I had hoped to do something big! and bold! and political! and exciting! on Tuesday for International Women’s Day.
But typically – perhaps even ironically – I was too busy working to do it. Pfft. 🙄
Fortunately, it’s also Women’s History Month – or should that be Herstory?
That’s a good get-out clause for me. Yay! I’m still succeeding in life!
Why don’t you all head over to MUBI then? Although it hasn’t formally said so, seems to be celebrating two women directors in particular this month. And they couldn’t be more different!
Andrea Arnold is English and very much dedicated to social realism, particularly with regards to working class women. She won an Academy Award for her short film Wasp in 2005, and her feature films include Red Road, Fish Tank and American Honey, all of which have won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. She’s also recently shot her first documentary, Cow, which is all about… a cow.
MUBI has pretty much her entire catalogue and while my above précis of her work doesn’t sound like too much fun, as I found with Wasp, it’s not as bleak as you might think. I’d definitely suggest giving it a try, starting with her short movies:
And if you’d like to hear her discuss her most recent work, I’d recommended listening to this interview:
Céline Sciamma is easily one of the most important and accomplished female directors, perhaps even directors working in France and perhaps the world in the past decade. The New Yorker argued last month that she’s on a ‘quest for a new feminist grammar of cinema’ – while simultaneously arguing that her representation of Black women in Girlhood is unfeminist.
At the very least, with movies such as Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Water Lilies, Girlhood and Tomboy she has managed to bring into the mainstream feminist ideas and complex questions about gender and queer identity that previously have been poorly addressed by cinema. And with movies such as Petite maman, she shows she can do movies that are fantastic and beautiful, rather than political.
- Water Lilies (2007)
- Pauline (2010)
- Tomboy (2011)
- Girlhood (2014)
- Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
- Petite maman (2021)
And here’s another lovely podcast where Sciamma talks about her work.