I think showing the range of voices from female filmmakers can scare some people. We look at the range of voices in popular male filmmakers and we take for granted how vastly different they are from Spielberg’s heart to Scorsese’s brain to Bay’s testosterone. And into indie from Wes Anderson’s fairy tale dreaminess and Spike Jonze fever dreams or Lynch’s WTF to Tarantino’s crass and kick ass or Korine who isn’t for most people.
What if the women who dare make films as vast and edgy and risk taking took those risks without pause? Oh. What? They do?
So is it us?
Could we take in a female Larry Clark? Or even a female Tarantino? The 90s had Reichardt and Talalay and Leder and Anders leading the charge. Where did they go? (Rhetorical. They went to tv) Wachowski takes big dreams and complex philosophy and creates entertainment. And Harron. My hero. She dares on many levels (most of us women can barely pick up AMERICAN PSYCHO, let alone adapt it). Jenkins and Bigelow play in the boys’ sandbox.
There are women who make crazy ass shit. There are women who make sweet and tame in a crazy ass way.
These women are creating without pause. They dare to create what comes out of their brains. Their female brains.
Do we dare to watch? Do we dare to look at women’s brains? No matter how ambitious, how whimsical, how inclusive or exclusive, how morbid or light, how vapid or cerebral? Are we willing to embrace the cynicism? The bluntness?
And can we handle the sisterhood? The women telling stories with sisters who may still have a more stifled voice. Can we handle the stories sisters tell sisters?
I know programming WTxFF has challenged me with these very questions. There is edgy I know I shirk because it’s too “not female.” I watch those films twice maybe five times before deciding. I am a woman and an advocate and I admit it’s not easy to watch a woman’s work without my own societal (and false) definition of the female voice.
An audience has power. An audience, with their money and online chatter can make or break a filmmaker. Our preconceived notions can oppress without us even knowing. You and I have power.