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Drama Movies

September 28 2015 Drama Movies Newsletter

"The absence of the image-manufacturing apparatus gave the actresses greater freedom, but as nonstars they had less power. The growing self-consciousness of film worked to actresses' disadvantage. With the rise of the director as superartist they were at his mercy not only for their employment but for their images, images that were ever less rounded and more peripheral as directors became ever more subjective and self-indulgent." film critic Molly Haskell

Molly Haskell wrote those words in the early 1970s. Her thinking is still relevant, however, when one considers the latest statistics released on female directors in Hollywood. Only 1.9% of the top-grossing 100 films released in 2013 and 2014 were directed by women. There was also an editorial featured in "The Washington Post" newspaper, recently, about this subject. One of the comments online regarding the article came from a man who stated he could always tell if the movie he was watching was directed by a woman, because it was "soft and fem." I wonder if this means no guns and no strippers.

However, it got me thinking about this week's film I reviewed, "The Little Bedroom", which was written and directed by two Swiss women. Would I know this film had been directed by women if I had not read the credits beforehand? I decided there were only two factors that would lead me to think that a woman was behind the camera.

1. The film has a fairly equal ratio of male and female characters. Film analysis demonstrates that if a man directs, the protagonist and the rest of the characters are overwhelmingly male. If a woman directs, there is more of a balance between male and female. 2. There is a sequence in "The Little Bedroom" in which Rose, the female protagonist, gets drunk and spends the night at a man's apartment. She wakes up the following morning and realizes she is late for work. She is photographed in a realistic manner. She looks like a woman who has had no time to put on makeup or brush her hair. She is wearing the same clothes she had on the day before and is seen running down the street disheveled, and tucking her shirt in. I think the probability is that with a male director, Rose would have been photographed looking fabulous despite the circumstances.

Beyond this, I can see no way a viewer could detect the gender of the director. Although it is a debut feature film, there are no discernible technical flaws and the film is perfectly cast.

It was announced this past week that France is promoting the film "Mustang" as its entry for the Best Foreign Film catagory at the Academy Awards. "Mustang" was directed and co-written by Deniz Gamze Erguven, a woman of Turkish descent who attended film school in France. The story concerns five sisters who are struggling against the conventional dictates of society in a village in northern Turkey. The film will have its US premiere October 24th at the Chicago International Film Festival.

Here's the latest article from the Drama Movies site at BellaOnline.com.

The Little Bedroom Film Review
An elderly man who defies his son by refusing to live in a nursing home and a young woman who cannot stop mourning the death of her first child form a unique bond. "The Little Bedroom" is the debut feature film from Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond.


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