Female Directors in Hollywood

I hope VD (har har) was kind to everyone. I had a good one. Then again, with Godiva and Lindt chocolates, the Bodies exhibit, all-you-can-eat sushi and a comfy bed, how could I go wrong? Actually, something must have gone wrong because I had explosive diarrhea like ten minutes ago. Story of my life.

Anyway, I just read a sort-of cool but mainly horrible article about female directors in Hollywood. I mean, I’m sure we can all agree that a great film is a great film regardless of the director’s gender. I’m not disputing that. However, it’s clear that there is a gigantic lack of female directors out there, successful or not. Three years ago, only seven per cent of the Directors Guild of America were listed as female directors. SEVEN. I’m not even that surprised. I don’t recall watching a single female-directed film during the entire two and a half years I spent studying cinema in college.

The piece I referred to is useful in that it reminds readers that some pretty entertaining movies were directed  by women. But, um, that’s about it.

The problem I have is with the patronizing tone and language used within the article. It basically presumes that everyone regards women as delicate flowers, incapable of hurting someone or being horny or pooping or doing any of that MANLY STUFF THAT MEN DO. The author writes that most people would have trouble believing that a female directed movies like The Hurt Locker (which is a fantastic film, by the way) because it depicts violence, Lords of Dogtown because it’s about skateboarding and recklessness and Wayne’s World because it centers on rock’n’roll and crude humor, for example.

…is that a fucking joke?

How stereotypical. If we’re going to go down that route – how come no one is surprised when a chick flick is directed by a man? No one flinched when Nick Cassavetes was praised for The Notebook. What about Sense and Sensibility, A Walk to Remember, Stepmom, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and almost every single Sandra Bullock movie ever? They were directed by men, too.

If you don’t think any of that is particularly insulting, here’s a line about Wayne’s World pulled directly from the article:

“It’s no wonder this movie made the list—with its numerous sexual innuendos, rock-and-roll references and crude humor, it’s hard to believe that Penelope Spheeris was able to direct it.”

It’s hard to believe that she was ABLE to direct? What’s much, much harder to believe is that the article’s female author is questioning a female director’s ability to handle sexual innuendos. God, not a sexual innuendo! Anything but that!

Personally, I’m completely unfazed by the fact that women can direct a movie that includes a fart joke (did you know that Billy Madison was directed by a woman, too? GASP).

The conclusion one can reach based on this article is that men can do whatever they want without shocking anyone, but women can’t even reference rock’n’roll without someone’s jaw dropping. And by the way, no one is surprised that Amy Heckerling directed Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Everyone knows she directed that movie. The woman wrote and directed Clueless, for God’s sake!

-Melissa

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Female Directors in Hollywood

  1. carla

    that was an amazing response

  2. Sven

    Let us mention “Boys Don’t Cry” Direceted and I think written by Kimberly Peirce. That movie is disturbing, violent (rape scenes), and full of amazing rock and roll.

    • badbangs

      i know, right? that’s a great example.

      and what about ravenous, baise-moi, green street hooligans, lost in translation or monster?

      can you believe a WOMAN (of all people!) directed those?

      it’s so ridiculous to think it’s “surprising” when female directors stray from romcoms.

  3. Rob

    Maybe it’s because all the women in Hollywood are busy writing new period jokes for Kathy Griffin?

  4. GiGi D`Agostino

    hhmmm…i wouldnt be surprised at this. In my lifetime of movie watching, i can count on two hands and two feet the amount of movies that have been directed by the vagina people. I do agree with your retort.

    In speaking with people feeling “stereotyped” i present to you this article from the gazette which may hit close to home…:
    http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Part+Trilingual+spice/2574247/story.html

    my feelings were summed up in the comment i left at the bottom of the article…

    “i think this whole article is awful. A little condescending Mr. Quinn, but then again thank you for explaining to me that i do not actually “pay shoes”…for the longest time i kept leaving money in my loafers.”

    • badbangs

      haha, i like that. i’m surprised your comment even went through, ALL of mine have been deemed as being too offensive (when they weren’t at all).

  5. Janet

    I have to stop reading your blog… I popped in for my random blog read and you mentioned about the bodies exhibit… So of course, I had to find a not so random stranger and invite him to Montreal for some bodies and more of that tasty tasty poutine! I swear, you people can make me do almost anything!….. If there is poutine involved…. Mmmmm tasty!

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