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Showing posts from February, 2013

Women Directors at Cannes & Maïwenn's Polisse

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The other day, I saw Maïwenn's Polisse at last and marvelled at her skill in writing and directing an absorbing multi-protagonist narrative, as well as acting in it. Polisse won the Prix de Jury at Cannes in 2011, a fine achievement from within the French industry, where women directors are as challenged as they are elsewhere in the world. And now it's time to start thinking about women at Cannes (15-26 May) again. This year, Jane Campion will head the Cinéfondation and Short Film Jury (the first woman to do so?) Steven Spielberg is the Jury's president. How many women have entered their short films and features? Who's advocating for their inclusion?

In the meantime, to continue my series on women directors at Cannes from last year (listed below with a couple of other posts from earlier years) here's a clip about Maïwenn's experience of Cannes and her big win. Made me smile!


Cannes 2010
You CANNES Not Be Serious!

Cannes 2011
Yes We CANNES Do It!

Cannes 2012
Director…

Laura Thies – an inspiring German woman director

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Many countries have their own crowd-funding sites now. But it seems that there's not a lot of cross-border traffic, except into and out of the States. Because I think that cross-border co-productions may be one path to more features by and about women, I want to learn more about women's features around the world. One way to learn is by following crowd-funding campaigns. So I was delighted to see this German clip from Laura Thies, made for Woods of Words, the second feature she'll direct. It enchanted me.



Laura, her writer Josephine Ehlert and their team are about to start a new crowd-funding campaign, so I asked Laura a few questions about the project and its context. Her energetic response includes a stunning term I hadn't heard before and can imagine using a lot : 'doom-loop'!

Zero Dark Thirty: The Director as Backing Singer?

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I didn't much want to go to Zero Dark Thirty. I scare easily at the movies and don't often watch war films or action films. I love thrillers though, and I'm waiting for a new thriller about the war against violence against women, an ongoing event in real time – on 14 February Eve Ensler's One Billion Rising is a turning point in that story.

But I'd followed some of the controversy about Zero Dark Thirty, read reports of what Kathryn Bigelow says about her film and watched her speak on various clips. And I'm very interested in issues around work that's hybrid, a mix of documentary and fiction (in New Zealand, Alyx Duncan's recent The Red House and two projects that are on their way, Leanne Pooley's Beyond the Edge about Sir Edmund Hillary's ascent of Everest in 1953 and Gaylene Preston's Hope and Wire series about the Christchurch earthquakes.) So when a beloved friend was willing to go to Zero Dark Thirty, someone I knew would hold my hand …