A while back i had read an article by Dargis on female film makers and today while reading the New Yorker i came across this rather interesting response by Richard Brody which i think is worth the read. Brody argues that its not only the large scale studios that have a role to play in the visibility of such film makers but also that the critics play a significant role – advocating for new audiences and making not only mainstream films but also indie productions visible to wider audiences.
I heartily agree with Manohla Dargis that there must be more female filmmakers, but her recent piece in the Times calling for changes to the industry buries the lead. Midway through, she acknowledges that, in the independent realm, female filmmakers are plentiful—not plentiful enough, I’d say, but certainly more present and more prominent than in the industry at large. But she breezes by that fact quickly to continue discussing what she considers to be more important:
The biggest problem isn’t genuinely independent cinema, where lower budgets mean more opportunities for women in front of and behind the camera. The problem is the six major studios that dominate the box office, the entertainment chatter and the popular imagination.
Look at this year’s Oscar nominations. Half of the eight Best Picture contenders—“Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Selma,” and “Whiplash”—are the work of filmmakers who started as ultra-low-budget independents, and these films (as well as “Birdman”) are independently financed, relatively low-budget productions (compared to studio fare). Two are British. And then there’s “American Sniper,” which, though produced by Warner Bros., is very much a modern-classic auteur film, a work of directorial vision.