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Movie Mom

Linda Holmes: Where Are the Women in Movies?

posted by Nell Minow

Linda Holmes of NPR’s Monkey See blog has written a piece that is more than the usual “Why aren’t there more women in/making movies?

There are 617 movie showings today — that’s just today, Friday — within 10 miles of my house.

Of those 617 showings, 561 of them — 90 percent — are stories about men or groups of men, where women play supporting roles or fill out ensembles primarily focused on men. The movies making up those 561 showings: Man Of Steel (143), This Is The End (77), The Internship (52), The Purge (49), After Earth (29), Now You See Me (56), Fast & Furious6 (44),The Hangover Part III (16), Star Trek Into Darkness (34), The Great Gatsby (16), Iron Man 3(18), Mud (9), The Company You Keep (4), Kings Of Summer (9), and 42 (5).

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Thirty-one are showings of movies about balanced pairings or ensembles of men and women: Before Midnight (26), Shadow Dancer (4), and Wish You Were Here (1).

Twenty-five are showings of movies about women or girls: The East (8), Fill The Void (4),Frances Ha (9), and What Maisie Knew (4).

Of the seven movies about women or balanced groups, only one — the Israeli film Fill The Void — is directed by a woman, Rama Burshtein. That’s also the only one that isn’t about a well-off white American. (Well, Celine in Before Midnight is well-off, white and French, but she’s been living in the U.S.)

There are nearly six times as many showings of Man Of Steel alone as there are of all the films about women put together.

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I want to stress this again: In many, many parts of the country right now, if you want to go to see a movie in the theater and see a current movie about a woman — any story about anywoman that isn’t a documentary or a cartoon — you can’t. You cannot. There are not any. You cannot take yourself to one, take your friend to one, take your daughter to one.

There are not any.

I love her description of what’s in theaters now: “Dudes in capes, dudes in cars, dudes in space, dudes drinking, dudes smoking, dudes doing magic tricks, dudes being funny, dudes being dramatic, dudes flying through the air, dudes blowing up, dudes getting killed, dudes saving and kissing women and children, and dudes glowering at each other.”

 

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