Even though I took a vacation at the end of the month I managed to watch a huge amount of movies *and* do a huge amount of writing. Truly a whirlwind of activity. Over at the Classic Film Collective I recommended Sandy Wilson’s My American Cousin and wrote a poem about Liz Taylor. Podcast-wise I was pretty busy: over on my podcast Prog Save America Adam from Filmspotting chatted Genesis and my old co-worker Alex Vo chatted ELO Part II, I dropped by Lasagna Time to talk Daisies, on Screen Drafts we drafted a top six Bob Dylan movies canon, made yet another appearance over at Zodiac Chronicle, talking butts in jeans and bookish women on the Letterboxd Show, and lastly talked about Ben-Hur as a queer classic on The Queer Quadrant. Also for Letterboxd I wrote a magnum opus about butts in jeans in cinema. For Nerdist I looked at the Welsh Mythology behind David Lowery’s The Green Knight, took a look at off the beaten path movies set in video games or virtual reality, did a deep dive of all the genre films that won Best Makeup Oscars. and looked at the men who inspired Barton Fink. For RogerEbert.com I interviewed Griffin Dunne about the hidden gem Game 6 and Billie Piper about her directorial debut Rare Beasts. For The Playlist I reviewed Modern Love S2, Brand New Cherry Flavor, and The Chair. I somehow convinced Vulture to let me write about aliens on Riverdale. For Moviefone I assembled a bunch of lady assassins, and for my column I interviewed Lucy Walker about her film Bring Your Own Brigade, Siân Heder and the cast of CODA, producer Cody Greenwood and director Gracie Otto about their film Under The Volcano, and Amber Sealey about her latest film No Man of God. I hope you feel as tired after all of that as I do!
But now to the movies. . .somehow amidst all of that I also watched 77 new-to-me movies! As always, you can see the list after the cut + a handful of my favorites.
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.