Your favourite films by women directors?

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Your favourite films by women directors?

Postby jcdavies » Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:52 pm

Innocence (Hadzihalilovic)
Silences of the Palace (Tlatli)
Madchen in Uniform (Sagan)
The House is Black (Farrokhzad)
The Piano (Campion)
The Ascent (Shepitko)
Story of the Weeping Camel (Davaa, Falorni)
The Day I Became a Woman (Meshkini)
Cleo from 5 to 7 (Varda)
Orlando (Potter)
Europa Europa (Holland)
The Apple (Samira Makhmalbaf)
Titus (Taymor)
Big (Marshall)
Baise-moi (Despentes, Trin Thi)
Daisies (Chytilova)
The Holy Girl (Martel)
Little Dorrit (Edzard)
Blackboards (Samira Makhmalbaf)
An Angel at my Table (Campion)
My Brilliant Career (Armstrong)
Triumph of the Will (Riefenstahl)
The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Reiniger)
Daughters of the Dust (Dash)
Strange Days (Bigelow)
Salaam Bombay (Nair)
Hour of the Star (Amaral)
Chocolat (Denis)
Boys Don't Cry (Peirce)
At Five in the Afternoon (Samira Makhmalbaf)
Meshes of the Afternoon (Deren)
Metamorphosis of Mr Samsa (Leaf)

not seen L'Intrus (Denis), Jeanne Dielman (Akerman) or Red Road (Arnold), among others.

working towards our own little canon....

Re: Your favourite films by women directors?

Postby A » Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:02 am

Good list. Havent seen all of them, but also dont consider all of those I have to be great. But female filmmakers are still marginalized, although a lot has happened in the last two decades.

And btw. John, you shouldnt forget to mention Alexander Hammid when you are speaking of Meshes of the Afternoon. He was a forerunner of the new wave in Czechoslovakia in the 60s, with his poetic films from the 30s. He is also at least as interesting and important a filmmaker as Deren herself - besides having taught her most about filmmaking himself. Just noticed that imdb isnt even listing all of his 30s work... :x

On a sidenote, Im aso glad you picked Baise-moi. As you might know, only few people like that film.

My Top 25 in chronological order with additional two that are Straub/Huillet

Clo de 5 7 Cleo from 5 to 7 (1961 / France / Agnes Varda)
La drive (1964 / France / Paula Delsol)
Sedmikrasky Daisies (1966 / Czechoslovakia / Vera Chytilov)
Eltvozott nap The Girl (1968 / Hungary / Mrta Mszros)
Othon (1969 / West Germany, Italy / Jean-Marie Straub, Daniele Huillet)
rkbefogads Adoption (1975 / Hungary / Mrta Mszros
Voskhozhdeniye Ascent (1976 / Soviet Union / Larisa Shepitko)
Maternale Mother and Daughter (1978 / Italy / Giovanna Gagliardo)
Klassenverhltnisse Class Relations (1984 / West Germany, France / Danile Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub)
Sans toit ni loi Vagabond (1985 / France / Agnes Varda)
Rosa Luxemburg (1986 / West Germany / Margarethe von Trotta)
Sale comme un ange Dirty Like Angel (1989 / France / Catherine Breillat)
Europa Europa Europa Europe (1990 / Germany, France, Poland / Agnieszka Holland)
Ketu qiuhen Song of the Exile (1990 / Hong Kong, Taiwan / Ann Hui)
The Piano (1993 / Australia, New Zealand, France / Jane Campion)
Moe no Suzaku Suzaku (1996 / Japan / Naomi Kawase)
Verrckt bleiben - verliebt bleiben (1997 / Germany / Elfi Mikesch)
Boys Don't Cry (1999 / USA / Kimberly Peirce)
Jesus' Son (1999 / Canada, USA / Alison Maclean)
Baise-moi @#%$ Me (2000 / France / Virginie Despentes, Coralie Trin Thi)
Vendredi soir Friday Night (2002 / France / Claire Denis)
My Life without Me (2003 / Spain, Canada / Isabel Coixet)
Te doy mis ojos Take my eyes (2003 / Spain / Icar Bollan)
Marseille (2004 / Germany / Angela Schanelec)
Babooska (2005 / Austria, Italy / Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel)
La-bas Down There (2006 / Belgium, France / Chantal Akerman)

Re: Your favourite films by women directors?

Postby jcdavies » Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:27 am

Most of the ones you mention that aren't on my list i haven't seen- not easy to get hold of here. I liked My Life without me, though with some reservations about its message. Baise-moi feels like a guilty pleasure as it's widely disliked, but i suppose that's the main point of the film- the difference in social attitudes and audience reactions to sex and violence involving women, compared to the same by men; a deliberately challenging inversion. You've reminded me of Huillet, and Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach. I will look out for Hammid. You're a true expert on European cinema. Song of Exile is one i've been wanting to see.

Re: Your favourite films by women directors?

Postby A » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:50 pm

My Life without me (2003) is probably the movie at which I cried most when I saw it for the first time - and I was at a sold-out screening with a friend. Boy, you should have seen me. The only rival to that would be Edward Scissorhands (1990). But I saw that at home.

