There’s an expectation by some that as a woman I should only make films that are woman-centric and “feminist.” I am a feminist, but I don’t consider myself a “feminist filmmaker.” I reserve the right to make films about whatever is an interesting story or subject, even if that film is not necessarily about women.
During the height of the publicity around The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar nomination for Best Director last year (and her subsequent historic win), there were comments made that Bigelow was a frontrunner to win because her film was about war and only featured male characters; that previous women nominees were handicapped by their female gaze. Writer Martha P. Nochimson summed up this sentiment in a 2010 Salon.com article: “…The Hollywood machine doggedly preserves the hierarchy of men above women, and the military landscape above the domestic landscape, even when it’s a woman who directs a war picture.” Mary Harron received similar criticism of “male-centricity” upon release of her 2000 film American Psycho, about a well-dressed male serial killer who worked on Wall Street.
To that I say: get over it! An artist has the right to create work in whatever manifestation they choose. It is a double standard to expect women to only direct films about women or that have a feminist slant. No one batted an eyelash when Martin Scorcese directed the romantic Victorian-era drama The Age of Innocence, not to mention the plethora of male directors who helm romantic comedies geared at female audiences. [Read more...]