Year: 2017 Runtime: 89 Minutes Director: Agnès Varda , JR Writer: Agnès Varda , JR Stars: Agnès Varda , JR By Caz Armstrong Euphoniously titled “Visages Villages” in the original French, this film won Varda a Best Documentary Oscar nomination, meaning she is the oldest person ever to have been nominated for an Oscar. “Faces... Continue Reading →
A dry humour. An uncomfortable satire. A stunning fairytale tableaux. “I Am Not A Witch” (2017) has an impact that’s hard to describe. The film starts with a young Zambian girl Shula (non-professional actor Margaret Mulubwa) being accused of witchcraft. She is given the choice of being turned into a goat or declaring she is a witch. She chooses to say she is a witch and is taken to live in a ‘witch camp’. At the witch camp Shula is cared for and encouraged by the other women who all remain attached to long white ribbons at all times lest they fly away. Tourists arrive by minibus to leer at them as a local attraction and they’re loaned out to work long hours for someone else’s benefit.
Year: 2010 Runtime: 106 Minutes Director: Lisa Cholodenoko Writer: Lisa Cholodenoko & Stuart Blumberg Stars: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, Mark Ruffalo By Caz Armstrong “The Kids Are All Right” (2010), directed and co-written by Lisa Cholodenoko, is an expertly acted comedy-drama with complex emotions and a backdrop of a lesbian relationship.... Continue Reading →
Have you ever seen a film and found something just a bit distasteful about the way female actor came across but you couldn’t quite point to exactly why it didn’t sit right? And, maybe others have pointed out that the main female character have been treated very well because they ended up saving the day, so what are you complaining about? There’s more to a film than the simply action that takes place and who is on screen. It’s a visual art form and we’re all trained in the visual language of cinema from the moment we start watching films. By ‘visual language’ we mean the way people are photographed in order to convey meaning beyond what they say or do. Someone shown in the frame as towering above another person is often the one with the power for example.
In the silent era of 1912 – 1919 there were more women working in the film industry than at any other time since. They were directors, writers, producers, editors and any profession was open to women. In that period Universal Studios alone created 170 films by female directors. But with the widespread introduction of sound came huge investment into studios, equipment and cinemas. This was fast becoming an expensive and highly profitable industry and women were no longer so welcome. They have been struggling to make a dent in employment statistics ever since.
In Greek mythology, Cassandra was blessed with seeing true prophesies but she was cursed with never being believed. She foresaw the Greek soldiers hiding in a wooden horse but the Trojans stopped her from hacking it open. She was forced to watch the destruction, knowing it could have been avoided if only they'd have listened. Such is the fate of teacher Harriet Wilson (Octavia Spencer) in "Luce" (2019). She sees the warning signs about one of her students, Luce, but is completely dismissed by his parents and other teachers.
Most people have a book that they absolutely loved growing up. While other girls were reading Little Women or the Babysitters Club I was re-reading Huckleberry Finn. I read it so many times it got creased and dogeared. I don't remember much of the plot now and certainly wouldn't have been aware of the deeper themes at the time. But I do remember losing myself in those hot lazy adventures, wishing I was rolling down river instead of in my bedroom in Yorkshire. When I heard that “The Peanut Butter Falcon” was being billed as a Huck Finn style adventure I just had to see it.
On 30th October the nominations for the 2019 British Independent Film Awards were announced. In total 38 British feature films were nominated and the results will be announced on Sunday 1st December in a ceremony hosted by Aisling Bea. 40% of the nominations were for women and 60% for men - if you count a nomination for a film as a nomination for the director.