Monday, May 9, 2011

On Women & Cinema

At last year's Oscars, everyone was celebrating Kathryn Bigelow becoming the first female Best Director winner for her film The Hurt Locker. And while we at Cinema Nerds were as pumped as anyone to see this victory for the fairer sex, the nagging question remains: How many years will it be until the NEXT female winner?

The upcoming Cannes premiere of We Need to Talk About Kevin will beLynne Ramsay's first film since Morvern Callar in 2002. This isn't to say that she wasn't trying during all those years betwen. Several years were spent working on an adaptation of Alice Sebold's book The Lovely Bones before it fell apart and became a Peter Jackson film.

This narrative of years and years between films isn't unique to Ramsay. On average, women filmmakers have to wait twice as long between films as male filmmakers. Only now is Allison Anders making her follow-up to 2001's Things Behind The Sun, and in order to do so she and her co-director had to call upon the assistance of fans through Kickstarter.

In an ironic twist, it has become far easier for a woman to be successful producing pornography, than making mainstream cinema. So what is the solution? What is a sister to do?

Some say the solution is to have more female executives so that they can green-light female fronted films. But then you must remember that the job title "Studio Executive" is one of the least secure in the world. It's a constant revolving door. One flop and you're out. A female executive is most likely going to do the same thing a male executive would do - play it as safe as possible.

I got it! The solution is to get more people to go see films made by females! Perhaps, but what about the women who want to make movies outside of the conventional genres? It's one thing to get a whole mess of people to go see an action film or a romantic comedy, it's another thing entirely to get people to plunk down their money for a film about a woman coming to terms with the fact that her son shot up his school. Back to square one.

So what IS the solution? Not really sure. Maybe there isn't one. This is after all just a film blog. We are simply just stating the depressing facts as we see them. Does that make you angry? Good! Prove us wrong!

Now get your ass out there and do something about it!

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