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GreenCine General
GreenCine Article Discussion
A place for you to post comments on our articles.
74

Women in Film Primer
Topic by: dwhudson
Posted: November 23, 2003 - 4:51 AM PST
Last Reply: November 26, 2003 - 12:07 PM PST

author topic: Women in Film Primer
dwhudson
post #1  on November 23, 2003 - 4:51 AM PST  
"I start at the beginning, with this simple fact: women have been in the motion picture business as long as men have."

The primer: Women in Film. Discuss!
hamano
post #2  on November 23, 2003 - 9:11 AM PST  
Congratulations to Jennie Rose for tackling the Women in Film Primer! It must have been a harrowing task... such a big subject area to be summarized in just a couple of pages.

A couple of points that weren't clear... according to the article, in the 1920's there were LOTS of women in powerful roles in Hollywood, then in the 1980's there was a backlash? How about the years in between? It seems that somewhere along the line the primacy of women in Hollywood went the way of the Harlem Renaissance, but when and how did that happen?

Also, why is the primer called "Women in Film" when most of the article is "Women in American Film"? Even Jane Campion is mentioned for winning the American Academy Award but not much else. There are many non-American women important to the history of "Women in Film"... Where are Leni Riefenstahl, Lina Wertmuller, Agnes Varda, and Mira Nair? Marzieh Meshkini and Samira Makhmalbaf? Makhmalbaf was named along with a British woman, Lynne Ramsay, in that recent Guardian World's Top 40 Directors List linked by the GreenCine Daily.

I think the primer could easily accomodate at least a mention of these non-American women, and link their works at the end...
hamano
post #3  on November 23, 2003 - 9:22 AM PST  
Women in Film: hamano recommends...

Some non-American directors:
Leni Riefenstahl
Lina Wertmuller
Agnes Varda
Mira Nair
Marzieh Meshkini
Samira Makhmalbaf
Lynne Ramsay
Sally Potter
Catherine Breillat
Niki Caro
I'm sure GreenCine will actually carry films by Iranian directors Meshkini and Makhmalbaf as soon as they become available on DVD.

A couple of American directors I think are important:
Kathryn Bigelow - Bigelow has done some outstanding work in genre films traditionally dominated by men. Near Dark and Point Break were a lot of fun.
Mary Lambert - She's the only female director to helm a hit Stephen King horror adaptation.
underdog
post #4  on November 24, 2003 - 9:40 AM PST  
Those are some fine additions, Hamano!

As was said here earlier, this primer was already a monster in size, given the subject matter. Jennie did a fine job, but we had to keep it from getting too unwieldy; the topic can make and has made a book. Perhaps it should have been more upfront from the beginning -- "this primer will focus primarily on American trends and women" -- but thought that would be apparent. So, yes, there are many important women in the international film world who weren't mentioned, but that was to keep it focused. And is another reason why these discussion boards are so useful -- so other people can chime in and suggest further viewing.

So thanks again for the suggestions -- I do hope people check those women filmmakers out. I could see a case being made for Bigelow in the primer, by the way, not as much for Lambert, whose career was/is even spottier than some of the other ladies. She had plenty of potential but her career as a film artist never really got started. (But I guess the King adaptation does warrant at least a footnote.)

Muchas gracias,
Craig
GreenCine Associate Editor
dpowers
post #5  on November 24, 2003 - 2:26 PM PST  
chantal akerman
jrose
post #6  on November 25, 2003 - 1:34 PM PST  
it's a good suggestion to make a list of links with non- north american women in film. that's the beauty of online publishing- links deepen the level of information.

but i was also glad to have a fairly narrow scope on this. this primer felt gargantuan to write. truth is, i believe it hardly scratches the surface, which is encouraging vis-a-vis women's achievement in film.

i'll be looking forward to what the SFIFF (47th?) brings this year in the way of women filmmakers *of the world.*
dpowers
post #7  on November 25, 2003 - 4:22 PM PST  
is that a theme of the fest this year?
dpowers
post #8  on November 25, 2003 - 4:44 PM PST  
clair denis
ann hui
agnieszka holland
vera chitylova
dpowers
post #9  on November 25, 2003 - 4:45 PM PST  
yes claire with an 'e'
jrose
post #10  on November 26, 2003 - 9:32 AM PST  
theme of film fest, i haven't heard yet, but it would be a nice coincidence. mine was an optimistic note that the 'international' angle of the film fest will also have a strong female angle as well.

anyone know the theme of the film fest this year?

underdog
post #11  on November 26, 2003 - 9:44 AM PST  
> On November 26, 2003 - 9:32 AM PST jrose wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> theme of film fest, i haven't heard yet, but it would be a nice coincidence. mine was an optimistic note that the 'international' angle of the film fest will also have a strong female angle as well.
>
> anyone know the theme of the film fest this year?
>
>
> ---------------------------------

I heard it was "MEN, MEN WE LOVE MEN" with films from all over the world by men, including a special Testosterone showcase called "Boxer Shorts." No, I'm kidding, really. Hold those tomatoes. Actually it looks like there is no theme, at least judging by the generic info on their web site. But hopefully there will be a good representative sampling of women filmmakers from around the world...



jrose
post #12  on November 26, 2003 - 12:07 PM PST  
> I heard it was "MEN, MEN WE LOVE MEN" with films from all over the world by men, including a special Testosterone showcase called "Boxer Shorts."

a guy named jack i know did a woody allen homage in a short he called 'short pants romance. ' i think this would be a good fit for that testosterone showcase. this is an idea whose time has come. yes!

>>"A couple of points that weren't clear... according to the article, in the 1920's there were LOTS of women in powerful roles in Hollywood, then in the 1980's there was a backlash? How about the years in between? It seems that somewhere along the line the primacy of women in Hollywood went the way of the Harlem Renaissance, but when and how did that happen?"

i wanted to address hamano's questions to say that i handled the backlash in hollywood 1980s (covered extensively in books like women who run the show by mollie gregoy) by touching only briefly on the 'battle of the sexes' in the 1970s. i wanted to let the reader surmise the subsequent backlash was fallout from the 70s. a sweeping oversimplification, i know, but agreed, that point needs to be clearer.


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