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Introduction – #52filmsbywomen

Posted on: February 7, 2016

Vera Chytilova

vera chytilova

I am a slave to lists and I am a slave to my own reflection. I save links to articles on female directors, thinking I’ll read them later, then forget. Or if I do read it, and make a mental list of my own, films I should see, should seek out, and then…forget. I procrastinate when I should be evolving into the well-rounded, culturally informed entity I pretend to be. We’re all frauds, after all.

 

And I’m vain. I want to see film about people like me, with my point of view, or my accent or shape. I try to buy cinema tickets for worthy films, to support films that mean something to me, or to the film industry. Maybe my ticket is the one that lets it cross the line from breaking even to bone fide hit, and allow the filmmaker to get funding for their next endeavour. I want films about women, written by women, made by women. Films with women who have characteristics beyond stripper, prostitute or perfectly tolerant love interest. I’m at the point where I actively avoid films about young white men, even the good ones. I don’t want to see Boyhood because every film is Boyhood. The same experiences, tone, perspective, beats, moments. And it’s not that every film demands a strong female character in its place, or even to pass the Bechdal test. It doesn’t make sense to have a dynamic lead female in The Revenant. But when all we have are Revenants and Boyhoods, you get tired. They get tired. We explore the male psyche so much that it becomes white noise. The homogenisation of cinema hurts everyone.

 

#52filmsbywomen came at the right time for me. I need to do more than grab the opportunities when they arise, or berate and dismiss the work of others just because they happen to come from white, y-chromosome privilege. After all, a man’s voice is no less worthy, just because it’s louder. But until all voices have equal resonance in culture, we must actively seek out work by female and female-minority filmmakers. The film industry won’t believe these voices should be heard until they realise we’re listening.

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