To help people with their 52 Films By Women challenge this year I thought I’d put together a list of some of my favorite films directed by women that are easily accessible on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Keep in mind that this is in no way all of the films directed by women available on these services, but rather a selection of films I have seen and enjoy. There are also many more films available to rent on Amazon Video as well. Think of this as a jumping off point! Also if you have not taken the 52 Films By Women pledge yet you can do so here.
After a really low month in September, things got really popping in October thanks to the Pordenone Silent Film Festival (in Italy!!!),wherein I watched a bajillion films. Well, not quite that many, but after the cut you’ll see what I mean. October was PACKED WITH CINEMA. Not as much horror as I usually do, but I got some good ones in there. October was a great month for me cinematically. I hope it was for you as well!
Dave: Can you play pool?
Zoë: I used to be alright.
Dave: Still are.
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.
I saw this one for the first time a few years back when Michael Fassbender was in all the movies and I was doing some catch up (still haven’t seen all his films, though). This one really struck a chord with me because it’s a nice riff on the Angry Young Man/Kitchen Sink/British New Wave films of the late-50s/early-60s, but with a female protagonist and a female filmmaker, which gives a whole other perspective to the angst of the youth of this socioeconomic class. Beware, there be spoilers after the cut.