It’s one thing to scream “hire more women.” It’s another thing to see it laid out as cleanly and plainly as Kyle Buchanan and the team at Vulture has done here. Robin Write also did a similar thing a while back but his was about 100 films made by women.
The sheer number of women Buchanan pulls out, listing their credits, their promising debuts – Oscar winners like Kathryn Bigelow and Sofia Coppola on down to up-and-comers like Ana Lily Amirpour. Directors who used to work more regularly like Alison Anders and Gillian Armstrong, to those who do work regularly that no one has heard of on a bigger scale like Andrea Arnold. Jodie Foster, Lisa Cholodenko, Ava DuVernay – the ones whose movies have made shit-tons of money, and filmmakers whose careers still go nowhere – like Catherine Hardwicke and Mimi Leder. It’s truly horrifying to see such an array of talent.
I’d say it’s a fairly damning piece that reveals the bias and mentoring of male directors over women. Buchanan pretty much proves it in one article.
One of the problems women directors will face, though, is if they start saying “hire us just because we’re women.” It’s important to always celebrate the best in any field. The trouble is, Hollywood says they hire men because the movies men make turn more profit – well, here is proof that it just isn’t true that women directors can’t make money. Hire them because they can make films that make money. Unbroken was not a good movie in my mind but it made money – thus Angelina Jolie should keep getting hired to direct movies. Ditto Catherine Hardwicke and Ava DuVernay.
It’s a town run by men but it’s also a town run by women. Women have infiltrated the highest echelons of Hollywood and hold top posts – they are heads of studios, production executives, publicists. Yet they too have bought into the patriarchy that says “mentor men because they will be more successful.” Why not mentor women? There is no adequate answer to that question.