THE PICK OF CHICK FLICKS
Last week, the American Cinematheque held the 2nd Annual Focus on Female Filmmakers at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. The event showcased some of today’s rising young female filmmakers. What, no Nancy Meyers?
First on the ticket was Zoe Cassavetes’ “Men Make Women Crazy Theory,” which takes a look at how…well, men can make women crazy. The short’s theory seems to point to men’s self-absorption and ambivalence towards women’s feelings as the causes. Really?
Though the story at times seemed a bit farcical, there definitely were some good moments, especially one that involved a bathtub and some of what are probably the most hysterical phone messages I’ve heard since college. A rare cameo by Ione Skye was definitely a plus.
Sanaa Hamri’s music video, “Musicology,” stars a very funky Prince and a very plucky young fan. Though at many levels a basic music video (just a bunch of people dancing in an exclusive club), the direction and editing were both very efficient and clean, and the energy never really dropped throughout. During the viewing, I started to analyze the video on the different portrayals of Afro-American subcultures and capitalism’s effect on the community, but then remembered that it’s just a music video. No need to quibble on such matters while Prince shows us how to get funky.
“Viernes Girl,” from Aurora Guerrero, shows us how a young Latina gets even with a womanizing brother who seduces a different woman every day. The moral of the story seems to be that Thursday is a very dangerous day to bring home a girl while your sister listens to Meringue.
Sian Heder’s “Mother,” an effort by Sian Heder during her time with AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, starts off a bit uneven and forced, but eases into a very strong portrayal of a young women’s experience of unexpectedly babysitting for a very immature mother. Another beautiful moment in a bathtub takes place (it seems that women become “emotionally” exposed when taking a bath, something I didn’t know before). One of the stronger films in the program.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Mary Wigmore co-directed “Dealbreaker,” a very Sex in the City-esque look at a woman’s dating standards being violated by a bunch of immature men. Based on just a scene description involving a bathtub (again), a toilet, and the non-usage of toilet paper, this effort was completed for Glamour Magazine, with a little help from Nokia.
Grace Lee’s “Girl Meets Boy” shows a girl meeting a boy, who meets her fist. In two minutes, Lee captures the inner workings of a woman who just had it with men, unless they ask to sit down politely.
The program ends with “The Danish Poet” by Torill Kove. Narrated by Liv Ullman, the film’s an animated short that takes a look at how little moments, difficult decisions, twenty feet of hair, and a novel leads to the birth of our narrator. Tranquil, well drawn, well written, this was probably the best choice for the finisher. Point of fact, shortly after having written this piece, “Poet” was nominated for an Academy Award. Yay, broads! Take that, Hollywood!