Female Directors

Lexi Alexander

Update: Hit the break to see an update on this piece! If you’re still reeling from this week’s reminder that there’s still a major gender gap at play in Hollywood, Twitter might have the antidote for your pain. The #HireTheseWomen hashtag has steadily been gaining steam over the past few days, and it’s not only proving that social media can be used for good, but that people really, really want to see more films from women. Even better? There are plenty of women who can make them. Film critic Miriam Bale got the ball rolling earlier this week, as she began tweeting lists of talented women for Hollywood to hire, as inspired by that Women and Hollywood infographic that so simply and wrenchingly detailed the major gap that still exists between male and female directors in Hollywood. The thing has taken on a life of its own, with all sorts of other Twitter users weighing in, including a number of actual female directors and writers. It’s unquestionably the start of something great, and also the start of something very necessary.


Female directors

It’s no secret that Hollywood is populated by far more male directors than female — and stop right now if you want to argue about that, the numbers back it up, and if you want to turn this into something about how dudes are better at directing, just get out before things get bloody — but while that’s easy enough to say (look: “there are more male directors than female directors”), it’s sometimes more impactful to deliver that message in a handy graphic. Some of us are just visual people, after all, and isn’t that why we like movies so much? Fortunately, the team over at IndieWire’s Women and Hollywood has put together a sleek and simple infographic that takes aim at a seemingly limited range of things — female directors working in the studio system over the past five years — and uses it to illuminate Hollywood’s prevalent problem with gender equality. Here’s just a little sample: over the past five years (the chart covers films released by major studios between 2009 and 2013), just one woman has directed two features. That’s a problem — but is there a little bit of hope buried in all of this apparently bad news? Take a look!


Women Directors

Several studies and reams of statistics show what’s obvious at a gut level: there aren’t nearly as many women directing movies as men, and there probably aren’t nearly as many women directing as want to be. What are we missing out on as a culture as a result? How do we help to fix the problem? Is there even a problem that we can fix, and if so, how do we each define it? Today on the show we’ll speak with writer/director Beth Schacter about her experiences and how the industry can work toward a truly balanced meritocracy. We’ll also briefly highlight Tangerine Entertainment and speak with Filminism columnist Jenni Miller and Movies.com editor Peter Hall about women directors who’ve earned a bigger spotlight. For more from us on a daily basis, follow Beth (@bethshax), Jenni (@msjennimiller), Peter (@petershall), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #14 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes



What is Movie News After Dark? Tonight, it’s hanging on by a thread, as we enter Day Four of Dear Leader Neil Miller’s Mental Health Break Staycation. While he’s off eating the finest BBQ that FSR’s hometown of Austin, Texas has to offer and Instagraming all the way, the rest of us are slaving over our keyboards and monitors to bring you the best content we possibly can. Of course, for tonight’s round of MNAD, that includes kitty GIFs, Battleship love letters, and something about the world’s most green soda missing the boat on a marketing opportunity and saddling up with the wrong superhero (to super-sad effect). It’s Movie News After Dark! And, man, is it tired. I won’t bury the lede here, folks, some people love Peter Berg‘s Battleship. Our Cole Abaius is not one of them. But guess who is! Huffington Post’s Mike Ryan! The scribbler has penned a love letter to the film, and while I can’t quite agree with the sentiment, he brings up some interesting and articulate points. And, as Ryan is both a friend and a colleague, I can assure you – he’s not joking and he’s not trolling.


Patty Jenkins

We reported previously that Marvel was close to securing Patty Jenkins as the director for Thor 2, and now Deadline Shackleton has announced that Marvel has made it official. The Monster writer/director will be picking up where Kenneth Branagh left off with Chris Hemsworth as the title superhero. That means that, depending on when they start filming for their November 2013 release, Hemsworth will have worked as Thor for 3 different directors in the span on 2 years. Jenkins is an interesting choice, not only because she’ll be the first woman taking on a comic book movie of this size, but because her resume is short but sweet. Monster was a phenomenal, performance-driven drama, but she’s also directed episodes of Arrested Development and Entourage. It’s a range that’s a mile wide and an inch deep considering that it’s been nearly a decade since directing her only feature film to date. She mirrors Branagh in the sense that she’s more known for working with actors than creating large scale action beats, but her skill set might signal that some darker drama is set for the sequel. Still, bringing on a feature director with one film under her belt, and no big budget experience is absolutely an experimental gamble. It’s fortunate that they chose someone who has displayed a keen understanding of cinematic language, but it’s a gamble nonetheless.



Remember all of those movies you love to sit around watching and loving and talking about? Some of them were directed by women. You didn’t even know that. Did you, you chauvinist pig?

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published: 01.31.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015

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