Author Topic: 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 - Comments  (Read 33923 times)

Bondo

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Re: 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 - Comments
« Reply #380 on: December 20, 2011, 03:30:34 PM »
Female-directed films aren't canonical because mostly men have constructed the canon (and because the canon over-emphasizes older films when women weren't as active in the industry). People seek external validation for their views and there's less material out there giving people permission to love films directed by female. I mean, there are NO female directed films on the AFI list. There are more than 100 films that are good enough to theoretically be on a list like the AFI100. One has to try very hard to not have any directed by women find their way onto the list.

verbALs

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Re: 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 - Comments
« Reply #381 on: December 20, 2011, 03:38:38 PM »
..and a good film is a good film, and you aren't railing against the lack of black directors or Iranian directors or disabled directors...choose your flavour of discrimination. btw VARDA!

Honestly Bondo I think it was a stimulating original post, and a very good thought but the only honest answer is "It was a good film, one of the 100 best I have ever seen". No strings attached. It's my answer anyway.

I can't change the male-dominated history of cinema or business or football. I do understand that making the point is justifiable, affirmative, laudable and even sensible (since more than 50% of the world population have been grossly neglected and that's just a shameful waste of talent and (wo)manpower.
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MartinTeller

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Re: 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 - Comments
« Reply #382 on: December 20, 2011, 03:55:07 PM »
I only had two female-directed films in my top 100 (Angel at My Table & Innocence).  On the other hand, I might have been the only person to vote for any African films (Touki Bouki & Cairo Station) so... yay me?

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verbALs

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Re: 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 - Comments
« Reply #383 on: December 20, 2011, 04:05:53 PM »
Bondo, would you posit some demarcation point, at which female directors started to be given the chances to make movies, and then propose top films lists be separated as pre and post- equality film making? That would remove the canon that exists from a time when female directors didn't have the opportunities that I assume you feel they have now. I would be open to that challenge to see if it made a difference to my list, in terms of numbers of female directrs on my list (I know it would include Debra Granik). btw I'm being serious, I'm trying to respond directly to your point the way you made it.
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

Bondo

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Re: 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 - Comments
« Reply #384 on: December 20, 2011, 04:28:51 PM »
Well, looking at the criticker lists, apparently the median point for all films made was 1989. For female directed films it is 2001. Let's say anything before 1990 isn't eligible. Though I wouldn't say women are on equal footing now either, just better than they were.

sdedalus

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Re: 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 - Comments
« Reply #385 on: December 20, 2011, 04:32:10 PM »
Female-directed films aren't canonical because mostly men have constructed the canon (and because the canon over-emphasizes older films when women weren't as active in the industry).

Of these claims, the first is an assertion sorely lacking in evidence (correlation is not causation) and the second relies on a view of film history that is wildly controversial (your belief that film is progressive and therefore older films are necessarily worse than newer ones).


People seek external validation for their views and there's less material out there giving people permission to love films directed by female. I mean, there are NO female directed films on the AFI list.

I don't know of anyone who seeks "permission" to highly regard the films that they regard.  Since we're talking about the filmspotting poll here, I see no evidence that the AFI poll(s) have had any influence on it one way or the other, or that filmspotters are only putting established canonical films in their top 100s.

There are more than 100 films that are good enough to theoretically be on a list like the AFI100.

Then make the case for them and persuade people to watch them and regard them as highly as you do.

One has to try very hard to not have any directed by women find their way onto the list.

That's clearly not the case if we're all blinded by devotion to male-only canons like the AFI.
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verbALs

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Re: 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 - Comments
« Reply #386 on: December 20, 2011, 04:35:10 PM »
So what do you think are the obstacles to female directors being on an equal footing now? Is it something specific to film-making? I am not seeing those natural barriers that obviously used to exist anymore. Perhaps they are latent ones. Do you think women need positive discrimination to make the playing field level? I just asked my daughter if they were more men or women on her architecture course (one of those male dominated professions I think) and she responded that there were more women!
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sdedalus

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Re: 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 - Comments
« Reply #387 on: December 20, 2011, 04:40:05 PM »
So what do you think are the obstacles to female directors being on an equal footing now? Is it something specific to film-making?

In the Hollywood studio system, like in most other big money businesses, the money is still controlled by old white men who tend to be very conservative and therefore unwilling to try new things (like women directing action movies).

In independent and foreign film, there's less money at stake and therefore less institutional control, so you see women on much more of an equal footing.

Our lists tend to favor well-known films with broad audiences (your Coppolas and Kubricks and Kurosawas and Hitchcocks and Nolans) and it's harder for indie and foreign filmmakers to break into that.  As seen by the directors poll, though, Lynne Ramsay (whose Ratcatcher finished just outside this year's Top 100), Kelly Reichardt, Chantal Ackerman and most of all Claire Denis are making a real headway.  Denis, in all probability, didn't get a film in this year's Top 100 because she's made so many films that people like that her support was too diffuse to get any single film onto the list.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 04:44:41 PM by sdedalus »
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Bondo

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Re: 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 - Comments
« Reply #388 on: December 20, 2011, 04:42:38 PM »
Well, I think women outnumber men in a great number of college programs, even more historically male ones, simply because women vastly outnumber men in colleges. I find that most of the best female directors are pretty well relegated to the indie circuits (so what sdedalus said), and indie films just aren't as widely seen, even on this forum, as more mainstream stuff. We all tend to watch a fair amount of indie stuff, but not necessarily the same indie stuff.

There are more than 100 films that are good enough to theoretically be on a list like the AFI100.

Then make the case for them and persuade people to watch them and regard them as highly as you do.

One has to try very hard to not have any directed by women find their way onto the list.

That's clearly not the case if we're all blinded by devotion to male-only canons like the AFI.

I was talking about the AFI list with these two statements, not ours.

Anyway, my original post here like many other posts is my just being that obnoxious buzzing bee that screams out "remember the women" like it is a Tourette's tic. I certainly do try to highlight female directed films around these parts as I just did today with Tiny Furniture.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 04:45:24 PM by Mx. Bondo »

verbALs

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Re: 4th Annual Filmspotters Top 100 - Comments
« Reply #389 on: December 20, 2011, 04:46:12 PM »
Makes sense.

Anyway I applied the Bondo rule to my extended favourite films list, and it includes four female directors- Debra Granik(30), Kathryn Bigelow(53), Lynne Ramsey (60), Agnes Varda(100)- () are the approximate positions. I guess this proves I am an unreconstituted chauvinistic pig! Hurrah!
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 04:48:01 PM by verbALs »
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy