This sounds like something that should have been settled a long time ago since really the difference between men and women when it comes to directing shouldn’t be this huge of an issue, yet it has been for a long time. 2019 saw a rise of female directors in a big way and it’s a positive note for Hollywood as it adds diversity and a different view of the world in a way that many people are on board with, so long as the story remains the most important part. Female directors have been shown thus far to be every bit as skilled and talented as men and there are movies out there to prove it such as Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, the Frozen movies, and another titled Farewell. The contribution of female directors in show business and in TV in recent years has been astounding and increasingly positive, but the issue remains that many still feel that third-wave feminism is going to continually drop the hammer on Hollywood and remind them that the ‘future is female’ on a constant basis, which is why some people might still be hesitant to fully accept a female director into their midst given the unrest that such a back and forth issue has caused. Thankfully Ryan Scott of MovieWeb and many others have elected to push forward and focus less on the gender of the director and more on the accomplishments that said directors have been achieving thus far, which is far easier to do given that it’s been easy to see the results as per the box office.
The idea of making a movie isn’t something that needs to be exclusively male, but it has apparently been so for a very long time. Whatever justification has been used in the past is at this point fading away since it’s been proven that women can create blockbuster movies that people want to see and can do so without the need to preach and push an overt feminist agenda that will eventually rub people the wrong way. There are undoubtedly many different ideas that will come from a female perspective and many that will likely feel as though they run contrary to what many people feel is right and what has worked for so long. The truth of this however is in the directing and in the presentation of said ideas that are placed on the big screen since many people want to watch a movie but few want to be preached to in the process. Ironically one of the most feminized movies of the past few years is one that was directed by a man and yet was vilified in such a way as to make it clear that the ideas and presentation did not keep in line with the story that people wanted to see. Of course that movie is The Last Jedi which was directed by Rian Johnson, and that’s still a huge debate for many people, both casual and hardcore fans of the franchise. But when it comes to female-led movies many people still have their own opinions when it comes to what constitutes a great story and what is more akin to a director trying to make a statement utilizing a medium that they know people will want to see. Anne Thompson of IndieWire has more to say on this matter.
A good example of a female-led movie, and the one that really started this current trend if anyone is being honest, was Wonder Woman which was directed by Patty Jenkins. There were plenty of moments within the movie where men might have felt as though they were being made to seem foolish and somewhat weak in comparison to the lead character and the Amazons but the movie played out the way it should have without making any serious points as to the role of men and women in history. It was a well-told story and one that served as a summer blockbuster that helped DC in a big way as things moved forward. In 2019 Captain Marvel was set to be the big breakout hit as it was directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, yet a lot of people took issue with this movie not just because it took a character like Nick Fury and made him less intense than he’d been in other movies, but also because of the controversial behavior and statements of the lead star, Brie Larson. There’s nothing wrong with having a female director so long as the story is good enough, and Captain Marvel was a great action movie. Anything apart from that is usually considered so much chaff, unless of course there’s an issue already raging that demands attention. Casey Cipriani of Women in Hollywood has a few interesting things to say.
Lest I forget, just being a female director is not a guarantee of success as Elizabeth Banks proved with her new version of Charlie’s Angels which she had so much to do with. Being a woman isn’t enough, but it’s also enough to discount a person either. Women are fully capable of taking on the director’s seat as they’ve shown, so long as they’re the right person for the job, as it should be with just about anything.