The Big Five.

Whether it’s the Olympic-inspired girl power that’s pumping through my veins or merely a hope to emulate their success in my own career I thought I would dedicate a post to my 5 favourite female directors working today. Who doesn’t love a little bit of feminism? Samantha Brick I hope you’re reading.

5. Sarah Polley

A Canadian filmmaker who started off in acting, her directorial debut ‘Away From Her’ (2008) saw her produce a sensitive, if overwhelmingly sombre portrait of Alzheimer’s disease. She handled her narrative with grace and realism, something which earned her a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nom. Her second film, ‘Take This Waltz’, starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen is to be released shortly and will no doubt be another perceptive and heart-rending demonstration of her skill as a director.

Suggested Viewing: Away From Her, Take This Waltz

4. Kimberley Peirce
Her debut feature-film was the blisteringly powerful ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ (1999), which bravely explored the topic of gender and sexual identity. Whilst her second critical success came in 2005 with ‘Stop-Loss’ based on soldier’s experiences of coming home after fighting in the Iraq war. Her films don’t make for easy viewing, often featuring disturbing or violent scenes; something which perhaps makes her the perfect director to be at the helm of the ‘Carrie’ remake. However she produces challenging and thoughtful material that forces the viewer to confront culturally important topics, for which she deserves massive kudos.

Suggested Viewing: Boys Don’t Cry, Stop-Loss,

3. Debra Granik

Another independent filmmaker with an eye for fantastic visuals, her second feature film ‘Winter’s Bone’ (2010) raised her profile enormously. And deservedly so. A stark, searing film of will-power, retribution and violence, it depicted a part of America not often shown. I am eagerly anticipating what she delivers next.
Suggested Viewing: Down to the Bone, Winter’s Bone

2. Kathryn Bigelow           

Easily the most famous of the bunch, Bigelow made history when she became the first female ever to win a Best Director Academy Award. Perhaps because she makes the kind of films you expect men to make; full of testosterone, action and brutality. Her films often gain cult status because of her ability to twist genre conventions using experimental storytelling without compromising thrill, tension or visual spectacle. Bigelow’s film are distinctly hers; strange, provocative and adrenaline-pumping; she has become a master of her craft.

Suggested Viewing: Point Break, The Hurt Locker

1. Nicole Holofcener

She of course scores brownie points for sharing my name. But more importantly she consistently produces intimate, independent feature films that portray the lives of ordinary women. There is something organic and resonant to her filmmaking, wherein she is able to balance the absurdity and beauty of everyday life with insight, wit, poignancy and hilarity. Holofcener generates an exquisite subtlety and without sounding pretentious, but what feels like truth, from her casts, something which has most recently earned her a Robert Altman Award at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Suggested viewing: Please Give, Lovely and Amazing

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