52 Films by Women

A number of people have this year pledged to at least attempt to watch one female-directed film for every week of 2016 (I believe it started with a campaign by Women In Film Los Angeles). I was one of these people, and have been surprised how difficult it was to keep it up. It’s not because I don’t watch enough films – as I’ve watched close to 300 films this year; around 5 films a week. The problem is that if I were to simply watch films paying no attention to the gender of the director, the number of films directed by women would be less than the 20% needed with those stats. The actual number of women directing films in the industry is closer to 7%.

So, I ended up spending quite a while creating lists. I scoured “Best female filmmakers” lists online, added personal recommendations, checked the IMDb credits for the films I came across… rest assured I got pretty sick of seeing the smiling publicity photos of white dudes. I then checked where these films were available – specifically whether I could access them through on-demand services I use like Amazon Prime, Netflix and Sky Cinema. Still, it was difficult, and often the films that I found the most were indie dramas and documentaries. Nothing inherently wrong with them, but after a hard day’s work, sometimes I don’t want to start watching a film about a school shooting or fraught human relationships. I started running behind, but managed to catch up during December, which happened to give me a number of fantastic films I had never heard of before.

I may have made this more difficult for myself by assuming the rule that it couldn’t be a film I had ever seen before, and eventually decided to not count short films or the segment Allison Anders directed for Four Rooms either.

In the end I logged 53 films; two were short films, 12 were documentaries.

You can find the full list, ranked from favourite to least favourite, here

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Underrated Hitchcock Films

As part of Audience Everywhere’s celebration of Alfred Hitchcock’s birthday, I wrote a piece on five of the director’s films that don’t get as much attention as they deserve. These aren’t necessarily the most obscure of his filmography, but ones that should be considered among the greats.

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20 Female Directors To Look Out For

I pitched the idea for a staff post over on Audiences Everywhere – one where in the lead-up to the Oscars we make a list of women directors that have made interesting films in recent years. The rules were they had to have had a film out since 2010, and not have been nominated for an Academy Award. This had been on my mind since I found it surprisingly difficult to find female-directed films for my project to watch at least 52 films of that type in 2016 (the ongoing ranking can be found here). Continue reading →

Favourite Articles of 2015

Here are a list of my favourite articles and video essays from in 2015. For 2016, I’ll be making a list as I go along, as this one is mostly from memory.

I have a ‘to re-read’ list that’s about twice as long as this, and a ‘to read’ list that’s about four times as long, so I’ll be working my way through those and updating this over the next few months. I may also add descriptions/thoughts to each entry at some point too.

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2015 Film In Review

I haven’t written a specific post about this year in film, but have decided to collect my scattered thoughts on it here. I have contributed to various articles over at Audiences Everywhere for their Yearly Roundup:

I would recommend some more articles, but instead I might confine that to a different post, as there has been a lot of interesting film criticism I have read this year. I will link that here once it is written.

As for my favourite movies of 2015, you can find them here. This goes by 2015 releases (obviously), so there are four notable omissions that would have likely topped this list, as the films I saw at The Brighton Film Festival are due for release in 2016

Total Watches: 216
Seen For the First Time: 139
Re-Watches: 77
Visits to the Cinema: 49
Released In 2015: 37
Brighton Film Festival: 6
Non-Male Directed: 7
Non-White Directed: 10

And just for fun, I’ll give out some award-y type things too: Continue reading →