing romantic comedies or women's dramas, but it's lovely to think that they don't have to if they don't want to. Bigelow obviously is able to do that. Of course, there's also the reality that one of the reasons she had the opportunity in the first place was because she was married to James Cameron. Then again, almost everyone in Hollywood who makes it benefits from connections they have or make along the way.

    Personally, I have fellow female directors in my program who do like romantic comedies or dramas and want to do that. And I say more power to them. Personally it doesn't interest me much. But it would be silly for aspiring female directors to avoid traditionally female genres just because they don't want to be pidgeon-holed. The article seems a little resentful of the romantic comedy genre in general.

    It's absolutely true that women in the industry have even tougher time finding work than men (at least in positions like actor or director... editing is traditionally a female profession). But at least with directors, there also just aren't as many women interested. That will likely change as there are more female directors as example. In my year of our conservatory, I believe 7 of our 22 directors are female. In the two years ahead of me, I think it was only 2 or 3 per year. For actresses, it's really sad because they have no control over what parts are available. And there really are almost no good ones... there's a lot I could say on that but I'm tired :p



    Oh, and for the record, I would rather eat broken glass than watch a Jane Campion film :p
  7. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    can't agree with you on campion but that is more by virtue of having only seen one of her films (the piano) and generally not being terribly bothered.

    it's weird that women get associated with genre so much. but then i think of someone who doesn't adhere to genre much at all. in fact, i try to avoid genre as much as i can because it seems that it drowns out so many things i find interesting about films in the first place.
  8. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Campion might be more tolerable if her films were about more than one thing (how everyone at every age is a sexual deviant). It gets really boring and pretentious. Though I know this isn't an opinion I'm *supposed* to have as an educated film person.

    Perhaps my favorite director of all time is Danny Boyle, not least of all because (while he has his own perspective that's consistent in all his work) he explores new genres every time. That's probably what I'd like to do as well. Unfortunately this isn't something many directors do, regardless of gender.

    Oh, I also resent the implication of the article that if you're working in TV you're just "getting by". IMHO, there's more worthwhile stuff on TV right now on the whole than there is in the cinema. Personally, TV is a goal for me, not a backup plan. Though I would also like to do film, TV isn't a stepping stone to me.
  9. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    telly and cinema are really two different beasts, apples and oranges, i find.

    i thought of another female director: mary harron, author of i shot andy warhol and also american psycho, both of which i like.
  10. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Yes and no. Certainly special effects and production standards in television are getting to a point where they're not far behind movies, and in many cases are ahead of them. Movies used to be the realm of big stories, with television being for serial amusements, sitcoms and the news. Now, with the advent of the internet and DVD, television offers much greater possibility for sustained long-form drama and character arcs than the movies often do. There's no shortage of TV out there that's far more sophisticated than the vast majority of what comes out of Hollywood, and complete seasons of shows increasingly often play better as one long movie rather than distinct episodes.
  11. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Yes, as you rightly sussed out, I didn't mean that Bigelow herself was the next big thing, but that women directors following her model could and should be the next big thing.

    I agree that it's fine for women to direct romcoms, especially if they do it well as some of them do; but I suppose the important thing is that they seem to have their own personal vision. I had completely forgotten, for instance, that Private Benjamin was directed by Meyers until all the fuss started about It's Complicated. And I didn't like that movie much, but it certainly had its own vision and it was a very odd vision too. It dodged certainly any kind of comfortable ending; I was left, frankly, a bit queasy at the end of it and more power to it, I suppose, for having the nerve to do that. Yet in another way it was a fairly typical comedy of the fish out of water genre.

    Lost in Translation, of course, another example of that, being a somewhat traditional mismatch romance told in an artful, whimsical, meditative and wonderful way.

    But it seems that women directors are in some ways expected to make certain kinds of movies in a way that male directors are not; for every stereotypical male director making very masculine action flicks, there's a Wes Anderson or a Woody Allen or a George Cukor or whoever you want to use that makes movies that are not at all stereotypically masculine films. For female directors, it seems the spread is not so large. And given what Bigelow does with the action film (what she does is subtly deconstruct any genre she's given, in my opinion) I want to see more women crossing those lines and showing me, for instance, that vampires can just sort of kick around the desert in a van if they want too or maybe Harrison Ford's actually kind of a jerk in this movie.

    I mean, men can make fine romcoms too and often of a slightly different flavor than the ones women make; so give me a great female director making a western or a blockbuster or . . . if only, a woman directing a James Bond movie and doing it well. These are the things I want to see.
  12. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    i agree with you on those terms.

    i find that i side with telly being more intimate and in your home and cinema a proper outing and larger-than-life feeling tho, i understand that this is old-fashioned to some, but that's the way it works for me when i have 'a cinematic experience' it does not translate so well to the sofa in the lounge. and neitzher does telly translate well into cinema. there are films that just aren't cinematic and vice versa. that'S kind of what i meant.

    recently on watching 'in treatment' i found that it used the virtues and limitations of TV brilliantly. you couldn't do that on a big screen. and neither am i keen on seeing SW on a tiny TV screen.
  13. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    This.

