A Year With Women: January 2015 in Films

So January was officially my first month in A Year With Women and boy was it a great start to the year! For the first time in the longest time I pretty much loved everything I watched. I got to a bunch of films I had been meaning to watch for ages and saw some things I probably would never has sought out ordinarily. You can watch my video reviews of everything I watched in January here on YouTube. As always, after the cut is a full list of what I watched in January and a little bit on my five favorite films from the month.


  1. Mississippi Masala
  2. Me and You and Everyone We Know
  3. I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing
  4. Your Sister’s Sister
  5. Variety (1983)
  6. In A World. . .
  7. Efter brylluppet (After The Wedding)
  8. The Guilt Trip
  9. The Lifeguard (2013)
  10. Miss Julie (2014)
  11. Hanging Up
  12. Cristo Rey
  13. I Will Follow
  14. Bowl of Pork
  15. Me and My Moulton
  16. Dreaming Los Angeles
  17. The Awakening (2011 short)
  18. The Haircut
  19. Symphony No. 42
  20. Dawn
  21. Big Money!
  22. The Bigger Picture
  23. The Apothecary
  24. Gas Food Lodging
  25. Little Accidents
  26. Appropriate Behavior
  27. Musical Chairs
  28. Lore
  29. Song One
  30. The Notorious Bettie Page
  31. With This Ring
  32. Viaggio sola (A Five Star Life)
  33. Phat Girlz
  34. Temblor

1880s: 0
1890s: 0
1900s: 0
1910s: 0
1920s: 0
1930s: 0
1940s: 0
1950s: 0
1960s: 0
1970s: 0
1980s: 2
1990s: 3
2000s: 5
2010s: 24

As you can see by the data above, I’ve mostly seen films from the last four decades. This is partially because that’s when women really started getting opportunities to direct (especially in America) and partially because I haven’t had access to some of the earlier films I’ve wanted to check out. I do have a few films Norwegian director Edith Calmar from the fifties that I’ll be watching in the coming weeks, so that’s exciting. That said, these five films are my favorites that I watched in January. Again, if you want to know what I thought about all of the films I watched last month, you can watch video reviews of them all here on YouTube.

Me and You and Everyone We Know, 2005 (dir. Miranda July)


God I loved this movie so much. I can’t believe it took me a whole decade to watch it! I remember seeing the ads for it when I was in college and I have no idea why I didn’t watch it then! Also, in 2009-2010 when I fell so hard for John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone/Deadwood, I still didn’t seek it out! Ah, well, sometimes you have to wait until you are ready and then the movie will find you and it will be perfect. I think this year was the year I needed to see this movie and now I am so grateful that it is part of my life. It’s so delicately constructed and so beautifully shot. And I still want a mug that says “I’ve got cattitude!”

Gas Food Lodging, 1992 (dir. Allison Anders)


This one was recommended by several people when they found out about my plans for A Year With Women and I’m so glad I found it for rent on YouTube. I love Allison Anders’s film Grace of My Heart so much, but I loved this film even more. It’s one of the most accurate depictions of mothers and daughters and sisters I think I’ve ever seen. We need more movies like this!

Appropriate Behavior, 2015 (dir. Desiree Akhavan)


Even if I weren’t only watching films by women in 2015, this would be my favorite film of the year. I saw it very early on in the year, but it’s going to take a doozy of a movie to knock this film off its top spot for 2015 releases. It is everything I want in a movie. It’s about Shirin, a heartbroken bisexual woman who is trying to get over and/or get her ex back. The structure is like Annie Hall, as you see how they met and broke up in flashes while you follow Shirin’s journey to recovery. It’s a beautiful film and you can also rent it on YouTube!

The Notorious Bettie Page, 2005 (dir. Mary Harron)


I remember seeing the trailers for this one when I was in college too, but somehow I never got around to seeing it (I was very poor in college). But, again, I’m glad I waited til this year to see it. Partially because it really fits with what I am discovering about films by women about women, but also I am so in love with Gretchen Mol (Gillian will forever be one of my favorite characters from Boardwalk Empire). If you didn’t see  Lynn Shelton’s film Laggies last year, you are in for a Gretchen Mol treat! She’s such a great actress, I wish she got the recognition she deserves!

Phat Girlz, 2006 (dir. Nnegest Likké)


This is not a great movie. It might not even be a good movie. But goddamn is it an enjoyable movie! It’s also got its heart right on its sleeve and will run you through the gamut of emotions. Praise be to Mo’Nique, who is such a unique and important performer! I just read that she is going to be Ma Rainey in Dee Rees’s biopic about Bessie Smith (played by Queen Latifah) on HBO later this year and I am so excited. See this movie! See that movie! See all the movies!

So that was January. I also was interviewed by The Guardian about my project, which you can read here. If you like what I have to say (or even if you disagree with it!) I would love to hear your feedback/please share the article! The more conversation on the topic, the better! Also, keep following me on Twitter and I’ll keep you informed about what films are coming out that are written/directed by women that you can see in theaters and on VOD all year long!


About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on February 1, 2015, in 2015 in Films and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Lovin’ this project, keep bookmarking all your lists so I that I can be sure to get around to watching these film. THanks~

  2. It is amazing to see how women’s role in movies has evolved. A woman director would have been unheard of just a few decades ago. I think the Internet has played a big role in drawing attention to the unequal opportunities between men and women. Social media in particular has helped in our strife. It is blogs like this that draw attention to the headway women have made in industries, like the film industry. Social media brings those who want to make a difference together and help in organize our thoughts and ideas.

  1. Pingback: The Roundup: February 2, 2015 | The Frame

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