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What proportion of your ranked movies are by women?

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snallygaster
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Re: What proportion of your ranked movies are by women?

Postby snallygaster » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:21 pm

You might find some good recommendations in this fairly extensive collection: Female Directors.

Moribunny
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Re: What proportion of your ranked movies are by women?

Postby Moribunny » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:21 pm

OK,

Spoiler: show
March, 2012: 2.85%, or 77 (of about 2700 or so).
March, 2016: 3.36%, or 134 of 3993.

March, 2018: 4.33%, or 200 of 4615.

I didn't really plan to weigh in on the debate, but I'll say a few words anyway. Are movies "gendered" according to who directed them, or is it all the same? The answer is "it's complicated". Too complicated for a criticker forum post, imho. "Yes and no". Female-directed movies gravitate toward the top tiers for me. I think that's because it's always been harder for women to make it in that profession, so whereas lots of guys could be mediocre and still succeed, a woman usually has to be really great to break through the glass ceiling. I'm not saying it's always the case. There are some I don't like, even well-respected ones like Duras and Denis. But I enjoy female-directed cinema eerily often. Actually I've been making sure to watch at least 1 per month, nowadays.

Favorites include Wertmuller, Ramsay, Martel, Breillat, Akerman...
Last edited by Moribunny on Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

LEAVES
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Re: What proportion of your ranked movies are by women?

Postby LEAVES » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:45 am

6.5%, compared to that list which is about 3.0% of the films on the site. This percentage is higher than most here, as ridiculous as that statement is, because I have made it a point to seek out female directors. There aren't a lot of great female directors, because there aren't a lot of female directors. There are some amazing ones, though, and I cherish them.

Regarding the broader conversation about the impact of gender, I think there's an important point to make:

Men naturally have more testosterone than women, and testosterone makes them more aggressive. If you don't think this is true, then you haven't been living in the real world. As such, men are far more likely to make films which feature and appeal to these aggressive tendencies. This isn't a problem. When it encounters a world where film criticism has been dominated by men, advertising agencies are owned by men, and the most common household makeup is of a male breadwinner making decisions on which films to go see, the problem becomes clear:

Men make movies that stem from and appeal to the most pronounced difference between men and women, male film critics write more positively about these films than a female-dominated staff otherwise would, men create appealing advertisements for these films, and men make the decision to watch films based on advertisements that are thrice-filtered to be masculine. This effect then trickles back up, since those films become the most popular, and soon you have something so unintentionally but unavoidably male that only 3.0% of films are made by women because every layer of society is stacked against them.

Whose fault is this? Nobody, it's just an unintended consequence with a rational explanation. Who suffers from this? Everyone, since, as so many people have pointed out, women can make "masculine films" that are just as well received by either a male or female critic. They may be less likely to, though, because, well, testosterone. However, a woman can also make "non-gender associated films" that have been almost entirely made by men for no-intentional-or-practical-reason, and those films will be just as well received by either a male or female critic, etc.

The only thing that we can say for sure is that a lot of women that would have made a lot of great films never had the chance.

As for the films that were made, I think Moribunny has a reasonable point for a less subjective profession, but I don't find it quite as compelling in the arts. If you faced a near impossibility of having your voice be heard, would you work hard enough to be the rare exception just to throw your hat in the ring to make a movie that's "a bit better" than the other movies just like it? That seems awfully Quixotic. In my experience, the female filmmakers that have fought through all of the years of bullshit and innumerable obstacles do so because they have something unique to offer, and their work tends to be far more singular than their male peers. This doesn't mean that it's "a bit better", it means something else entirely. In fact, it likely means that it's going to seem worse if you are used to and prefer films that stay within the "Hollywood formula". If you value variety and a diversity of viewpoints, it makes it such that all you have to do to find that quality is find a film directed by a woman. It may suck, but it will suck in ways you haven't experienced before. And, sure, lots of them are great, to me, because I see the puppeteers at work and get bored of watching the same Rube Goldberg Machine play out with different actors. Or the same actors wearing different costumes.

What I'm trying to say is that the rampant discrimination against female filmmakers is a great gift for people like me - a great gift at a horrible price, sure, but if you can't singlehandedly beat the system then you can at least singlehandedly take advantage of it!

LEAVES
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Re: What proportion of your ranked movies are by women?

Postby LEAVES » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:55 am

For what it's worth, I wasn't a big fan of Bridesmaids. I preferred Bachelorette. But, then, that was written and directed by a woman, too, so I win.

