To commemorate Women’s History Month, we thought we’d share some of the fantastic contributions women make to the art of filmmaking!
Let’s start with the title of this blog post – I stole it completely from a great media arts organization that distributes cutting-edge films by and about women from around the world. You guessed it! It’s called Women Make Movies. Check out their complete catalog of films to see the breadth and diversity of the films they distribute. And, if you want to view some right away, look at our library holdings. It’s great stuff!
So, you know Alice Guy-Blaché and Lois Weber, right? Sure you do – they’re among the pioneers of early film (of either gender) that broke ground for all filmmakers. If you want to refresh your memory, watch this film about their remarkable careers (it’s in VHS format, so feel free to view it at the Library AV Center where we have VHS equipment at the ready). We also have books about Guy-Blaché and Weber, and much more information generally about women in the film industry. It’s a rich and often-overlooked history.
Who are some other female filmmakers of note? These are just some of my favorites, from the obscure to the very mainstream. Have fun!
- Dorothy Arzner – in Classic Hollywood, Arzner made quite a splash with provocative films from the Pre-Production Code era. Be prepared to clutch your pearls!
- Germaine Dulac – among French experimental and avant-garde filmmakers, Dulac made history with her art. Especially interesting as a follow-up to the recent JHU French Film Festival!
- Julie Dash – an African American filmmaker famous for her poignant film Daughters of the Dust.
- Penny Marshall – from early fame in TV’s Laverne & Shirley, Marshall has produced and directed several mainstream classics.
- Jane Campion – a New Zealander, Campion’s credits include such fine films as The Piano and The Portrait of a Lady, among others.
- Kathryn Bigelow – the first woman to win an academy award for best director for Hurt Locker, some of her earlier films are also in our library collection.
Want to explore more about women in the film industry? In addition to all the material linked to above, take a look at this book (yes, BOOK): Women Directors and their Films. That will surely give you lots of great ideas.
Find even more information via the tools on the Film & Media Studies Research Guide!