A couple of weeks ago I saw August: Osage County. I’m not going to review the film, partly because it’s no longer as fresh in my mind, and partly because I have other things to do.
However, I was very excited about this film because it is a film about women, with women as central characters. It is also NOT a chick flick.
I had been thinking a lot about women in films, especially since I learned that The Hunger Games Catching Fire was the top grossing film of 2013. Apparently, this is the first time since 1965’s The Sound of Music that a film with a woman as the main character was the top grossing film of the year.
There was also this clip about women in film.
I like what she said about how this is all based on demand. Sometimes it can be hard to get men to see films about women, especially when most films about women are “chick flicks.” A few years ago, I got my brother to watch the film Volver, by Pedro Almodovar. He enjoyed the film very much, and declared that “It’s not a chick flick.” At the time, I thought of all films about women as “chick flicks.” Now I think of chick flicks as being sappy or overly sentimental films about women.
Anyway, in honor of International Women’s Day, I am announcing a series of posts listing films about women. These films may or may not pass The Bechdel Test (I’ll share my thoughts about that test later) but I’m choosing them for meeting at least two of three criteria.
1 The film has a woman as a main character. (I may be a little flexible with this.)
2 I like the film OR
3 The film is artistically or historically important.
If a film meets these criteria, I will add it to my collection of women in film.
I will also try to keep chick flicks off of the list, but if I put one on, I will make sure to specify that they are chick flicks.
I am also collecting these films for men. If we wish to get more films about women made, we have to convince men that stories about women can be entertaining and compelling films. Lastly, I will try to avoid one type of film. I have drawn up a pretty extensive list of films so far. A few might be difficult (or even impossible) to find in the US, because I saw them at the Film Festival. Other are very successful Oscar winners. Some are comedies, some are dramas, some are documentaries. These are films about war, family, theater, ambition, illness, transvestites, abortion, love, pregnancy, writing, the Holocaust, search for identity, child molestation, rape, sports, weddings, beauty pageants, murder, death, royalty, music, teaching, religion, legal battles, gang violence, adultery, racism, and money, to name a few topics.
So, see one film, see five films, see all of the films.
And Happy International Women’s Day!
Now, in honor of International Women’s Day, and to kick off this series, a musical selection.