    In 1967, Nichelle Nichols was planning to quit Star Trek and return to the stage. She was stopped by Martin Luther King, Jr. As he put it, her role was vitally to both civil rights and feminism because it was a role that for the most part could have been played by a white man (go-go boots notwithstanding). Uhura wasn't a "black character" or a "female character"; she was just a character.

    Not that there isn't a need for art that speaks specifically to the black and/or female experience, and by no means should woman filmmakers be expected to just make movies for men, but there does seem to be an unfortunate and not-entirely-inaccurate stereotype that female filmmakers only make movies that appeal to women and/or the art-house crowd.
  14. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    it's all a bit rubbish. i mean, we are talking here as film geeks, right? how many people choose their films after the director and how many are then bothered by their gender?

    i choose films because i want to see them, because i have heard good things about them, because the director/actor seems to make interesting choices, ... very rarely do i opt out because they seem too attuned to a gender or not.
  15. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Yes to the first, no to the second. I frequently choose films based on the director. If a director has never failed to disappoint me, I will be wary of his or her films, even if the trailers may otherwise be promising. If I like a director, I will seek out his or her films, even if they're hard to find and not well distributed.

    That said, gender has nothing to do with it. While many of the most popular directors are male, many of the most awful directors are also male. While some female directors seem to stick to romcoms, which are not my favorite genre regardless of how well done they are, there are also a number of Andrea Arnolds, Claire Denises, Kathryn Bigelows to name but a few who make good movies regardless of genre or gender expectations.
  16. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    that's what i mean, as a film geek, that is what you tend to do, i do the same. but not everyone is a film geek :D
  17. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Well, I suppose that the problem might be that if you do that, just sort of choose more or less randomly based on what movies you think you might enjoy, then you'll be seeing disproportionatly more films by men than by women simply because of the way the system seems to work. If that is a problem, then that is the problem. :p
  18. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5

    This is kind of cool, we start up a thread on women directors and seven days later a woman wins the Director's Guild of America Award for Best Director, first time in Hollywood history. And beats her ex-husband James Avatar Cameron who was also nominated. I hear they've been on good terms for a very long time now.

    As most of us know, the DGA award is frequently a harbinger of who wins the Oscar, so we'll see if that holds true. Congratulations Kathryn Bigelow, you've more than earned this.

    Bigelow makes directing history

    I liked the fact that she downplayed gender.

    I cannot help but remark, and I'm pretty sure now that her picture will be seen all over the world that I'm probably not gonna be the only one to mention this, that she looks awfully good for 58.
  19. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    If that is a problem, then that is the problem.

    not sure it is in actual fact 'a problem'. it's arbitrary. i could choose them for their cinematographer and then make out that there have to be more female cinematographers. or for the writers and so on...

    in the end i have been meaning to see films by certain directors (i still haven't seen a single david lynch film on screen) but then i don't find them appealing for whatever reason so i don't.

    i guess i hate having to do man and woman stuff when i could be doing great and not so great films stuff.

    congrats ms bigelow on being so awesome, tho[face_dancing]
  20. WormieSaber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 22, 2000
    star 5
    we start up a thread on women directors and seven days later a woman wins the Director's Guild of America Award for Best Director, first time in Hollywood history.


    This is good news. Now we only need a Best Director Academy Award. I'm a woman director myself and won a film school academy award, but it's not a real one. But I support it.
  21. -Phoenix- Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 21, 2005
    star 5
    Glad she won for the Hurt Locker, fantastic movie. And you're right, the first time I saw her I couldn't believe she was 58.
  22. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Perfect. Now let's start up a thread on Mastadge coming into vast sums of money and start the countdown!
  23. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5
    If that works, I'm your new best friend!

    Regarding Bigelow, I am now really interested to see what her next film will be. She's bound to have people offering her the moon. If she's got a pet project she's been trying to get off the ground for years but couldn't, now would be the time for her to make a deal to get it done. She's on fire in the industry. She already had great buzz off what a great film the Hurt Locker is, this award just takes her reputation to a whole new level.
  24. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    This is really fantastic. At least the DGA has a brain between them, unlike the Foreign Press Association. I feel the people who actually do this work tend to have a fairly good eye for quality directing. And interestingly enough, I am more pleased that the right person won than that a woman one, quite honestly. And by the fact that the right person won over the hugely popular but extremely overblown wrong person. We can only hope this portends the Oscar results.

    And John, you're not the only one who could believe she was 58.

    So the Oscar nominations come out tomorrow, and obviously Bigelow will be nominated. But it'll be interesting to see what the odds-makers start to say about her chances.
  25. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    It just hit me, but in light of all this I kind of would really like to see what happened if the awards people began merging the acting awards into unisex categories...
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