With this week's news of Nora Ephron's passing
for some reason I found myself rereading my recent post of my Top Ten Directors
, which I almost feel ashamed to note is comprised of only male directors. There was one omission that would've been an entry into the list, but was not included due to the fact that she has yet to release five theatrical films to her name.
While many a boyfriend and husband may have heard the name Ephron
and shuddered heading to the theatre, I on the other hand - for the most part - loved her films and a lot of the ones she wrote as well as those she was able to direct later on. She gave us When Harry Met Sally
as well as You've Got Mail
. I consider those to both be great achievements in the world of the romantic comedy.
So in tribute, of some sort, I'd like to take a moment to highlight some of the - who I consider to be - best female directors working today. I'm sure that I have a lot of gaps in knowledge of female auteurs, but I will try my best:
10. Katheryn Bigelow
She's one of the most interesting female directors as I believe she's the only filmmaker a part of my list (and I almost feel one of the few female directors) who makes action movies. With entries such as Point Break
and The Hurt Locker
she forgoes all of those introspective personal details that make a lot of the other filmmakers on this list so special to me and just knows how to entertain and amaze time to time.
9. Dee Rees
With only one feature film released, Pariah
, she pretty much sky rocketed to the top of my must watch list of filmmakers. The film showed not only that she can craft a story but she knows how to use subtlety to its true potential. We don't need every scene to be a 100% moment, but if we slowly add things up one by one we can eventually get there and have true catharsis.
8. Andrea Arnold
I've yet to see Wuthering Heights
, but her films of Red Road
and Fish Tank
remain two of those movies which while I didn't love I appreciated 100%. I noticed to talent involved and sit back waiting for it all to pay off with her delivering her opus of filmmaking. I don't know when or how, but she's going to become one of the greats if she keeps getting interesting films to make.
7. Debra Granik
I fell in love with her instantly after seeing Winter's Bone
and what I've seen of Down to the Bone
(yes I too wonder if she'll ever finish her "Bone" trilogy in the making) gives me hope that gritty realistic depressing stories will never go away. Sometimes in life things just don't work out, and apparently that's what Debra Granik
wants me to get the gist of quickly.
6. Patty Jenkins
Almost there to direct Thor 2
, she will always have a nice place in my heart after giving us Monster
, the 2003 film that pretty much introduced me to Charlize Theron
in a performance that I thought (up until Young Adult
) she would never be able to top.
5. Lena Dunham
A divisive filmmaker who I almost want to believe has more strength as a writer than a director. She actually seems to have learned a lot from Ephron
's films, while taking those lessons and applying it to (what I can only imagine) is her own life experiences and understanding of what the real world is like in 2012. With Tiny Furniture
and her hit HBO TV show, Girls
, she's the name in comedy filmmaking that seems to be on the top of the world right now and I'm happy for that.
4. Sarah Polley
Her films are pretty much the film I'd most expect when watching a female perspective on relationships. However, it never strikes me as anything less than brilliant. Take This Waltz
is my favourite film of 2012 thus far, and I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next.
3. Lynne Ramsay
While she's released three feature films: Ratcatcher. Morvern Callar
and We Need To Talk About Kevin
, I've actually only seen her latest movie (We Need to Talk About Kevin
). Her filmmaking is quite possibly some of the most visually satisfying work that I've seen of all the other filmmakers mentioned in this list. She knows how to utilize contrast alongside jumping around the timeline of the story and making sure that the reality in which this film exists remains one of the thickest and most interesting one thanks to the characters that reside in it.
2. Kelly Reichardt
While Lynne Ramsay
has the title of best DP of the list, I'd be happy to put Kelly Reichardt
as the most subversive filmmaker of them all. Her films are the most simplistic narrative-wise, but thematically are so rich and beautiful. While Wendy and Lucy
didn't hit me for a homerun on it's first run through it did show me that no matter how small a story it is the stakes can be bigger than ever.
1. Sofia Coppola
I'm not sure if people out there try to dismiss Sofia Coppola
for reasons of nepotism, but that doesn't mean that a great filmmaker can't be made even if that happened. We all need someone to help us grow and it's the result that matters a lot more than the means by which it occurs (at least 90% of the time).
films are some of the most beautiful touching films I've ever had the joy of experiencing. I even love more that when I first encountered her movies, Lost in Translation
was the first film of hers I saw, and I was in high school I wasn't the biggest fan. It felt like a lot of nothing really happening. However, as I grew older and more interested in these kind of stories and a bit more knowledgeable about life, the film made more sense to me (not to say I am not still learning about life). All of her films have struck me as movies that mature with you as a viewer and they reward you for keeping them around to revisit and enjoy.
Which filmmakers did I leave out we should keep an eye on?