Lady Directors, Aidan Quinn and Oscar Contenders: January 2014 in Films

Forgive me for posting this a day late. Somehow I totally forgot it was February until I realized today is Groundhog Day and I still haven’t watched Groundhog Day. Needless to say, I will be watching Groundhog Day soon. This month’s round up will be pretty brief. I’ve been trying to watch more movies directed by ladies and I’ve done a pretty stellar job of it (though I could be watching more!) and I’ve started a new feature called Female Filmmaker Friday that I hope you all enjoy. As always, after the cut you can read what I’ve been watching, as well as a few featured films.


  1. Seems Like Old Times
  2. Number, Please? (1920)
  3. I Do (1921)
  4. Haunted Spooks
  5. August: Osage County
  6. Short Term 12
  7. Impulse
  8. Bumping Into Broadway
  9. Captain Phillips
  10. All Is Lost (2013)
  11. Rush
  12. Philomena
  13. The Butler
  14. Primrose Path
  15. Grand Central Murder
  16. Saving Mr. Banks
  17. All My Life
  18. Mothlight
  19. Trade Tattoo
  20. Girls Just Want To Have Fun
  21. The Virginian (1946)
  22. Just Like a Woman
  23. That’s What She Said
  24. News from Home
  25. Desperately Seeking Susan
  26. Reckless
  27. And The Oscar Goes To. . .
  28. Making Mr. Right
  29. Cookie (1989)
  30. Gun Fight
  31. Electric Dreams
  32. Smithereens
  33. Ritual in Transfigured Time
  34. The Invisible Woman (2013)
  35. Monte Carlo (1930)
  36. Nights in Rodanthe

1880s: 0
1880s: 0
1890s: 0
1900s: 0
1910s: 1
1920s: 3
1930s: 2
1940s: 4
1950s: 0
1960s: 3
1970s: 1
1980s: 8
1990s: 1
2000s: 1
2010s: 12

Three of these films were directed by women and I’m going to up my intake of female directed films this year so that I watch at least one (but hopefully more) films a week directed by women. I think there are more films out there that people haven’t heard of that really need to be seen and I’m going to do my best to give them exposure.

Short Term 12, 2013 (dir. Destin Daniel Creton)


This is a simple, yet powerful indie-drama with a star-making turn from Brie Larson about a woman who works at a short term foster care facility who has her own demons to contend with as she helps the children. The relationship dynamics between her and all the other characters – from the children to her co-workers to her boss – are all complex and have a refreshing realness to them.

News From Home, 1977 (dir. Chantal Akerman)


This is such a sad and melancholy art film (documentary?). Akerman juxtaposes letters from her mother – we never hear Akerman’s letters back – with images of 1970s New York City. The NYC that Akerman captures is the same NYC you think of when you think about Taxi Driver and it’s got the same loneliness attached to it, only we just get the images to tell us this, not a character. I’m looking forward to delving into Akerman’s narrative features.

Desperately Seeking Susan, 1985 (dir. Susan Seidelman)


I can’t believe I’d never seen this film before! I’ll be writing more about it for next week’s Female Filmmaker Friday, so for now I’ll just say this is everything I love about 1980s American cinema.

Reckless, 1984 (dir. James Foley)


I was recommended I watch this after tweeting about the hotness of Aidan Quinn in Desperately Seeking Susan and I am so glad I did. What a hot man, but also what a force on the big screen. Another gem of the 1980s featuring a killer soundtrack – not one, not two , but THREE INXS songs! Also, any movie where someone hijacks the music at a high school dance to put on Romeo Void is aces in my book. Also, also, the film was written by Chris Columbus. Yes, that Chris Columbus.

Smithereens, 1982 (dir. Susan Seidelman)


I wrote a lot about this film on Friday, but I just want to reiterate how great this film and how important a film it is not only for female filmmakers, but American independent cinema and American cinema period. We can’t let seminal films like this be left out of the history of cinema!

So that was January. February’s already gotten off to a great start and I’ve got some big things in the works. I’ll see you guys in the movies!

About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on February 2, 2014, in 2014 in Films and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Short Term 12 was a devastating gripping movie that was so well done. The octopus story scene crushed me. I remember seeing Desperately Seeking Susan in the theater & even though I can’t claim it’s a great movie, it has a guilty pleasure quality to it for me, quite possibly nostalgia.

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