Female filmmakers whose work deserves more attention
This is an ongoing list of women working in film who I admire and think don’t get quite enough credit for what they’re doing. (This list is purely my own opinions. Any omissions are not rejections or dismissals, but if I haven’t seen someone’s work I can’t rightly include it.)
- •Julia LeighHer debut film Sleeping Beauty is such a goddamn masterpiece that I’m baffled she hasn’t already made one or two more. Leigh is also a novelist and her book Disquiet is pretty phenomenal as well. I hear she’s trying to adapt it into a film and I’ll be first in line when she does.
- •Lucrecia MartelI saw The Headless Woman a few years ago, with no idea who she was and I still know very little. But I really adored the movie and more people should see it. I’m not sure if much of her other work is available in the states but I’d gladly watch more.
- •Isobel CoixetCoixet has made a handful of films but the one that really got me was A Map of the Sounds of Tokyo. I’ve literally never met another person who has seen this film and that is a damn shame. Tokyo is my favorite city in the world and being able to watch such a sensual exploration of that place feels like a gift to me.
- •Zoe KazanPrimarily an actor, Kazan also wrote the phenomenal screenplay for Ruby Sparks. It was the second film from Dayton & Faris, after Little Miss Sunshine. I don’t want to throw any shade here, but in my opinion it is a crime that Sunshine screenwriter Michael Arndt was immediately launched to the highest levels of success while Kazan’s superior script seemed to go largely unnoticed. I’ve been told she’s done more writing for the stage, but I can't wait to see another feature film from her.
- •Sam Taylor-JohnsonI’ve gone on record before with my belief that 50 shades of grey is a misunderstood and brilliant film in many ways. I credit most of that to the direction. Lord knows this would not have been an easy project to navigate but the best sequences are a testament to Taylor-Johnson's incredible sense of cinematic style.
- •Lynne RamsayRamsay has been seemingly endlessly praised and yet I still don’t think we’ve said enough about it. In my opinion she is building a filmography that rivals Terrence Malick, and that is no small praise. Even if you’ve seen all her films, I suggest you watch them again, and again, and again, and again…
- •Claire DenisDenis has made many notable films but I include her on this list almost solely because Trouble Every Day is one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen that no one seems to talk about. Let’s fix this.
- •Lake Bellthe balance of comedy/drama/humanity in Bell’s work is rarely found in modern cinema. She is a true auteur: writer/director/producer/actor and for me is possibly a true heir to the throne of Woody Allen.
- •Lucile HadzihalilovicI'm dying to see her newest film, but from Innocence and La Bouche de Jean-Pierre (not to mention her co-writing credit on Enter The Void!) it's clear that Lucile is a distinct and powerful voice in cinema. I don't know what I would give for a dozen more movies from her.
- •Zoe LundAnother actor/screenwriter (also named Zoe, what were the odds?) who starred in Abel Ferrara's masterpiece Ms. 45 and wrote another masterpiece Bad Lieutenant. She passed away at a young age but I don't want her contributions to Ferrara's films to go unnoticed.
- •Julia LoktevDay Night Day Night is an absolute masterpiece. her follow up film was strong in very different ways and combined they make it clear that Loktev is something of an observational genius. I only hope she can make a dozen more films that continue to show us the world in a different way.
- •Abi MorganSteve McQueen’s Shame is one of my favorite films of the past few years. And the script, co-written by Abi Morgan is one of the best things I’ve ever read. When a writer co-writes with a director it’s easy to have their work go unnoticed. So I’m here to draw attention to her contributions. Seek out the script and read it in awe.
- •Amy JumpAmy Jump is the better-half of a favorite director of mine, Ben Wheatley. she seems to play an increasingly larger role in his films. With shared or sole writing credit while also editing most of them, it’s clear that she is a key collaborator. I don’t get the sense that either she or Wheatley have any plans to branch out beyond their collaboration, but I hope as they continue their incredible career that more credit is given to her.
- •Hannah FidellI saw A Teacher at the sundance next fest a few years ago and it has really stuck with me. I need to catch up one what she’s done since then, but that one movie showed me cinematic approach that is unique and exciting in ways I don’t see enough of.
- •Eva MichonMichon hasn’t yet made a feature, but her work in music videos, documentaries, fashion videos, short films, etc proves that she is a unique voice and someone I expect great things from in the near future.
- •Minhal BaigI first became aware of Baig through social media, but by the time I saw her short film Hala she had already finished one feature film (at some absurdly young age) which I hear will be available very soon. And she’s already adapting Hala into a feature. Considering her industrious nature I can only assume she will blow us all away for many years to come.