So I sent around some questions to about a dozen women friends:
1) What are some movies you’ve enjoyed over the years with interesting women characters and/or stories about women?
2) What are the kinds of women’s stories or characters you’d like to see on screen but never do?
Got some great responses, referring to particular characters in particular movies (such as Ripley in Alien, Jackie Brown, Ree in Winter’s Bone), and also to certain women actors who tended to play strong women in whatever roles they played, women like Mae West, Katharine Hepburn, and Melissa Leo, plus many many more. Several people mentioned Thelma and Louise.
My respondents admire screen women who display self-determination, who move and inspire others, who have a comedic aspect, who are strong but retain their perspective as women, who might be a mess but can still forge ahead. They’d like to see more stories that explore cultural stereotypes (such as the sacred mother/child bond), stories in which the women are normal looking, stories in which women maintain their wildness rather than becoming tame through the agency of men.
This is just a brief summary of what some of the women said. It makes me want to have a film festival where we would show the films that everyone mentioned, or a salon where we could watch one or two per week and talk about them… Anyway, stay tuned for further thoughts.
On a completely different front, we had the technical experience of transferring Warrior Woman onto HD CAM, one of the screening formats possible for Cinequest. It involved an expensive, heavy, and old-fashioned looking machine, and, of course, there were some initial glitches. But David and Stuart smoothed it all out, and we now have what we need. So this week we will send it off. Getting closer…