Publicity photo courtesy Warner Bros.

Women making movies: What to watch

Text Gary Chun

Until the day when women gain equal footing in all aspects of the film industry with men, it's still worth celebrating their accomplishments in light of the great box office and critical reception Wonder Woman has received this weekend. Combined with recent efforts by Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and Ava DuVernay (Selma), director Patty Jenkins shows that women can deliver tentpole movies successfully.

The website IndieWire has recently posted a trio of articles/listicles that both highlight Jenkins' journey in finally making Wonder Woman along with timely reminders of what excellent films -- both studio and independent -- women have made this century (so far) and the memorable characters they've portrayed on screen.

Along with the announcement of the Brie Larson vehicle Captain Marvel to be co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Falk, Jenkins said in a feature interview that she hopes she's helped open the door for making major movies featuring female superheroes of all types.

“I’m thrilled for more female-centered superheroes, more women doing them and what they will be like,” she said. “More people of color doing them, maybe people who identify with other kinds of struggles, doing superheroes that have those struggles, I think that’s all fucking amazing. Anything that teaches the world to find a hero in themselves that speaks to them is all good to me.”

Wonder Woman, the movie and the heroine portrayed by Gal Gadot, will assuredly join the lists of memorable films and characters fully formed by women. As part of IndieWire's 10 of Our Favorite Action Heroines list, she rightly earns his place amongst ass-kickers Sarah Connor, Foxy Brown, The Bride from Kill Bill, and Lady Snowblood.

Whale Rider (Publicity photo courtesy Pandora Film Produktion)

And after seeing Wonder Woman inspires you to see other noteworthy women-helmed films, look no further for a good reference point as The 25 Best Films Directed By Women in the 21st Century. My personal favorites in the listicle that I think more people should see are Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin, Whale Rider (Niki Caro, pictured), The Babadook (Jennifer Kent), Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt), Lovely & Amazing (Nicole Holofcener), Jenkins' Monster (which won Charlize Theron an Oscar in 2003), and honorable mentions Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold), and Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July).


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