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A Year With Women: 103 Essential Films By Female Filmmakers


Find out more about A Year With Women here.

Lately I’ve become more and more frustrated with the various “best ever” lists that have been released because they rarely feature films by women, or if they do it’s usually one or two films. I think this is more a reflection of those who are polled for these kinds of lists, as well as a compounding of history on itself. For so long films by men have made up the bulk of the film canon and I think people are afraid to add new films to these revered lists. I also think many people haven’t seen very many films by women, or if they have it’s always the same handful of films. In an attempt to create a better, more inclusive list of great films by women, I polled over 500 critics, filmmakers, bloggers, historians, professors and casual film viewers, asking them to tell me what films directed (or co-directed) by women are essential viewing. Some people only responded with as little as five votes, others submitted hundreds of films. In the end, I received over 7,000 votes for 1,100+ different films. After tallying up this data, with ties factored in, I then had a list of 103 essential films directed by women.

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Movie Quote of the Day – Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 1982 (dir. Amy Heckerling)


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Mark ‘Rat’ Ratner: What do I say to her once we get in the car?
Mike Damone: No problem, Rat. What you need is my special five-point plan.
Mark ‘Rat’ Ratner: Come on, Damone, I need real help her.
Mike Damone: What’d you mean? Hey! Men have died trying to obtain this valuable information. But I’ll give it to you for free.
Mark ‘Rat’ Ratner: Okay, okay. What’s your five-point plan?
Mike Damone: All right. Now, pay attention. First of all, Rat, you never let on how much you like a girl. Oh, Debbie. . .hi. Two. You always call the shots. Kiss me, you won’t regret it. Three. Act like wherever you are, that’s the place to be. Isn’t this great? Four. When ordering food, find out what she wants, then order for the both of you. It’s a classy move. The lady will have the linguine in a white clam sauce, and a coke with no ice. And five. Now, this is most important, Rat. When it comes down to makin’ out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.

Movie Quote of the Day – Look Who’s Talking Too, 1990 (dir. Amy Heckerling)


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Julie: As God is my witness, I’m going to learn to walk, and get the hell out of here.

Movie Quote of the Day – Look Who’s Talking, 1989 (dir. Amy Heckerling)


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Mikey: Put me back in! Put me back in!

Movie Quote of the Day – Johnny Dangerously, 1984 (dir. Amy Heckerling)


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Lil: I got a real, old-fashioned streak in me. I wanna live a normal life.
Johnny Dangerously: Johnny Dangerously can’t live a normal life. It ain’t in the cards. People like me, we’re like shooting stars. We cross the sky, burning hot for one moment in time, and then we…plunge to earth, disappear. Jesus Christ, I’m starting to upset myself.

Movie Quote of the Day – Clueless, 1995 (dir. Amy Heckerling)


Christian: Do you like Billie Holiday?
Cher: I love him.
Christian: Right.