Among my top 10 directors of the new millennium:

Mia Hansen Love (#1)
Angela Schanelec
Lucretia Martel
Claire Denis

Not bad. If only it didn't take like 10 years for some of the best to get their films made (Ade, Speth, Martel, Grisebach, etc.) maybe we would all be in a better place!

BenH
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Re: What proportion of your ranked movies are by women?

Postby BenH » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:16 am

Women, men, as long as the films are good people will watch them. Of course, women haven't shared the same history of film that men have, so one could point the finger at oppression. Instead of making these provocative and dividing statements lets try and break down the walls of gender so that what one makes is not determined in quality by the member between their legs.

MarkBeronte
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Re: What proportion of your ranked movies are by women?

Postby MarkBeronte » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:25 am

Why do you ask? Are you sexist? Personally I don't care what gender the director is. If I like a film, I like a film, or are you implying we need some kind of affirmative action for female directors? The simple fact is males (in general) are more driven in several different areas of life, mostly because of biological differences that have been evolving for 10s of millions of years in our mammalian ancestors. If you don't want to believe it, then I suggest you put your money where your mouth is, and let's eliminate gender division in sports or even intellectual endeavors like chess. I believe completely in equal opportunity for everyone, but trying to ensure equal outcome is a fools game, and is bad for everyone. Even the people you think you are helping.

KOS-MOS
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Re: What proportion of your ranked movies are by women?

Postby KOS-MOS » Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:52 pm

Moribunny wrote:OK,

Spoiler: show
March, 2012: 2.85%, or 77 (of about 2700 or so).
March, 2016: 3.36%, or 134 of 3993.

March, 2018: 4.33%, or 200 of 4615.

I didn't really plan to weigh in on the debate, but I'll say a few words anyway. Are movies "gendered" according to who directed them, or is it all the same? The answer is "it's complicated". Too complicated for a criticker forum post, imho. "Yes and no". Female-directed movies gravitate toward the top tiers for me. I think that's because it's always been harder for women to make it in that profession, so whereas lots of guys could be mediocre and still succeed, a woman usually has to be really great to break through the glass ceiling. I'm not saying it's always the case. There are some I don't like, even well-respected ones like Duras and Denis. But I enjoy female-directed cinema eerily often. Actually I've been making sure to watch at least 1 per month, nowadays.

Favorites include Wertmuller, Ramsay, Martel, Breillat, Akerman...


I think this really depends on what you mean by "succeed" or "be great." As far as Hollywood is concerned, if it prints cash you're a success. It doesn't matter how good the film is. There are a few examples of this - Jennifer Lee, responsible for "Frozen" and "A Wrinkle in Time," is financially successful as a filmmaker but I'm sure for most critics here her films are outright garbage. Gina Prince-Bythewood, known for films such as "Beyond the Lights" and "The Secret Life of Bees," is probably not as disapproved by the critics here but her films are fairly formulaic and have been cause for critique. Nothing about these directors are particularly exceptional despite their success. They became successful through utilizing similar film techniques as their male contemporaries, which allowed them to become financial successes as filmmakers. I think an interesting question, in this case, is to what degree do female filmmakers develop something truly original and what success does that originality bring them? Female directors, just as much as men, are likely to stick with what's safe and will get them money. Being a good filmmaker does not mean you'll be particularly successful.


In the broader scope of discussion, I believe that films made by women do not necessarily appeal to them and there are plenty of male directors who've made films that have a massive female following. The Notebook and The Titanic are well known for their female fanbase to the degree that many men may feel uncomfortable in saying they liked them. General movies like everything in the MCU have large followings of every demographic, women included. For women, whether or not they're actually in the director's seat doesn't make much of a difference in regards to whether or not women will actually want to see that film. For many men, there are obvious methods to make a film appealing to women and this has been something that has been successfully practiced multiple times. In which case, studios often don't see it as a necessity to hire female directors as it's not as marketable as a lead female role. It's why you are seeing an increase in value in minority & female actors but not so much directors. Very few directors are marketable, and even the few that can be are veterans of the industry.

I won't comment on non-western industries in India or China, but I believe much of the presence of female directors stems on two things - the lack of women actually working to be directors and the lack of necessity for them from a marketing perspective. Clearly there are some "progressive" points industries can play up to by hiring female directors and there are definitely female directors who earned success on their own merits, but there's nothing inherently desirable about them from a business standpoint as opposed to female actors. I'm not arguing film studios prefer male directors over women, but I do think they don't feel much pressure or necessity to hire them.

Moribunny
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Re: What proportion of your ranked movies are by women?

