More women are needed to put their stamp on the art of movie-making.
The movie world is a complex environment. Make engaging and quality films is an art form that takes a lot of time, effort, resources and importantly, the right creative team, to produce something worthy of the ‘big screen’. Most of the pressure falls on the director to take the words on the script and transform them into a visual and auditory experience that is not only enjoyably captivating, but also takes a unique look at the world.
Just like no two painters paint the same way, no two directors craft a movie in the same way: some, like Christopher Nolan, go for realism above everything and try to make sure that every single detail is done precisely right, where others just want everything to go BOOM: looking at you, Michael Bay.
The ability to put a unique stamp on it and make it art has led to certain directors becoming legendary, such as Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Martin Charles Scorsese, Quentin Jerome Tarantino and Charlie Chaplin. There is, however, a noticeable lack of women directors in this list, which makes for the concerning biased view that there are few good women directors out there.
Fortunately, there are some women pushing against these gender stereotypes in the director’s chair. A great example of this is Kathryn Bigelow, the only woman to win an Oscar for best director for her work on The Hurt Locker. If you haven’t seen The Hurt Locker yet, you are missing out on a fantastic movie that grips you from the start, showing you the horrors of war yet also keeping you captivated with the emotions each character experiences. A movie needs a very talented director to do that.
Another example of a woman director who doesn’t get enough credit for her work is Penelope Spheeris, the woman who directed Wayne’s World. Need we say more: she directed Wayne’s World! If that doesn’t earn her a crown and the worship of rock n roll fans and nerds alike, then there is something seriously wrong with this planet. She has also made ground-breaking documentaries such as The Decline of Western Civilization, a chilling documentary about the harsh truth of the 1980s punk metal lifestyle and the ways in which the people in it are affected, with the bands Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X. When this documentary came out, it was controversial to say the least, and it still holds the power to shock to this day.
Sadly, over the past two decades only 17% on average of Hollywood creatives have been women. The reason that female movie directors don’t get the same recognition as men might just be that there are possibly more male directors out there. That is a debate for a different day. But the success of the recently released blockbuster, Wonder Woman (directed by Patricia Jenkins) and Oscar nominated Queen of Katwe (directed by Mira Nair), is proof that more women directors are coming to the fore to showcase their unique visions and creativity to the world. It’s about time!
This August DEOD Celebrates women at the helm. Catch Top of the Lake (directed Jane Campion), The Birth of a Nation (directed by Margaret Matheson), the classic Marie Antoinette (directed by Sofia Coppola), Jennifer’s Body (directed by Karyn Sama) and the series Power (created and directed by Courtney Kemp Agboh and Parks and Recreation (episodes directed by Nicole Holofcener). Also look out for the anticipated Wonder Woman coming onto DEOD in September.