March meant SXSW (though I only saw three films) and several 2018 films in theaters. I saw one film three times (keep reading to see what!) and spent a good deal of the mont rewatching Frasier (again), but 16 of the films I watch last month were directed by women (that’s more than half of the month’s viewing). As always you can see everything I watched after the cut.
Mira Nair: Do you feel any shame?
Dancer 1: Why shame? You leave shame behind when you enter this profession.
Dancer 2: When I go out at night, sometimes a customer sees me and says, “Look, there goes that naked dancing girl, that whore.” I say, “Motherfucker, you enjoyed me on stage, and now you say this?” That’s when I feel shame.
Dancer 1: If somebody said that to me, I’d say, “Here’s my address. Come see me tonight.” If we speak of shame, then how would we work? And if we don’t work, the how would we make money? That’s why, in such a place, shame does not exist. If the viewer does not feel shame, why should the viewed?
Ashoke Ganguli: The camera! It is in the car. All this and no picture, huh? We just have to remember it then. Huh? Will you remember this day, Gogol?
Gogol: How long do I have to remember it?
Ashoke Ganguli: Ah, remember it always. Remember that you and I made the journey and went together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.
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.
Rahul Chadha: I just fell from grace.
Saroj Rai: My darling, you have to be standing up in order to be able to fall. I mean, if you keep sitting on your ass, nothing’s gonna happen. “Only brave warriors fall off their horses in battle. How can kneeling cowards know what a fall is?” Listen sweetheart, the main thing is, you have to fight the battle.