Baise-moi needed a rewatch from me to get a proper evaluation. The first time I was just shocked. I think what most people dislike about it (at least subconsciously), is that it doesn`t leave you with a sense of satisfaction in any scene, and you cannot feel safe while you watch it. You are like a forced voyeur to everything that`s going on.

"The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach" didnt quite make my list, though it might after a 2nd viewing.

And I`m not really an expert (that would probably be wpqx, arsaib and especially John), just lucky to have caught some great films by women when they were showing them at the theater or on TV. But to my defence, I must also add that I rented some of the films on purpose.

Until recently I was completely unaware of Alexander Hammid (or Alexander Hackenschmied - that`s how he called himself before he came to America), but we had a seminar at University, where our great professor introduced us to some of his films (and some other Czechoslovakian movies from the 30s). In return, I introduced everybody to Sarunas Bartas.
I hope you`ll be lucky with finding some of his (early) films!

Re: Your favourite films by women directors?

Postby madhuban » Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:27 pm

Very catholic lists, John and A. I haven't seen a number of films on both your lists. Istead of zooming in on favourites (which I find rather difficult to do), I'll put down a rather long list of films I liked very much, in no particular order. My clear favourite, though, among women directors is Agnes Varda and she keeps coming back like a refrain I've seen 8 films by her so far and I am kind of bewitched my the so-called 'grandmother of the nouvelle vague'.

Triumph of the Will (Leni Riefenstahl)
Meshes of Afternoon (Maya Deren)
The House Is Black (Forugh Farrokhzad)
Cleo from 5 to 7 (Agnes Varda)
Daisies (Vera Chytilova)
Asthenic Syndrome (Kira Muratova)
The Gleaners and I (Agnes Varda)
Blackboards (Samira Makhmalbaf)
The Day I Became a Woman (Marzieh Meshkini)
The Joy of Madness (Hanna Makhmalbaf)
Anatomy of Hell (Catherine Breillat)
The Swamp - (Lucrecia Martel)
Sweetie - (Jane Campion)
Le Bonheur (Agnes Varda)
Titus - (Julie Taymor)
Boys Don't Cry (Kimberley Peirce)
A Study in Choreography for the Camera (Maya Deren)
The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Danielle Huillet/Jean-Marie Straub)
Fruits of Paradise (Vera Chytilova)
36 Chowringhee Lane (Aparna Sen)
Vagabond (Agnes Varda)
Kali Salwar (Fareeda Mehta)
The Lost Honour of Katherina Blum (Margarethe Von Trotta/Volker Schlondorff)
Riddles of the Sphinx (Laura Mulvey)
Sophie (Liv Ullman)
The Connection (Shirley Clarke)
Apple (Samira Makhmalbaf)
Dageurreotypes (agnes Varda)
Europa Europa (Agnieszka Holland)
Baise-moi (Virginie Despentes/Coralie Trin Thi)

Re: Your favourite films by women directors?

Postby jcdavies » Sun Jan 07, 2007 7:04 pm

A: The last film that really made me blub, at least the first time i saw it was...A.I. Artificial Intelligence (not so much its quality, it just hit a nerve). Madhuban; good to see we seem to have similar tastes though of course there are less films to choose from by women. I'd like to see more by both Varda and especially Akerman.

Re: Your favourite films by women directors?

Postby arsaib4 » Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:39 pm

I expected Claire Denis to be better represented in these lists. But I guess most of her early work is still widely unavailable.

Re: Your favourite films by women directors?

Postby madhuban » Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:40 pm

I am embarrassed to say that I haven't seen any films by Akerman, and have so far managed to see only one short by Clare Denis. The one I am talking about is Vers Nancy, Denis' contribution to the Ten Minutes Older: The Cello project, which I liked a lot.

@John and A

I am really curious to know what made you guys like The Piano. I found The Piano too pretty to be anywhere near provocative, which I asume was Campion's intent. Much of the sex and violence seemed unnecessarily aestheticised and pretentious. I saw it when I was 20 and maybe I missed something.


I did realise that we have quite a few overlaps when I was putting down my list. The one film whose inclusion in your list made me very happy was Julie Taymor's Titus, which I've always felt has been vastly underrated in favour of a much lesser film by her, Frida.

I am eagerly waiting for lists from the others.


Re: Your favourite films by women directors?

Postby wpqx » Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:41 pm

This is a weak spot for me, and although I've seen two Akerman films, I'm not of the opinion that she's the greatest thing to happen to European film since Godard, like some rather enthusiastic critics pointed out at the time. I also wasn't too impressed with The Piano, and enjoyed Angel at My Table more from Campion. I have a VHS of Two Sisters that I haven't gotten to watch yet, but who knows.

Re: Your favourite films by women directors?

Postby jcdavies » Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:33 pm

I've enjoyed quite a high percentage of films by women, without being stunned by the brilliance of many obvious masterpieces. I'm not sure what to make of that yet. My taste/sexism, simply the relative lack still of opportunities for women, more modest female ambitions or their greater maturity, or stronger instinct for literary authorship...? Anyway, I would love to have a personal top 100 (and see other lists) full of films by women.

Gilbert Adair was very dismissive of women directors in his excellent book Flickers; i wonder whether he's been more impressed in the years and more numerous films since.


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