What do sex, creepiness, Beyoncé, The Candyman, and Robert Pattinson have in common (besides making for excellent fanfic)? Why, Bill Condon, of course. The director, best known for his work on Kinsey and Dreamgirls, will direct the fourth installment in the Twilight franchise, Breaking Dawn. Is this a good thing? Let's look at some of his past work and make unfounded predictions! (Come on, you've got nothing better to do at work today than watch Candyman trailers, right?)
Who else but Bill Condon could bring our profoundly disturbing romance to life onscreen?
In Monday's post I asked if you could name five women directors off the top of your head and encouraged you to share some favorite females behind the lens. And WOW, between us we came up with nearly 70!
Since there are few things I enjoy more than compiling research and sharing information (Heck, it's one of the reasons why I'm a writer) I've put together a list of all the women directors you posted in the comments section, along with the title of one or two of their movies. I hope it will serve as a good reference resource for sister (and fellow) feminist film geeks.
I also wanted to re-raise a question I asked in that post that wasn't addressed: Do you think women directors (and by extension women screenwriters) reflect women's lives and handle women's issues more authentically than men? More responsibly?
Sarah Mirk's post last month, Beat the Majority - Name a Female Scientist, reminded me of an ad I saw several years ago for a Women in Film festival here in Seattle. In it, a dominatrix flanked by muscle men is asking a man in an interrogation chair if he can name five female directors – five female directors who weren't actresses first. Of course, he can't, and the dominatrix proceeds to list all the directors included in that year's festival line-up. While many accomplished actresses have also directed – Barbara Streisand, Jodie Foster, Ida Lupino, Sofia Coppola, Penny Marshall, and Diane Keaton – to name but a few; it could be argued that it was their acting that helped them break into directing. This should in no way belittle any of their accomplishments, but what about women who set out to direct in the first place, without the benefit of already being recognized?
From the machismo of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone to Woody Allen's nebbishes and the teenage fantasies of the Porky's and American Pie franchises, manhood in all its flavors is a staple of the silver screen. Writer-director Wes Anderson is clearly fascinated by the subject too, yet over the course of his four films he has turned his lens on one specific aspect of masculinity: the balance between boyish and manly behavior necessary for the health of not only the individual male but also the culture he embodies.
A few reviewers have acknowledged this by mentioning, if only in passing, Anderson's penchant for father-son or mentor-protégé relationships, and Anderson himself has confirmed it. In a 2001 Los Angeles Times interview, he credited director James L. Brooks—who helped him find the funding to turn a short film into his 1996 debut feature, Bottle Rocket—with inspiring his filmic exploration of mentors. Each of Anderson's four features involves a relationship between a young man and either his father or a man who is old enough to be his father: wannabe thief Dignan and crime boss Mr. Henry in Bottle Rocket; 10th-grader Max Fischer and his industrialist friend/rival Mr. Blume in 1998's Rushmore; favored child Richie Tenenbaum and his irresponsible father Royal in 2001's The Royal Tenenbaums; and airline pilot Ned Plimpton and the titular marine-life documentarian he suspects is his father in 2004's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Those simplified labels, however, are inadequate to describe the mutual give-and-take of the pairs.