I ♥ Female Directors

Dear Reader,

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?

Annabel, Laura & Charley


• 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)

Dearest Chantal Akerman,

The Village Voice said you were “arguably the most important European filmmaker” of your generation because the Village Voice never read that Stephen King book about how adverbs make you a pussy. So let’s take out the “arguably” and speak in declarative sentences: Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles is a motherfucking masterpiece. What you show onscreen is the stuff every other movie leaves out. The coffee making. The potato peeling. The soup eating. The blouse buttoning after paid sex with gentlemen callers. You know, boring mom stuff. But if anyone knows how to make boring work, Chantal, it’s you. Because when Jeanne’s routine starts to falter in microscopic increments, it’s one of the best tension building sequences in cinematic history. Bonus props for the calmest murder-by-a-domestic-object since that Alfred Hitchcock Presents lady killed her husband with a leg of lamb then fed it to the cops. Also-- it’s insanely inspiring that you made this movie when you were only 24 years old. And your origin story as a film school dropout who funded her first film Saute Ma Ville by trading diamond shares on the Antwerp stock exchange is the most badass of all time. Blessed were the years before Kickstarter, eh, Chantal?  

And look, I’d end this letter here but it seems important to tell you (I assume you receive love letters in the afterlife) that a casual dropped reference to Jeanne Dielman on the second day of a new job instantly united two co-workers like hanky code but for feminist film nerd friendships. Within a month they turned their office into a ball pit and within a year they founded this site together. So thank you, Chantal, for being the queen of both the long take and of our hearts.


Source: https://www.iheartfemaledirectors.com/chan...