I very much believe it is the duty of a true film fan to look around on a regular basis and make sure that the films you’re consuming represent a variety of voices. It is, obviously, one of the reasons I write this column. In that spirit, I actively encourage every person reading this right now to make sure that this week, you watch at least one film by a woman. I’m going to make it very easy on you and make a list of great options available on Netflix Instant Watch right now! (Of course, there are many more amazing women-directed films available online, whether on Netflix’s rotating selection or for purchase on iTunes or Amazon or what have you. I look forward to making more lists like this in the future.)
I think Top 10 lists are fun. Many critics write beleaguered sorts of “I don’t really want to be doing this and it’s stupid and rankings are meaningless” disclaimers at the beginning of their lists. Ugh. Look, it should go without saying that any list (or review) is a reflection of the writer’s personality and their un-duplicate-able individual experience. If you’ve read the rest of my writing this year, you will not be shocked by my list. What I’d like to say before I dive in I don’t consider to be a disclaimer, but just necessary context: the films I didn’t/couldn’t see that are on my mind anyway.
When I step back and think about it, many films don’t present a believable world of consequences. There are too many moments when an eloquent speech can undo wrongs that have been done, convincing another to bestow a second (or third, or…) chance that’s otherwise unearned. Too many endings come together only because that’s what the audience wants to see. In her new film The Future, which opens in Seattle today, writer-director Miranda July shows that she can distill a story into an arc without having all of its elements come together in this overly tidy way. She understands fallout. And her approach lets the viewer come away with more to think about for it.
If there’s one thing I hope I’ve done with this column so far, it’s show that though the overall percentages may be very skewed toward male filmmakers, there are many, many interesting projects out there being made by women. The numbers are getting better all the time, too—for this list of my five anticipated projects, I really had a hard time narrowing things down. Creating excitement and buzz for these films before they’re released is almost as important as seeing them when they are, so if I can contribute to that just a little bit, I’ll be a happier person.