Women Vanish on the Silver Screen

Interesting article in the LA Times Calendar section today about the dearth of film roles for women. How TV is the new frontier for juicy female film roles and that movies are one male or kid blockbuster after another.

LA is chock full of immensely talented females… actresses, directors, writers… who are not working. As of 2002, only 4% of films released were directed by women. So what gives? Who goes to all those blockbusters that don’t feature women? Men. That’s who. And men with their dates. So how do we support one half the population and not fall into the ‘chick flick’ derision game?

May be as simple as opening up your wallet sisters. Cash is king. Use your voice and support films that feature your half of the gender. Work out a compromise with your partner to go to his violent action-themed movie one week and your relationship oriented comedy the next. I guess. I know I have to endure a lot of movies I cringe at to get to the ones I want to sit through. And almost always, my fabulous man ends up loving the movies I drag him to. And yes, occasionally I enjoy the ones he relishes.

What do you think sistahs? Is it possible to revive the lost half of our gender in the movies? Can we regain a voice in cinema?

9 Replies to “Women Vanish on the Silver Screen”

  1. Why does “films for women” always equal “relationship-oriented comedy”? I went to see “300” with my wife and one of our female friends, and I would say the two ladies dug the movie even more than myself. Maybe the real problem here is that women inevitably ghettoize themselves and their tastes when writing about subjects like this.

  2. I don’t go to the movies. I watch them on DVD every once in a while, but I find longer-form character development more my style. Television serves that for me. Should film be more like TV … am I obligated out of some sense of duty to attend movies that have good roles for women?

    I don’t know the demographics of who goes to the movies these days, but I can say that I don’t like the experience … it’s getting close to getting on a plane. Parking, ticketing, lines, possibly being searched, upcharges because I can’t bring my own damn nalgene bottle of water in, paying more if I don’t want commercials… maybe women just don’t put up with that crap as much as men.

    Is the blame really falling on women who cave to what their SO’s want to watch?

    Where is live theater in all of this? And ice shows – are women being represented at those?

    In essence, like government, don’t we get the cinema we deserve?

  3. Then again maybe it all comes down to marketing and what will make a buck. As the studios become swallowed up by major corporations and the end result is bottom line profits the marketing guys will drive what is done that will bring the biggest buck return for each spent.

  4. Interesting thoughts all… women DO seem to like movies, dramas that reflect more ‘real’ life situations (ie: relationships, the divine comedy of it all .. i.e. relationships) maybe it’s ghetto-i-za-tion, maybe a reflection of women being more in touch with themselves vs. the macho shoot em up fantasy genre…. I really don’t know. But probably closest to the mark is Frazgo… it does all come down to marketing. Anyway. It’s an interesting game for me since I’m in it.

  5. I hear you on the “300” thing. I remember Kim Morgan guesting on “Ebert & Roeper” gushing over the thing while Richard Roeper could barely tolerate it.

    However, this whole argument is stale. This is yet another example of crap people complain about but continue to support one way or another. Nobody really wants change. If they did, things would change.

  6. The woman I live with, who is all woman, no two ways about it, fucking HATES “dramas that reflect more ‘real’ life situations (ie: relationships, the divine comedy of it all .. i.e. relationships) ” She would rather watch almost anything else than that.

    In fact, I can’t think of a single female-type person I know who likes “chick flicks”, and they would all sneer at being asked to see the latest Kate Hudson vehicle.

    Tammara, maybe you are the one doing the stereotyping, not Hollywood.

  7. My sister likes “chick flicks”. Outside of that situation I avoid women who do. Happily (though by no accident I’m sure) my wife has no interest in “chick flicks”.

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