August 8, 2008

Women for Dave

In response to a comment from Dave M. on my first post, here's my list of "Great Representations of Femininity in Cinema."

L'Avventura (1960, Michealangelo Antonioni)
Waitress (2007, Adrienne Shelly)
Hiroshima Mon'Amour (1959, Alain Resnais)
Another Woman (1990, Woody Allen)
Steel Magnolias (1989, Herbert Ross)
The Virgin Suicides (1999, Sofia Coppola)
The Passion of Anna (1969, Ingmar Bergman)

10. Funny Ha Ha (2002, Andrew Bujalski)

9. Broken Flowers (2005, Jim Jarmusch)

8. Suspicion (1941, Alfred Hitchcock)

7. Hannah & Her Sisters (1986, Woody Allen)

6. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975, Peter Weir)

5. Mirror (1975, Andrei Tarkovsky)

4. Nights of Cabiria (1957, Federico Fellini)

3. Belle de Jour (1969, Luis Bunuel)

2. Breaking the Waves (1996, Lars Von Trier)

1. A Woman Under the Influence (1974, John Cassavetes)

And of course, this whole list could've been made up entirely of films by Yasujiro Ozu. I watched Tokyo Twilight last night, and am now heartbroken.

Although they are men, I think Fellini and Cassavetes were both quite feminine directors generally, so if you're looking for femininity in cinema, that's where I'd point to first.

I would've liked to include Bergman's Persona, but in order to do that I think I'd be making a claim to having some conscious understanding of what it's even about, so I left it out.

Anyone have films to add? Or take away?


jon said...

broken flowers? interesting. i need to see that again.

sadly the only other one i've seen is steel magnolias, when i was in high school, and at that time i had no idea why i was watching it. then again, i had hardly spoken to a woman in my life, besides my mom, so maybe that had something to do with it!

Leif Pederson said...

The Princess And The Warrior, directed by Tom Tykwer.

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

I haven't seen that one Leif, so thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to check it out. I enjoyed Run Lola Run moderately, but I haven't seen anything else he's done.

it's funny thinking back to art you encountered as a kid, when you weren't ready for it. Like Shakespeare in high school, what's with that? I daresay I was a fairly precocious kid in my way, but Hamlet was completely wasted on me.

Steel Magnolias is a delight. I've seen it three times in the last two years, and I'm consistently impressed. It's a great southern melodrama, and Ross directs it with admirable understatement. That said, it's the mother of all chick-flicks, so if that's not your thing, well... you've been warned.

Broken Flowers is the quietest, most invisible masterpiece I've maybe ever seen -if you know what I mean. The narrative flows in and gently offers itself. It's like an Ozu film in that way. None of the parts seem remarkable; the acting, the direction, the script are all straightforward (though funny), but somehow -if you open yourself to it, there is a miracle on the other side.

jon said...

great take on broken flowers. i feel what you are saying. that's a great way of describing it, if i recall correctly.

Jeff said...

hmm, tough to add to this list. a few come to mind though.

The Hours, The Spirit of the Beehive, Rosemary's Baby (In an weird way), My Life to Live

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

Spirit of the Beehive! Yes, I definitely should've included it. Major omission.

Rosemary's Baby - that's weird, maybe it does fit... yeah, good one.

My Life to Live? The one with Sarah Polley? I don't remember caring for that one so much. I'll have to check it out again... Wait, no I checked IMDB -I was thinking of My Life Without Me, you're talking about the Godard film, which I haven't seen. I think I'm overdue to give Godard another chance. I've always sorta hated him.

Anonymous said...

some how I think the woman from 'Woman under the influence' is not a good pick

Matthew A. Wilkinson said...

why not?