A Lady, Doing Lady Things
February 4, 2010 1 Comment
Melissa Silverstein has been gathering reactions to Bigelow’s DGA win and Oscar nom from other women writers and directors in the industry. The views seem split between general congratulations, and cautious expectation (or lack of). Here are a couple of highlights that address the yellow screen and women’s stories vs. stories:
- “Most offensive: Embedding in the gossipy “Exes Issue” is the not so subtle implication that she’s riding on Cameron’s coat tails. Those of us who know better must fight back!!! Yes, she’s a babe. Yes, she’s got great legs. Yes, she was once married to James Cameron. But, guess what: THE HURT LOCKER is a riveting film that’s 97% Fresh, Bigelow has Lifetime Achievement, & oh yes, women hold up half the sky!” Jan Lisa Huttner, The Hot Pink Pen
- ” Not to take anything away from our previous female best director nominees, Sofia Coppola, Jane Campion or Lina Wertmueller, but their nominated movies, though hardly chick flicks, were fairly woman-centric. Each of those three nominations was special and historic, and someday a woman director will win for a “woman’s story” … But in a sense, they only got the collective female foot in the director’s door, helping to pry it open a little further, but still getting stuck on the vital part of getting through it [emphasis mine]. For male Academy members to vote for a woman in this category, I think she has to have made a movie in a traditionally male genre. She has to wow them by doing something they thought they owned all rights to. Bigelow is their woman.” Mary Pols, Time.
- “I’m not sure that it will extend to female directors in general. As is usually the case in situations like this, Bigelow will be seen as some sort of extraordinary exception to the “common knowledge” that woman can’t make good movies, or aren’t interested in making movies other than rom-coms. I hope I’m wrong about that. I won’t be surprised if I’m not.” MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
- “Bigelow’s status as a potential first-ever best director winner certainly helped, but I don’t think her journey makes the road any easier for female directors going forward.” Katey Rich, Cinemablend.
- “Womens movies” are often movies only aimed at women, whereas men are sort of allowed to dwell in any territory, women’s stories, men’s stories, films about race, action, romantic comedies – women are kind of expected to only tell stories about women for women.” Sasha Stone, Awards Daily
- “This is hugely meaningful to me and I hope is the start of a modern, boot-up to the very strange boys club that is Hollywood.” Rachel Feldman (as a sidenote, she studied with Grace Paley!)
- “But…even if Bigelow does win Best Director (as well as a Best Picture Oscar as producer), I don’t know what really changes if anything in the way Hollywood studios operate. Men will continue to own the “auteur” mantle and get greenlit to direct studios projects far more than women. Women who want to direct feature films will still have to come up through the indie ranks. Bigelow herself is considered an anomaly among women directors, in that she typically directs “guy’s films” that have a lot of action and/or violence and feature brawny male leads, which is probably playing a part in why everyone is going ga-ga over “The Hurt Locker,” as opposed to “An Education” or “Bright Star.” Also, let me say that I have NO PROBLEM with a woman director helming films that would typically be associated with her male peers. Bigelow and other filmmakers like Mary Harron and Mimi Leder built careers on bucking “chick flicks” and I say good on them. No one questioned Martin Scorsese for directing “The Age of Innocence.”’ Faith Pennick.
- “If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.” Kathryn Bigelow.