Monday, March 15, 2010

And the Oscar goes to...

Saturday may have been the first day in my 90 days of writing that I didn't do *anything.* Usually, no matter how busy or tired I am, I make sure I do something, even if it's just banging out one sentence. However, I don't feel guilty about missing Day 21. We had wind, rain, floods, near hurricane conditions, and I was driving most of the day. I've never seen such severe flooding. FOUR trees fell on my neighbor's property. Even though the rains have stopped, we're still feeling it. Many people don't have power. We're not allowed to drink our water. Many schools were canceled because of the water problem. I'm so grateful to all the technicians and emergency workers who've been taking care of us all weekend. And there's supposed to be sunshine tomorrow.

Liza asked my thoughts on Kathryn Bigelow winning Best Director this year. I'm thrilled a woman finally won Best Director. Bigelow is only the fourth woman to even be nominated for the award. Now I have more of an incentive to watch The Hurt Locker.

However, I said I'd look for someone who could state my opinion better than myself, and Sarah Fain did a pretty good job. Fantastic that a woman won the Best Director award, but honestly, I don't think it's going to break any great ground for female directors everywhere. Hollywood is a wonderful boys' club. Nora Ephron once said that when she was writing back in the 80s, she would get lists of potential directors, and not one woman would be listed. AFI's 1998 list of the 100 best movies of the century had no movies directed by women. Of the top 250 domestic grossing films in 2007, only 6% were directed by women. The independent route is slightly better for women - and wait, that's how Kathryn Bigelow went with the Hurt Locker.

There's a lot more to be said about women's voices in film, especially when it comes to "women's pictures" and how Hollywood's interpretation of the market diminishes the influence of the female demographic. There's a whole lot of psychology that comes into play in networking, relationships between women and men in the Industry, and relationships between women and women. I wrote a paper on this once, can you tell? If you'd like to read it, just leave a comment with your email or email me.

Is that situation for women improving in Hollywood? I believe it is - but only because some women have fought like hell for their positions and for the rest of us. Bigelow's Oscar is not an event that shatters the glass ceiling. It is the result of all her hard work and the work of the women before her. And from here we keep working.

Sources --
Fournier, Gina. Thelma & Louise and Women in Hollywood.
Lauzen, Ph.D., Martha M. “The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2007.”
Traister, Rebecca. “Chicks Behind Flicks.”
Walker, Susan. “Women on Top of the Film World.”

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