A few weeks ago, for the first time in 78 years, three women have been nominated for the best director at the Golden Globes awards. Only 5 (!) women in total were previously nominated for this prize. The long-awaited recognition of female writers, producers, cinematographers and directors – roles previously associated with male domination in the cinema industry – is finally becoming a norm.
At Uncommon workspace we wanted to celebrate the achievements of women in cinema, we’ve put together a list of interesting movies made by female directors you should have on your radar. After all, there’s no better way to finish IWD celebrations than watching a great movie with your favourite drink in hand.
Radha Blank, The 40-Year-Old Version
Can you become a female rapper after turning 40? Absolutely. Made in black & white on traditional 35mm film, the movie is deeply rooted in tradition of New York movies but bringing in a fresh perspective of a mature women re-discovering her purpose in life. Loosely based on Blank’s own experiences, the film is a perfect combination of her humour and a powerful female voice.
Kitty Green, The Assistant
A recent college graduate just landed her dream job within a big production company. Slowly, she begins to discover the signs of abuse coming not only directly from her boss, the entertainment mogul but present across all levels of the company. More thrilling than any other films we’ve seen last year, Green’s movie is an important insider’s comment on the predatory male power still present in the film industry.
Greta Gerwing, Little Women
Gerwing, previously an actress and co-writer of her partner Noah Baumbach’s movies, emerged as a director in 2017 with her debut Lady Bird. Yet it was Little Women that introduced her to a wider audience. A heart-warming and beautifully shot version of a classic novel became a big hit and proved there’s a big appetite for female-oriented stories.
Lulu Wang, The Farewell
Wang’s personal story, The Farewall, is an utterly charming, bitter-sweet American-Chinese family drama. We follow the main character, a young woman Billie, wrestling the family traditions and cultural differences and having to embrace her complex heritage. Featuring a very moving performance from Awkwafina in the main role, the film might leave you with little tears in your eyes and a big smile on your face.
Céline Sciamma, Portrait of a Lady on Fire
French film writer and director, Sciamma, is known for making movies that touch upon gender identity and the meanings of girlhood and womanhood. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is her biggest achievement so far – a beautiful portrayal of forbidden love and passion through the female gaze. It’s not only a powerful (and very sexy) romance but truly a cinematic masterpiece where every single shot is a piece of art in itself.