Monday, February 15, 2010

All the Singular Ladies

Adam of Club Silencio here. If Kathryn Bigelow is said to be the "Queen of Directors," what other female auteurs make up her court and competition? Most excitingly, what's on the radar for these savvy women who're still holding supreme reign in our male-dominated cinematic monarchy?

Julie Delpy

Her Last: 2009's The Countess, Delpy's historical take on evil Hungarian Erzebet Bathory and her virgin bloodbaths, has yet to find a proper US release. Delpy produced, wrote, directed, scored and starred in the project.

Her Latest: IONcinema reports that Delpy's readied a script for 2 Days in New York, a sequel to her 2007 ode to neurotic indie love, 2 Days in Paris. French farce once again follows Delpy as she follows Adam Goldberg to New York, dumps him, and finds herself a new neurotic American.

Nicole Holofcener

Her Last: 2006's smart ensemble comedy Friends with Money continued with female bonds and collaborations with Catherine Keener. Holofcener also continued partnership with HBO (her resume includes TV classics Sex and the City and Six Feet Under), directing an episode for the first season of Bored to Death.

Her Latest: Premiering at Sundance to rave reviews, Please Give once again stars Catherine Keener (as well as Oliver Platt and Amanda Peet) in a story of antique dealers eyeing an elderly neighbor's apartment.

Kelly Reichardt

Her Last: 2008's Wendy and Lucy had Michelle Williams playing a truly dire game of fetch with her lost dog, Lucy, her life's only companion.

Her Latest: Meek's Cutoff again teams Reichardt with Michelle Williams for this period western surrounding a family and the treacherous crossing of the Cascade Mountains in 1845 under the guidance of Stephen Meek, a hired guide. The film also stars Paul Dano and Shirley Henderson. It's currently in post-production.

Lynne Ramsay

Her Last: 2002's masterful Movern Callar followed Samantha Morten's titular character as she mourned a lost lover. Ramsay was also at one time attached to direct The Lovely Bones (a thought we all should mourn like a lost love).

Her Latest: We Need to Talk About Kevin, her long awaited follow up, is an adaptation of Lionel Shriver's novel about a boy's killing spree before his sixteenth birthday and the emotional aftermath felt by his mother. Tilda Swinton stars as the mother, tentatively alongside fellow indie fave John C. Reilly.

Sofia Coppola

Her Last: 2006's undervalued punk period-piece Marie Antoinette spun a fresh take on a child (Kirsten Dunst) thrust into luxury and the pantheon of historical villains.

Her Latest: Somewhere follows a troubled A-list actor (Stephen Dorff) wasting away in LA's famous Chateau Marmont, who's rattled by a visit from his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning). Phoenix (Coppola's hubby is the lead singer) is scoring the film.

Other female auteur faves like Jane Campion (Bright Star), Catherine Breillat (Bluebeard), Lucile Hadzihalilovic (Innocence) and Claire Denis (White Material, 35 Shots of Rum) have no projects currently listed in production. Which singular lady's work are you most excited for?


Josh said...

What about Julie Taymor?
'The Tempest' with Helen Mirren is out sometime this year!

Jim T said...

Very nice post. We Need to Talk About Kevin is my most anticipated but I really want to see The Countess.

Tarantino_Junkie said...

I was just gonna ask about Taymor as well.
And what did you think of Courtney Hunt's 'Frozen River' or Cherien Dabis's 'Amreeka'?

Adam said...

There are obviously tons of women I neglected to mention, these were just a few whose upcoming works I was excited to see. One I sadly neglected is Andrea Arnold. I'm stoked to see what she has in store after "Fish Tank." Apparently she has an adaptation of "Wuthering Heights" in the works, starring Ed Westwick of "Gossip Girl."

As for Julie Taymor, I simply haven't followed her work that closely, though I'm intrigued by Helen Mirren of course. I've yet to see "Amreeka," Tarantino_Junkie, but I liked "Frozen River." Hunt is apparently prepping a film called "Northline," about a poor woman in Nevada who imagines conversations with Paul Newman. Curious stuff for sure.

Jason Adams said...

Ha I was just popping in to holler Andrea Arnold, Adam. But since you beat me to the punch let me just say, very very nice post, and I'm so glad to hear Reichardt's already got her next one done! I hadn't heard anything of it yet.


this was so exciting. It would be so terrible if this year's "story" turned out to only be one year's flavor.