Postby Moribunny » Sun May 26, 2019 6:24 pm

Velvet Crowe wrote:I think this really depends on what you mean by "succeed" or "be great." As far as Hollywood is concerned, if it prints cash you're a success. It doesn't matter how good the film is. There are a few examples of this - Jennifer Lee, responsible for "Frozen" and "A Wrinkle in Time," is financially successful as a filmmaker but I'm sure for most critics here her films are outright garbage. Gina Prince-Bythewood, known for films such as "Beyond the Lights" and "The Secret Life of Bees," is probably not as disapproved by the critics here but her films are fairly formulaic and have been cause for critique. Nothing about these directors are particularly exceptional despite their success. They became successful through utilizing similar film techniques as their male contemporaries, which allowed them to become financial successes as filmmakers. I think an interesting question, in this case, is to what degree do female filmmakers develop something truly original and what success does that originality bring them? Female directors, just as much as men, are likely to stick with what's safe and will get them money. Being a good filmmaker does not mean you'll be particularly successful.


I completely agree that commercial success does not equal good filmmaking. I was actually referring to something more basic, let's call it career success, because it shouldn't even be taken for granted that an aspiring filmmaker will get to make their movie, much less appear on people's radar. In fact, it shouldn't even be taken for granted that a young girl would aspire to be a filmmaker when she grows up. As a broad generalization, boys are still encouraged from age 0 to take more risks, assert themselves and lead; and their biological makeup lends itself to this - for instance, the lower voice, which scientific studies show is interpreted by listeners as being more "commanding". To even become a filmmaker, your average woman will need to overcome more obstacles than your average man.

Sure, "talent" or let's say the quality of your output, does come into it at some point -- as does whatever PR/marketing formula it takes to get your work out there, but by that point, more women have already been whittled out than men. There are a variety of things that men probably don't need as much of, on average, to "make it" either commercially or artistically. I do feel that there's a greater chance that a woman will have displayed artistic merit if she did make it to the silver screen. Sure, it's also possible that she's just a money-making bonanza, like Patty Jenkins who made "Wonder Woman", which is an awful movie. But movies like that are actually more studio-commandeered - the directors don't do as much, they have a beehive of studio writers and cinematographers doing their shtick for them, and they have practically zero input on action scenes (which make up much of the movie).

medium pizza
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Re: What proportion of your ranked movies are by women?

Postby medium pizza » Mon May 27, 2019 11:23 pm

Moribunny wrote:Sure, it's also possible that she's just a money-making bonanza, like Patty Jenkins who made "Wonder Woman", which is an awful movie. But movies like that are actually more studio-commandeered - the directors don't do as much, they have a beehive of studio writers and cinematographers doing their shtick for them, and they have practically zero input on action scenes (which make up much of the movie).
An interesting point and something to keep in mind. For hired guns, franchises like Star Wars and the MCU are really more like television shows, on which guest directors are essentially "traffic cops" (in the words of prolific traffic-director Steve Buscemi) who have little room to imbue the work with personality or anything truly distinctive. While this is broadly true for Hollywood filmmaking generally, the 'Show Bible' aspect of big money franchises is something else. The firing of Edgar Wright from Ant Man and Phil Lord & Chris Miller months into production on the Han Solo movie are recent high-profile examples, with the latters' hiring for Marvel's Into the Spideyverse the exception that proves the rule: animation by its nature is less beholden to such strictures.

medium pizza
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Re: What proportion of your ranked movies are by women?

Postby medium pizza » Tue May 28, 2019 12:20 am

^ also speaks to why women filmmakers are much better represented in television than film. Much smaller risk businesswise.

I will now take this opportunity to announce my intention to reach 10% seen of the female filmmakers collection by the time said collection reaches 5000 films. I have seen 340 out of 4426, or 7.7%. I will not cheat (too much) with short films, though I think I still have a chunk of my Eames box to get through.

I will list my top ten and see if anything changes if/when I finish. Also intend to rewatch a few I haven't seen in years and see how they hold up.

A New Leaf (Elaine May, 1971) 100
Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999) 100
News from Home (Chantal Akerman, 1977) 100
Jeanne Dielman... (Chantal Akerman, 1975) 100
Seventeen (Joel DeMott & Jeff Kreines, 1983) 100
The House is Black (Forough Farrokhzad, 1963) 95
The Days Between (Maria Speth, 2001) 95
Marseille (Angela Schnaelec, 2004) 95
Trouble Every Day (Claire Denis, 2001) 95
Grey Gardens (Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer, 1975) 95

Recommendations welcome.

And I'm off!

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