Saturday, April 25, 2009

Treeless Mountain

Opening this week:

Treeless Mountain, directed by So Young Kim

The adults in Treeless Mountain do not appear purposefully cruel, though they often appear as cold, remote and mysterious as the stars in the sky. The film, the second feature from the Brooklyn-based writer and director So Yong Kim, tells a quiet, carefully observed story about two young girls — 6-year-old Jin and her 4-year old sister, Bin — who become orphans of a kind after their mother leaves them with relatives. Shot in South Korea, where Ms. Kim was born (her family immigrated to America when she was 12), it has the tang of real life, though this is realism that has been filtered through 60 or so years of world art cinema. — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

The full New York Times review is here, and they ran an article about her and her husband last week.

Introduction to XX Cinema

Even if we don't *know* all the statistics about the lack of women directors in Hollywood (in 2008, only 9% of the top 250 movies were directed by women), it is as obvious as the smirk on Kate Hudson's face that we are underrepresented at the movies.  Come on, out of ALL the movies to EVER be nominated for Best Picture, only three and a half were directed by women (Sofia Coppola, Jane Campion and Lina Wertmuller, and Valerie Faris (with Jonathan Dayton, for Little Miss Sunshine). And I'm sure the numbers for summer blockbuster money machines are even worse, though I can't be bothered to look them up. (It bears noting that even though Catherine Hardwicke directed Twilight, which grossed $379 million worldwide, she was not asked back for the sequels.)

What is my point?  This: there are so many more stories out there to be told, stories about women who aren't strippers or prostitutes (despite what we see in the movies, most of us aren't). But those doors don't open until women directors are seen as being perfectly capable of bringing in the big bucks, especially on opening weekend. So, my dears, that is where we come in. Every week, I will (try to) scour the Internet for movies directed by women, and let you know about it, so that (if it looks appealing) you can go show your support at the box office. And then the Oscars will come rolling in, naturally. Probably in a couple of weeks.