Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Most Neglected

As you probably already know, I'm a little gung-ho about how underrepresented women filmmakers are in their field. This, as anyone who's ever browsed through the "now-playing"-section of their local paper knows, is particularly true when it comes to comedies, and even more so movies about gal-pals, the female equivalent of a buddy comedy.

(Especially if those pals don't just want to shop for extremity-deforming footwear that costs as much as the annual income of a small Guatemalan village. You heard it here first. I hate on that show. Just because women f**k whomever they like and have vague, oddly well-paid jobs does not make it feminist.)

Even when movies in the afore-mentioned categories get made, their distributors often shift them straigth-to-DVD, for the fear of losing money in the theaters, when those goddamn intellectual womens would rather curl up with a good book and a box of chocolates, or whatever the heck they do when we menfolk flock to watch the latest blockbuster. Think I'm exaggerating? Read a couple of books on Hollywood genres and marketing.

I certainly am always delighted when good movies by women, about women are recommended to me, and love to spread my love of awesome chick flicks. That's right. I said chick flicks. I don't mean the formulaic fair of girls feuding over men they'd love to please, while wearing improbable amounts of make-up and designer clothing, and acting out predictable plot-lines. I mean wicked awesome movies by women, for women, about stuff that's funny and touching, and even pertinent to our own lives. Chick flick don't have to be a derogatory term if you own it. Virgin Suicides, for instance, is total chick flick. Piano, chick flick. I could go on.

So if your netflix-que is lacking in lustre this season consider Strike! (alternative titles include; All I wanna Do and my (and the director's favorite) The Hairy Bird). Long before the male- directed, watered down, star-studded (though Kirsten Dunst stars in both) Hollywood version of female camaraderie in the halls of learning, this little movie showed just what the fairer sex is capable of.

As for full-blown female-driven comedy (though directed by a gent) comes this much over-looked mockumentary, penned by Lona Williams to dead-pan-perfection.

Drop Dead Gorgeous has it all: physical fitness numbers, exploding pageant contestants, practising your lip-synching routine, mall-gowns, and most importantly, "F***ing beauty queens blowing chunks everywhere."

Now it's your turn. Recommend.


  1. Have you ever watched Agnes Varda films? She blows my mind. Vagabond is one of the most amazing films I've ever seen. (Not exactly a comedy though) One of my favorite girly comedies ever was always Clueless, for which people used to laugh at me. But I recently got the DVD and watched all the extras. Seeing Amy Heckerling talk about her process for writing and directing was totally inspring and I have new appreciation both for the brilliance of Clueless AND for my younger self for loving it shamelessly! And of course we can't forget Lost in Translation, one of my all time favorites. Do you think Sophia has it easier/better as a director because of her father? As for the pseudo feminist b.s. you're talking about, it must be Sex in the City? Never seen it, no desire to, glad to know I shouldn't feel bad about that!

    Can't wait to check out your recommendations!

  2. A great female director I'd recommend is Vera Chytilová. Daisies is brilliant. It's very avant garde and a lot of fun at the same time. I did a little post with pictures and a poem inspired by it here:

    I also love her other films like Valerie and her week of wonders.

  3. You're so right, SATC was fun but pretty weird a lot of the time.

    I think "Mean Girls" is awesome, under all that pink glitter it has a feminist agenda.

    And "Drop Dead Gorgeous" is great!

  4. Yes! both these movies were so good, Drop Dead Gorgeous I've seen atleast a half dozen times, when the beer gets attached to her moms hand - lmao!! So so good.

  5. But I'm a Cheerleader by Jamie Babbit. She has made more films and many, many tv episodes (18 of the Gilmore Girls, 8 of Popular, plus L word, Gossip Girl, 90210 etc) but I've only seen that one. It's awesome.

    No chick flicks here, but British Andrea Arnold & Antonia Bird are really good directors - Ravenous, Priest, Red Road are all great films.

    I second the love for "Clueless" (I've always thought the dialogue was genius and nobody understood me!) and Vera Chytlová and her "Daisies", but "Valerie and her week of wonders" was made by Jaromil Jireš, not Vera Chytlová.

    Drop Dead Gorgeous is hilarious, I've seen it at least 4 times.

    Still haven't seen The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things by Asia Argento (based on the book by "JT LeRoy", Laura Albert) but that should be interesting as well.

  6. I've never seen All I Wanna Do and now I'm quite miffed with Netflix for not having it available!

    Drop Dead Gorgeous is awesome, though it's been a really long time since I've seen it, I could definitely watch that one again.

    Sunshine Cleaning is one that's currently in my que. I haven't seen it yet but it looks promising.

    p.s. You're so cute when you rant ;)

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  8. I love the Hairy Bird and luckily it is actually called the hairy bird here in Australia. Sometimes Ithink the movies that show women in the best light are modern sci-fi many admitly don't have women as the lead but the women are always smart strong and powerful.

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