Dedicated to women in film and changing the narrative by Emma Jones.
Read Emma's Editor's Note here.
Picasso, Monet, Renoir, Degas –every artist has their muse. So too did Maud Lewis, one of Canada’s most famous folk artists, and now beautifully re-drawn by Sally Hawkins and Irish artist-filmmaker Aisling Walsh. Maud, was that rarity - a well known female painter, with a male muse.
I’m not sure Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled would pass the Bechdel test ( this is where two or more women are gathered, and discuss something other than a man, usually an indication that a film contains a “three-dimensional’ woman, not a fantasy female.) But who cares? Its contradictions help make it one of the most extraordinary films about women.
“ I was just thinking, I should give up this attempt at being a filmmaker. I was sure there was something else I could do. Just a normal job I could get.
Why do we know so much about Lawrence of Arabia, and still so little about Gertrude Bell – his contemporary in the Arab world, herself a diplomat and adventurer, and instrumental in the creation of the modern nation of Iraq?
‘Their Finest’ warms the heart one minute and breaks it the next. It’s a film of contradictions –a feminist story without a line of ‘feminist’ dialogue; a movie of an uniquely British national moment, directed by a Dane; a comedy set in the horror of the Blitz – trvialised for future generations by the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ meme.
The film Raw is a rare one (pun intended.) How often does a director manage to make a meal outof horror, comedy and drama, all in one sitting – and on her first attempt?
"Seven years ago there wasn’t a reality TV star in the White House. Obama was in power, there was no Syrian refugee crisis, no Brexit, no Donald Trump. The fact it’s so relevant today has taken us all by surprise and it’s a timely reminder of what happens when politicians use division to divide and rule to scapegoat one community against another."
Once upon a time lived a Sámi filmmaker, who drew upon her great-grandmother’s rich history of folk-telling to make the fairy-tale-like Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest, a gorgeous storybook that mingles history and animation.
"In an act of howling irony, the CBFC refused to classify Lipstick Under My Burkha on the grounds of, in their own words, lady orientated issues as well as sexual scenes, when the point of the film is to show four female characters struggling to find personal freedom in India’s patriarchal society."
"What did Emma Watson actually talk about in that interview? Does anyone know? Has anyone bothered to read what this actress, the most commercially successful British actress under 30, actually have to say about her career and her opinions, or even her life in general? "
Acting, Isabelle Huppert is quoted as saying, is a way of living out one‘s own insanity. Perhaps nothing she has made in forty years of working is quite as insanely good as Elle, Paul Verhoeven’s adaptation of Philippe Dijan’s novel Oh.
Did 2016 really change things for women working in the entertainment industry? The industry is very keen to say yes it did. It points at Arrival, at Jackie, at Miss Sloane – and shouts: Complex female characters! Lots of them!
Sometimes when so many women in one community have suffered so much horror and shame, it takes a fictional character to speak for them all. That woman is Pero, the Yazidi heroine of Reseba, or The Dark Wind, a Kurdish film that is the recipient of a UNESCO prize.
Otto Bell, a young filmmaker who left for Mongolia on a whim to make his first feature, is being hard on himself. The Eagle Huntress, a documentary about a thirteen year old female hunter, Aisholpan, is 2016’s most feminist film.
When I tell Amma Asante, director of A United Kingdom, the most recent statistics for non-white female filmmakers, she yelps. The figure, from the Directors Guild of America, is only at 1.4 percent, but her shout is one of delight. “It’s doubled!” she says.
Divines is the teenage girl buddy movie the world has been waiting for. Dounia and Maimounia, living in the banlieues of Paris, have their aspirations capped by the tower blocks around them. With swagger and a certain panache, they carry off supermarket stealing using a burka for cover.
Fragments of memory of that week in November 1963 are etched in America’s consciousness – the gunshots across the open motor cavalcade, the wife cradling her husband’s broken skull, the iconic pink suit spattered with blood.
Heard the one about the three hour German comedy that’s tipped for the Foreign Language Oscar? If not, meet Maren Ade and her film Toni Erdmann – all 162 minutes of it.
“It might be a bad time to be a humanitarian,” muses Danny DeVito, actor, activist – and long time Bernie Sanders supporter.
As the winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes, and directed by Andrea Arnold, American Honey is a tale of self discovery and dichotomy - hope and despair, love and loneliness, confidence and vulnerability, and not just for the characters, but Arnold herself.
Kristen Stewart declared independence about four years ago, just after the last Twilight film ended her obligations to the franchise.
Along with a proton pack, Paul Feig’s all-female version of Ghostbusters is carrying a half a billion dollar’s worth of expectation at the box office.
I’m never going to forget Jennifer Aniston’s 40th birthday. Not because I was invited to her party, but because it coincided with the release of a film she did with Owen Wilson back in 2008 called ‘Marley and Me.’
In Spain, you’ll know an Almodovar movie from the first few frames, almost certainly splashed red across your screen.
Film has delivered few truly iconic women in pairs. Erin Brockovich, Clarice Starling, Katniss Everdeen – they acted alone. Yes, deep-rooted friendships exist in The Help and Steel Magnolias, teamship in In A League of Their Own.
I really, really like money. So says Gordon Gecko. Or is it the Wolf of Wall Street? Or another pin-striped financial figure with thick carpet under his feet and a view of Manhattan from his glass penthouse?