I love Julie Delpy. I haven't heard great things about The Countess but i sure as hell want to see it.

Robert Hamer said...

Jesus, ALL of these upcoming projects sound exciting. I can't wait!

Deus Ex Machina said...

Off the topic, but I just wanted to boast that I took a spin class next to Nicole Kidman today. I sweat extra hard and my knees were shaking the whole time.

whitney said...

I hope Sarah Polley will make her way up this list soon.

anna said...

A few German ones: Maren Ade, Doris Dörrie and Caroline Link (though she's a little too mainstream).

I also second Sarah Polley and, I guess, if you mention her you also have to mention Isabel Coixet.

Tim said...

Is it a cheat to say that White Material is my most anticipated? I know Denis wasn't on your master list, but I think I'm willing to call a film "upcoming" if it has only been screened at festivals.

Otherwise, like any sane person, I can't wait for We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Janice said...

I have to say this: if Ms Bigelow is the "Queen of Directors", shouldn't that make Jane Campion the empress? (Or something?) How about "the mother of us all"?

Onto the young'uns, though - my sweetie and I really enjoyed Saving Face (2004) written and directed by Alice Wu, but I don't see anything upcoming in Alice's imdb page. Not a surprise in this economy (in fact it's a miracle her first film got made at all: a Chinese-American lesbian female-centered multigenerational romantic comedy-drama.) But her script was very fine and layered, avoiding the usual cliches, and I love to see her do more, please.

@Deus ex machina: don't be a tease. Details, details!

Anonymous said...

Oh, my,

We Need to Talk About Kevin being shot with Tilda Swinton??? I can hardly wait.

Marcelo - Brazil.

poz pig said...

I second the anticipation for We Need to Talk About Kevin. That is exactly the type of role that Tilda could get another Oscar nomination for. The book is one of the most compulsive and uncomfortable I have read for a long time. Its sort of like a very twisted mirror image of The Deep End. But its success with the Book Club crowd means that it could turn out to be mainstream enough for Oscar to take notice

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

The Countess was about a C-. Julie multi-tasked to the point of a pedestrian mess.

Anonymous said...

I'm most excited for Lucrecia Martel's next one. Her three first films have all been great.


Anonymous said...

I'm very curious about Deepa Mehta's future projects...she's trying to make a movie based upon Salman Rushdie masterpiece MIDNIGHT CHILDREN and another one about the Komagata Maru tragedy. actually it seems she's very busy after the success of her oscar nominated WATER. she's going to direct also a gangster movie in which she will pair Bollywood hunk John Abraham with sexy girl Milla Jovovich

another female director I used to like is Agnieszka Holland (EUROPA, EUROPA)...even if I recognized her latter films haven't been interesting...hopefully HIDDEN and CHRISTINE: WAR MY LOVE (two movie regarding the very Academy-friendly subject of WWII) will put her back on track


BeRightBack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BeRightBack said...

I'm always excited to see the next movie by Miwa Nishikawa, who's known by some as a protegé of Kore'eda, though her movies don't strike me as terribly derivative of his, especially in their offbeat, ironic tone.

Her best movie that I've seen is Sway (2006), but I haven't seen Dear Doctor (2009), which got good reviews at the Chicago International Film Festival -- unlike Kore'eda's entry, Air Doll.

Sean said...

I agree with Whitney; Sarah Polley better make this list. I was glad to see Kelly Reichardt make the list though. Love her films.

Dimitra said...

"Apparently she has an adaptation of "Wuthering Heights" in the works, starring Ed Westwick of "Gossip Girl.""

Actually, they have called a casting for unknown actors now.

Scott said...

Ramsay and Coppola's works are the ones I'm most excited to see. I'm sure I'll see Delpy's when I have the opportunity to - but I'm kind of fearful of that one.

Adam said...

No means to diss on Sarah Polley by leaving her out. I've been watching her since I wasn't even sure why I was watching "Avonlea." Thought "Away From Her" was striking as well. Too many great women making movies, which is actually quite a wonderful thought.

Also the "Queen of Directors" quote was Tarantino, not my own words, though I definitely like Bigelow.