Friday, September 25, 2009

Mars and Venus

In 81 years of Best Director, Men: 395, Women: 3

AMPAS is notoriously biased against female filmmakers. It snubbed Barbra Streisand not once, but twice, for her acclaimed films Yentl and The Prince of Tides. Babs called it "a great step back in the cause of women" when her name was left off the ballot for a second time in 1991.

This famous prejudice could likely be righted this year. Some of the biggest films this season are helmed by women. Jane Campion (a nominee in 1993 for The Piano) is in the fray with Bright Star, Lone Scherfig has the festival fave An Education, and Kathryn Bigelow is a strong contender for the critical smash The Hurt Locker.

What do you think? Are we finally going to see a bit of balance in the director race or are more unthinkable snubs ahead?


DEZMOND said...

It's too harsh and biased calling it a prejudice. The simple fact is that there are less female directors than the male ones.
And, out of those female ones whose names are more popular, honestly speaking, you couldn't find a really good one. Campion, Copolla, Bigelow, Hardwicke, Taymor .. they all have very cold, reserved, uninspired approach to direction, and all of their movies have a very serious lack of strength and vision.

LOST IN TRANSLATION, PIANO, 13, TITUS, LAUREL CANYON, BRIGHT STAR .... those are all movies with extremely blank, depressive, gray, expressionless atmosphere. They just don't have the creative vision.

I would never think of giving an award to someone based on the author's sex. The awards should be based only on talent.

Rae Kasey said...

Definitely those who deserve to be nominated should be, regardless of gender.

And I agree on some other points. I think Lost in Translation was more of a character study than anything else. I didn't quite understand the fervent love for the film.

But I LOVE The Piano. I think it's one of the best movies of the 90s, and The Hurt Locker is one of the best of this year, so far. I'm really rooting for Kathryn Bigelow to at least get a nomination.

I do think some members of the Academy are more reluctant to reward female directors. Maybe its not a conscious prejudice. But as far as I can tell, a female filmmaker, even with a superb movie, has a steeper climb than a man.

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