"I certainly didn't make it for the hell of it." Electra meets Oscar nominated director Nadine Labaki

Amidst the annual frustrated disappointment that yet again, women were lacking in the Oscar directing and writing categories, there she was - Nadine Labaki, up for a Best Foreign Language Oscar for Capernaum, which started its journey with a 15 minute standing ovation at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and left many of us in the audience weeping.

 

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WOMEN IN FILM, ELECTRAEmma Jones
Moving any mountain: Director Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi is on top of the world with documentary 'Free Solo'

The movie reference I carried for free solo climbing for many years was Mission Impossible 2 when a (much younger) Tom Cruise dangled from a precipice from one arm and with no harness. He made it look easy; with Free Solo you’re about to find out just how hard it is.

 

This documentary, released this week in the UK, follows super-elite pro-climber Alex Honnold as he climbs the 3,000-foot vertical rock face El Capitan in Yosemite without using ropes. He’s attempting to set a new record and fulfil his life’s ambition, and is tracked every painfully considered, chalk-handed step of the way by married directing partners Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, not to mention another team of elite climbers and cinematographers.

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WOMEN IN FILM, ELECTRAEmma Jones
Think women only just started playing the fool in Hollywood?

Are women funny? Fans may remember a couple of years ago that opinion pieces on Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy and Amy Schumer started appearing, expressing surprise that finally, there were funny women in Hollywood – almost as if giraffes had been spotted on Sunset Boulevard. Fortunately, our grandparents and great grandparents were less sexist than us in many ways – and an exhibition at the BFI Southbank in London now explores Playing the Fool – and the women of early Hollywood who entertained audiences with their comedic genius.

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WOMEN IN FILM, ELECTRAEmma Jones