– . – Female directors challenge status quo
Female directors challenge status quo
Talent knows neither gender nor race, but Hollywood is still a place where the opening of Catherine Hardwicke’s TWILIGHT, at practically $70 million, is touted as “the highest ever for a female director.” The day may come when “female” and “black” are no longer considered separate categories but, until then, directing is predominantly a white, good ol’ boys’ club.
Which isn’t to say that women helmers haven’t been represented on screens this year—Courtney Hunt (FROZEN RIVER), Gina Prince-Bythewood (THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES), Kelly Reichardt (WENDY AND LUCY), Kimberly Peirce (STOP-LOSS), Phyllida Lloyd (MAMMA MIA!), Darnell Martin (CADILLAC RECORDS) and Isabel Coixet (ELEGY), to name just a few—yet femme helmers are still the the minority in the US entertainment business.
Writer-director Hunt shopped her debut script, FROZEN RIVER, she says, to “every single film company out there” and kept getting the same response: “We love the script, but (lead actress) Melissa Leo isn’t well enough known. She’s not going to (draw) box office.” Hunt, who earned a law degree before turning to film, refused to budge, asserting, “I don’t think there is a better actress for this part.”