So Mockingjay had a big opening. And here's @licoricehazel's immediate response–
That' s all terrific. And as a New Zealander, I'm especially proud and delighted because 'our' Lorde curated the music. And wrote and performed some of it too.
But I'm also remembering that men wrote almost all the Hunger Games scripts and directed all of the films. And I'm reflecting on that depressing data on women who make films and about the (mis)representation of women and girls in films. It continues to pour out. A storm. A flood. A tsunami. It's almost overwhelming.
In September, the European Audiovisual Observatory released Female Directors in European Films: State of Play and Evolution Between 2003 and 2012 – the first substantial study to measure the director 'gender divide' at pan-European level.
Since then I've been thinking about the various recent reports and their interrelationships, in an attempt to understand where and how women writers and directors might best choose to work and what might help us to do that, especially those of us who live outside the United States, in countries where the government funds films. Because I fit into this group, the data speaks to me most strongly when it illuminates or confirms ideas about how we might resolve our local 'gender problems', with more films written and directed by diverse women and more films that represent diverse women and girls. I'm also interested in the bigger picture, for the many American women filmmakers I know, working in a country without government film funds.
But it's important to remember that whether or not we live in the United States our practices are as diverse as we are. Some of us want to tell our stories independently, outside the United States and for the world, to reach the audiences we know are there but are largely ignored. And/or to reach audiences unfamiliar with entertainment that comes from outside Hollywood– audiences that may believe that this kind of entertainment consists only of 'arthouse' films. Some want to use film to explore an idea, to experiment, to make an 'arthouse' film. Some of us want to be assimilated into the patriarchy of Hollywood as directors-for-hire. Some of us want to work with Hollywood only if it welcomes our own stories and/or more diversity among its workers and within the stories it chooses to tell. Some of us want to combine elements of several of these options. Some of us want to make a living from writing and directing films. Others don't. Some of us will always put women and girls at the centre of the story. Some of us won't.