This isn’t a piece about how there aren’t enough female directors or how women tend to get sidelined into making pictures about girl meets boy, then obstacle, then girl and boy in love, the end formula. That is a piece for another time. Instead, this is just drawing your attention to two interesting directors at the moment who each have films coming out.
Ramsay’s new film We Need to Talk About Kevin looks at a school massacre and the situations leading up to, and after it. Scottish director Ramsay doesn’t shy away from hard subjects, if her previous films are anything to go by. Her debut, Ratcatcher (1999), looks at a boy as he navigates his way through poverty, a hostile Glasgow, an alcoholic father, and a diminishing search for hope. Morvern Callar (2002) has Samantha Morten playing a woman whose partner commits suicide, leading her to put her name on his unpublished manuscript.
Arnold’s new film is an adaptation of Wuthering Heights which has gone down well at the Venice film festival. It is also notable as Arnold has cast a more age-appropriate (than previous adaptations) Cathy, as well as a black Heathcliff.
Arnold has already created waves with Red Road (2006), a film that looks at an introverted woman and CCTV. Another film of hers is Fish Tank (2009), which is about a young girl who likes to dance, has no friends, and sleeps with her mother’s boyfriend - as that;s an incredibly glib summation of the film, you just need to seek it out.
I hope these women encourage you to not just support female directors but also independent cinema. Go to the movies!
-Julie Anne Young
Girl Museum Inc.