Sunday, March 7, 2010

Happy Women's History Month...

I don't usually write about film anymore, but as a woman who was once a young girl dreaming of writing and directing, I would be completely remiss if I didn't point out that it is completely poignant and about damn time that a woman finally won Best Director at the Academy Awards. It's a bit sad it took this long, but the fact that we are in the middle of Women's History Month just drives the point home.

When I was a kid, I would write pretend Oscar acceptance speeches. I wanted to be the first woman to win for directing. I had no idea what the movie would be about, and given my penchant for romantic comedies, I never stopped to consider my work might never make it to the production stages, let alone nominations! I think I partially just simply wanted to take what I wanted to believe was my rightful place in history.

I also just wanted to prove a point: if women have to go through their lives being told they are the more emotional sex, then women should be celebrated when they utilize such emotions in their storytelling. This win was a victory not only for women but for the true art of cinematic storytelling as it once was. With so much focus these days on technology and special effects, awards are often given to the "flashy" choice; voters choosing style over substance and story. Yes, Bigelow utilized visual effects in her Oscar-winning film, but she did so in a way that allowed them to serve the story, rather than be the story. They made the world her characters were in more believable, but they did not overpower the very real moments between the characters.

There is still an unfortunate shortage of women directors in Hollywood, especially in non-genre niche projects, but hopefully now that can start to change. Bigelow didn't just win a directing award; she won one for a war film. She not crossed over into so-called "man territory" in many more ways than one but also took over.

I no longer want to write and direct feature films, but if I did I would have absolutely no problem losing the "first" female director title to Bigelow!

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