CAPTAIN FANTASTIC came up in conversation at the bar last night. Cata, who liked the film, didn’t understand my problems with it. She asked why I needed the film to be about women in order to like it. She said films don’t have to be about women. I said EXACTLY. And they are usually not.I’m showing 17 movies at this festival (2 left to go). The festival is programmed by women and men who are interested in showcasing films made by women. They also show queer films and indie movies. I generally enjoy the films I get to show, although not all are ones I would have sought out under different circumstances.
Here’s a rundown of my schedule this year. A * denotes either a woman director or a strong female story. PS there are TWO, possibly three, strong female stories.
CAPTAIN FANTASTIC – directed by a man, about men. A few girls are in there, but they don’t have many lines and do not drive the story. Basically a male coming of age film.
UNCLE HOWARD – directed by a man about a man (documentary). A few women turn up, but they are not the focus.
*LONG WAY NORTH – directed by a man, but the story focuses on the adventures of a young girl.
MORRIS FROM AMERICA – directed by a man, male coming of age film.
MILES – directed by a man, male coming of age film.
**POLITICAL ANIMALS – co-directed by a woman and a man, this doc specifically focuses on the work of lesbians in the California legislature that led to the legalization of gay marriage. In the Q&A, the filmmakers specifically noted that they made the film because the work of lesbians in the history of gay rights in this country has been consistently overlooked and marginalized.
WEINER DOG – male director about all sorts of miserable people and a dog. I didn’t watch this one, but it seems an even split, gender-focus-wise. We’ll call it Even.
DER STAAT GEGEN FRITZ BAUER – Directed by a man about men. (ps I really liked this one.)
LITTLE MEN – directed by a man about boys but also family. Fairly even on the gender split, leaning a bit toward male. Also, boring.
INDIGNATION – directed by a man, male coming of age film.
OTHER PEOPLE – directed by a man, mostly about a man (but also about his mother’s death). This is one of two Molly Shannon films I showed! And one of two films about a woman dying from cancer shown at the fest. Death is so hot right now!
HUNT FOR WILDERPEOPLE – directed by a man, male coming of age story.
*OUR KIND OF TRAITOR – female director, story focuses on men.
DON’T THINK TWICE – directed by a man, pretty even on the gender split.
LAZY EYE – directed by a man, about two men.
**JEWELS CATCH ONE – directed by a woman, doc about a Los Angeles disco that was started by a woman. I haven’t shown it yet, but I’m assuming there will be a lot of female voices in there.
*STRIKE A POSE – co-directed by a woman (and another woman? I’m not good with Dutch names), about Madonna’s dancers for the Blonde Ambition tour (I believe they are all men). This ones hasn’t played yet, but I’m not expecting to see many women who are not Madonna on screen.
Do you see what I’m getting at? I watch a lot of movies. It’s not news to me that they are mostly about men, but the older I get, the less I care about movies about men. They have to be really good for me to put up with the ones that leave the women on the cutting room floor.