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Top 10 films made by women in last 15 years

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Top 10 films made by women in last 15 years Empty Top 10 films made by women in last 15 years

Post by Admin on Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:48 pm

Mar 9th, 2011 | By Manar Ammar

In 1911, the first International Women’s Day was held after Clara Zetkin, a German socialist proposed the idea the year before at a women’s workers conference in Denmark, in order for every country in the world to not only celebrate women, but also to press for equal rights. Today we celebrate the event. It is no secret how women are overlooked at the Academy Awards every year, even Kathryn Bigelow’s win doesn’t make it completely all right, however, many of 2010′s best films were directed by women including two of the 10 films nominated for Best Picture were directed by women: The Kids Are All Right and Winter’s Bone.

Researching and writing a list about top films made by women seems in itself sexist. To separate female directors from the film pool and highlight their work might seem similar to some as posting your child’s work on the fridge, however the underrated female contribution to film has been evident on many levels. From salary to existence, women directors making films is not a “walk in the park,” but these selected films, who happen to be made by women, are a perfect example of the the great mixture of craft and the artistic vision of a filmmaker.

I choose films that are worthy of mention and honor from just over a decade of filmmaking. It is not a list of top women’s directors nor best films directed by women, it is a list of important films that demand another viewing and a deeper look into their context.

These films are not only about women or women’s issues, where women are expected to excel, they touch on various human subjects from an artistic point of view, and they transcend not only gender but genre.

10 American Psycho, 2000, by Marry Harron. The chilly film about a serial killer of women revels more about the male psyche than many films have superficially touched upon.

Why re-watch it: Marry Harron’s adaptation of the novel by the same name by Bret Easton Ellis and published in 1991 is a masterpiece on gender anxiety, violence and the pressure to succeed. It is as timely now as it was when it was released in 2000.

9 Red Road, 2007, by Andrea Arnold. Red Road is a haunting film that unfolds everything in time and is a powerful take on grief and human connection.

Why re-watch it: Arnold is the only director to have two films on this list; that’s gotta tell you something about her style of filmmaking and how she is merging social realism with successful modern elements that makes the most of her artistic eye.

8 Lost in Translation, 2003, by Sofia Coppola. Sofia was called Francis Ford Coppola’s daughter until she made this film. A warm, sympathetic look at two people’s lives in a foreign land. Foreign is key here. The two main characters needn’t to travel far (in this case Tokyo) to feel estranged.

Why re-watch: It captures a lot without a lot of dialogue and the story is told beautifully. Bill Murray is also brilliant.

7 Boys Don’t Cry, 1999, by Kimberly Peirce. This film follows the gender transformation of Teena Barndon into Brandon Teena in rural Nebraska. Moving and sometimes painful to watch, it captures a personal struggle to find love and acceptance in an intolerant time and location.

Why re-watch it: Re-enjoy Hilary Swank’s performance in a life story that reflects current social violence and rejection.

6 Thirteen, 2004, by Catherine Hardwicke. This is Catherine Hardwicke’s debut film in which she captures troubled teen spirit with great anxiety. And yes, she later made the first Twilight film, but let’s not think about that.

Why re-watch it: To re-capture a family’s anxious existence that is weaved in an all too similar urban American landscape. Location (the city) here alters these characters’ lives granting them with wishes and choices that appears in city life.

5 The Hurt Locker, 2009, by Kathryn Bigelow. This film took a great gamble when it presented a story about an ongoing war and was a box office wet blanket, but what this film offers is a politics-free take on war. This haunting film will leave you with uneasily forgotten moments. It won Bigelow a Best Director Oscar, making her the first female director to win the award.

Why re-watch it: When Bigelow won her Oscar, the question on everybody’s lips was: “really? The first female director to ever win the Oscar … really?”

4 The Apple, 1998, by Samira Makhmalbaf. For 11 long years two daughters are kept prisoners in their own home by their unemployed father and blind mother. Makhmalbaf directed this award winner when she was 17-years-old and having a great director as a father also helps.

Why re-watch it: This film is a fine example of great Iranian cinema; it is all real people, real events and with the absent presence of politics. The film says so much more about women’s lives in a poor Iranian village than all the torture porn that we have recently seen (wink wink: the Stoning of Soyria M, a film i personally would rather be stoned than have to sit through it again).

3 An Education, 2009, by Lone Scherfig. This film, baised on an autobiographical novel about growing up in the 1960s as a young girl and having to choose one path for your life, is unfortunately still timely around the world.

Why re-watch it: because the film doesn’t simply asks familiar questions such as “why should women have education if they will eventually get married and serve their families?” and investigates it.

2 Fish Tank, 2009, by Andrea Arnold. Winner of Cannes Jury Prize, Fish Tank is British realism at its best. The second film on this list by director Andrea Arnold presents a gritty story of family, love and growing up.The director’s portrayal of an impoverished life in the city of Essex carefully doesn’t descend to exploit class drama and still finds much needed beauty within unhappy and unfulfilled lives.

Why re-watch: because you probably haven’t watch it yet. If you have, you can re-enjoy the flawless performances by Kate Jarvis and Michael Fassbender.

1 Winter’s Bone, 2010. It was Bikya Masr’s 2010 favorite film. Winter’s bone invaded a rarely visited area in the Ozark Mountain in Missouri, where every moment of this film seeps with suspension. The film takes you inside a forgotten world. Debra Granik wrote and directed this film that won many awards at film festivals, including Best Film and Best Writing at the Sundance film festival and went on to gross four Oscar nominations, including best writing for Garnik .

Why re-watch it: Peter Travers, Rolling Stones’ film critic, said “Every once in a rare while a movie gets inside your head and heart, rubbing your emotions raw. The remarkable Winter’s Bone is just such a movie.”

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