Denis - Only seen Beau Travail, didn't think all that much of it
Babbitt - don't know her
Shepitko - liked The Ascent and Wings, not enough to make my list
Armstrong - never seen any, but MBC is on my radar
Akerman - Can't say I love Jeanne Dielman, though it is fascinating. Didn't like Je Tu Il Elle much at all, haven't seen any others (yet)
Mira Nair is another contender, but again... haven't seen much, and haven't loved what I've seen enough for the list. Lucile Hadzihalilovic would totally be a contender if she did something else, but as amazing as Innocence is, I can't include someone on the strength of one film.
That's a shame about Denis and Akerman. I'm quite in love with Denis myself, and a massive fan of Beau Travail
(number 4 of all time). I found JD
powerful enough to see it twice in a year. Babbitt directed But I'm A Cheerleader
. I don't think she's really a serious contender, but worth being a part of the discussion. Same with Shepitko. I've not seen anything by Armstrong either, but she has a strong reputation, especially here. I've only seen Monsoon Wedding
by Nair, but yeah, she should be in the discussion as well.
Others that could make the cut after I see more:
I've seen Song of the Exile
, Morvern Callar
. I'd definitely feel those directors need to be in the discussion, and I'm keen to explore some of the others.
What about Barbara Kopple?
I feel like I'm more aware lately of how little avenue there is for female directors, and I'm really keen to explore what some of them have to offer.