Wednesday, February 08, 2006
This billboard is at Sunset and Cahuenga, a mile from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Interesting. Yes, only three women have ever been nominated as best director. I mean, if you want to get into the whole Oscar snubbery thing, only one African American has been nominated for best director. And we could go on. More substantive, though, is the figure that only 7 percent of the top 250 movies of the past year were directed by women. What does this mean, especially when critic Carrie Rickey observes that four of the six major Hollywood studios have women in top executive roles? Good movies are getting made by women -- I once again offer Sally Potter and her Yes, which was radiant but ignored last year, and Niki Caro, who made the excellent Whale Rider and North Country. Also: Sofia Coppola, Patty Jenkins (Monster), Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry). Yes, they're not getting nominated every year and they're not making boatloads of money and they don't have the god-like power of a Spielberg. But they are getting movies made, and with every person under 30 in film school, I'm sure the demographics will even out quickly. Now it's just a matter of getting these women distribution and audiences, not money and Oscars. I'm not sure if Queen Kong was the right symbol to convey this disparity.