MY FEMALE FILM HEROES
It's international women's day but I think about and feel the influence of these dope women every damn day.
- •Tacita DeanBritish artists who has worked tirelessly to preserve the use of film within cinema. Last year she received a fellowship from the Getty, and came to LA to usher in a meeting of the minds, between the producers of film, Kodak, and the people she's imploring to keep using it, Hollywood! She makes the most incredible 16mm films, and speaks about film as medium-- like you would paint, or clay-- rather than media. I will name my first child for her.
- •Claire DenisMaybe my favorite filmmaker, after working as an AD for Wim Wenders and Jim Jarmusch, she's gone on to write and direct incredibly subtle and powerful films spanning subjects of colonialism, to teen lust. She speaks about the power of the image, about giving your audience an opportunity to perceive and deduce things for themselves. She's taught me not to hit people over the head with plot, and to trust the intelligence of your audience. At age 70, she's about to direct her latest film.
- •Lucrecia MartelArgentine writer and director Lucrecia Martel made one of my top 5 favorite films, La Cienega. It's a brilliant, sprawling meditation on argentine class politics, told entirely in the space of a decrepit summer house. Every character that steps in front of her camera seems to have a right to be there, as she's drawn each of them so finely, and delicately reveals their value to her audience. As one of the female pioneers of New Argentine Cinema, she's primarily self taught.
- •Chantal AckermanChantal Ackerman died in October and I'm still too sad to write about her, but do yourself a favor and watch her movies. Jeanne Dielman was a massive game changer for me.
- •Kelly ReichardtMy former professor and mentor, Kelly Reichardt makes beautiful, small films about big topics. She's couched the macro in the micro, taking on the topics like the recession, the great western expansion, and ecoterrorism in gorgeous, character driven films like Wendy & Lucy, Meek's Cutoff, and my favorite, Night Moves. She encourages her students to get angry about things, step way out of the spaces in which they're comfortable, and make films about the stuff they're passionate about.
- •Maya DerenA pioneer of experimental film, Maya Deren was also a brilliant theorist, dancer, and poet. She made surreal, stream of consciousness black and white films, and paved the fucking way for people to get weird! I feel a great deal of permission to think creatively as a result of her movies. Watch Meshes of the Afternoon ASAP.
- •Nelly QuettierClaire Denis's editor, she's also edited my favorite Leos Carax's films: Lovers On The Bridge, Pola X, and Holy Motors.
- •Dorothy ArznerOne of the first and few female directors during the silent film era. Starting as a stenographer at Paramount, she moved on to be a writer, and then an editor before directing her first feature film, Fashions for Women. She directed Clara Bow (first it girl)'s first film, The Wild Party, and is said to have created the first boom pole, after rigging a mic to a fishing rod in 1929.
- •Maryse AlbertiFrench Cinematographer Maryse Alberti has shot so many incredible films -- Velvet Goldmine, Crumb, West of Memphis-- in her career that's spanned over 3 decades. She defies female convention, shooting, most recently, two boxing films, The Wrestler, and my two husbands (cooglet and mbj)'s latest collaboration, Creed.
- •Mira NairMonsoon mfing Wedding. Enough said. Also first female recipient of the Golden Lion.
- •Babette MongolteOne of the first women to be accepted to L'Ecole Nationale de la Photographie and de la Cinematographie (founded by Louis Lumiere), Babette Mongolte is a cinematographer who's shot movies for Chantal Ackerman, Marina Abramović, and Robert Rauchenberg. As a director, she made her first film, What Maisie Knew, in 1975.
- •Deniz Gamze ErgüvenThis woman wrote and directed my favorite film of the year, Mustang. She's soft spoken, but carries a large ass stick. Having heard her speak three times this year, I'm floored by the depth of her insight into middle eastern patriarchy, and her knowledge of film history. She's spoken so intelligently about her film, and has such a deep love for her characters, and for the incredible young women who played them.
- •Lois WeberThe first female American film director ppl!!!!
- •Gina Prince-BythewoodGPB has made two of my all time favorite movies, Love and Basketball, and Beyond the Lights. I am always in the mood to watch them. She's a master at delivering the medicine with some sugar on top, making wildly entertaining movies that have taught me a lot about both race and gender politics in our country.
- •Alice Guy BlachéRegarded as the first female director this woman worked on over 700 films in her 25yr long career, and helped pioneer chronophone, which synced images and sound in 1902.