Monday, February 9, 2009

Berlinale - Day 5

Female directors take over the Berlinale.

It's about time.

Many in the general movie going public don't realize this, but it is staggering to understand how male dominated the movie industry still is.

Question: What percentage of the top grossing films in 2007 were made by women?

Answer: 6%

Yes, 6%. It does not stop there. A recent study by San Diego State's Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television revealed that 70% of film criticism in the nation's major newspapers were written by men.

It was refreshing today then to see two films in a row, in significant programming slots, by female directors in the prime of their careers. Each film employed a distinct voice, an abundance of artistic and intellectual merit, but unfortunately several flaws of characterization and tone.

Actor turned actor/director, Julie Delpy's film "The Countess" suffered some from the cold tonal approach to the subject, but it still stood above many other recent period films that deal with love, or rather unrequited love.

Rebecca Miller burst onto the scene in 2002 with her second film "Personal Velocity." With "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" she defies genres and conventions in the inventively told story of a middle aged woman struggling to come to a deeper understanding of her own life. It is unfortunate that she choose such wooden and banal characters to explore.

If my article photos are too much of a tease, click here for a cool gadget from the Berlinale to view tons of the official festival photos.

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