Now that we've been at this letter writing thing for a little while, one of the joys of this whole venture has been getting even a few people to watch some movies they hadn't come across before. With that in mind, if there's one thing we write about here that I hope people seek out above all others, it's your film Girlfriends. As far as I'm concerned, any conversation about the history of independent film in America that doesn't include Girlfriends is irrelevant (see also: conversations about New York movies, movies about best friends, movies where Christopher Guest is hot). You've said the movie was inspired by a line in the book Advancing Paul Newman -- "This is a story of two girls, each of whom suspected the other of a more passionate connection with life" -- which might be my favorite logline ever. It's about the feeling of losing your best friend to the ultimate friendship killer: growing up. Basically, if someone is reading this who loves any movie or TV show about female friendship from the past thirty years, I promise Girlfriends did the thing they love first. This would include Girls, which -- because Lena Dunham was such a fan of yours -- you directed an episode of. It might also include My So-Called Life, which, yep, you directed as well. It probably wouldn't include the six episodes of Once and Again you directed, but I feel pretty strongly that Once and Again is consistently underrated, so if I can use this opportunity to bring it up, I'm certainly going to take it. Now that I think about it, if there's one thing we can get people to watch here, maybe it should be Once and Again. But right after that, everyone definitely check out Girlfriends.
I ♥ Female Directors
Every year there are studies and lists and think pieces about the lack of female directors working in television and film. And hey, we love studies and lists and think pieces as much as the next gal, but the numbers are soooo depressing and the problem is soooo entrenched and unchanging that reading about it starts to feel a lot like eating your vegetables if vegetables tasted like futility which they do.
We started iheartfemaledirectors.com because we think the biggest thing missing from the conversation about female directors is some good old-fashioned gushy fandom. We will not have achieved true equality until every film school student who ever jizzed himself talking about the exploration of violence and masculinity in Fight Club has also needed a change of pants after discussing the exploration of violence and masculinity in Beau Travail.
Yes, there are historically fewer female directors than male, but there have still been hundreds (thousands?) of great ones. And new female directors are being born and dismissed every minute! So while the major studios’ scientists toil away in their under-the-lot labs, manufacturing the single perfect, hireable female director*, we’ll be swooning over the ones who have already put amazing, love letter-worthy things into the world.
So here’s our plan: every week we’ll put up a new love letter to a female director we’re obsessed with. And look, maybe that won't solve all of sexism in Hollywood. But it might get you to watch an Agnes Varda movie, and isn't that a close second?
• Experienced (but also fresh!)
• Works Constantly (but is always available)
• Commanding (but not emasculating)
• Will represent the wokeness and feminism of the studio (but won’t complain about institutionalized sexism)
• Has a unique voice (but wants to direct mediocre tentpoles)
• A visionary (but takes all notes)