MAR-in AH-day. MAR-in AH-day. I recently looked up how to pronounce your name correctly because I plan on saying it a lot for the rest of my life. Maren Ade, I love you. Your Oscar-nominated film Toni Erdmann may be remembered for naked brunch and the best rendition of “The Greatest Love of All” since Whitney, but I’ll remember it for doing what your films do best: making melancholy funny. Your films are about people trying to connect and failing (The Forest for the Trees), or trying and wondering if they should quit (Everyone Else), or trying and somehow, against all generational gaps, succeeding (Toni Erdmann). And they’re all infused with just the right amount of magic – not dopey CGI movie magic, but moments so surprising and beautiful they can only be defined by the beat my heart skipped when they happened: a hug in Toni Erdmann, a sudden leap in Everyone Else, and the goosebumps-worthy last scene of The Forest for the Trees that I swear to God, Maren, I have dreamed a hundred times. And then there’s jizz on petits fours which is maybe less magical, but unforgettable all the same. Maren, My love for you burns so hot that I literally co-founded a website so more people would know about your work. And so I swear this oath to you-- if every film nerd who has ever swooned over a single minute of Cassavetes doesn’t go see or pre-order Toni Erdmann right this minute, I’ll kill myself for the publicity and it’ll be worth it just so more people learn your name. Maren Ade (MAR-in AH-day), thank you for making movies.
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)