Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Specialty Box Office: 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck' Primes HBO Pump, Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' Is Spotty Specialty Box Office: 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck' Primes HBO Pump, Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' Is Spotty Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Are Women Directors Entering a Golden Age? Studio 360 Talks to Shelton, Polley

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 18, 2012 at 2:35PM

Are we entering a golden age for women directors in Hollywood? I've been trying to figure out the troubled relationship between women and the film business for decades, so I unloaded for Studio 360's Kurt Andersen, who also talked with Sarah Polley and Lynn Shelton, about how the industry favors independents--as its glass ceiling remains intact.
0
"Your Sister's Sister"
"Your Sister's Sister"
Lynn Shelton
Lynn Shelton

Are we entering a golden age for women directors in Hollywood? I've been trying to figure out the troubled relationship between women and the film business for decades, so I unloaded for Studio 360's Kurt Andersen, who also talked with Sarah Polley ("Take This Waltz") and Lynn Shelton ("Your Sister's Sister"), about how the industry favors independents--as its glass ceiling remains intact.

Clearly, Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar win for directing "The Hurt Locker"--the first for a woman--has not brought any significant change. She remains the exception that proves the rule. "She’s known for being a man’s director, " I tell Anderson. "She puts men in her movies, she does action, she’s not doing female genres. And she’s resolutely not interested in doing them. But what she did was do them independently. And the Bin Laden movie that’s coming up later this year was raised overseas as well. And if women can raise their own funding, then they can get the movies made.” (My "Hurt Locker" interview with Bigelow is below.)

Luke Kirby and Michelle Williams in 'Take This Waltz'
Luke Kirby and Michelle Williams in 'Take This Waltz'

While women directed only 5% of the 250 major movies that came out last year in the US., the independent sector in the low-cost digital age offers more opportunities than ever for women. I argue that women are thriving in the new collaborative, barter indie economy in which actor/writer/director/producers share roles, from Shelton to Amy Seimetz:  “All these filmmakers are sort of roaming the country helping each other make films in all these different locations and all these different ranges of experiences and it works. Women are really good at that kind of thing.”

Shelton tells Anderson that she can just “pick up a camera, and call [my] friends and say, ‘let’s go make a movie!’ And if we fail, like, we’ll just shove it under the rug.” (My interview with Shelton is below.)

Polley points out that Hollywood offers most women directors a choice of romantic comedies or dramas. “Women aren’t really trusted with anything else right now,” she said. “I know female filmmakers who would love to make an action film or a horror film or some kind of thriller and they just don’t get the financing for those kinds of movies. So I think that women aren’t necessarily trusted with [that] subject matter.”

Why does Hollywood continue to hire men to make movies for men, such as Hasbro's "Battleship" and Disney's "John Carter"? Check out the Studio 360 podcast below.

This article is related to: Women in Film, Kathryn Bigelow, Sarah Polley, Lynn Shelton, Your Sister's Sister, Take This Waltz, Independents


E-Mail Updates