When we talk about movies and the atmosphere surrounding these elements: director, production, postproduction, scenography, etc., with the exception of actors; we think about a male figure. Since the beginning, in the history of filmography we have known great directors, but all of them men:Keaton, Chaplin, Luis Delluc, Abel Gance, Luis Buñuel, Cecil B. de Mille, Capra, Hawks and many more. It is rare to hear the name of a female director and even more when talking about the development of cinema.
However women have been a fundamental part of filmography and they have to be recognized as part of it. They are not a complement of it, they are involved in the process. Nowadays, thenumber of female directors is increasing and the society is responding to this, to a way of expressing the world and its problems in which the woman is becoming more visible and responsible.
In order to start working in this business, women had to start raising hands, women had to prove that their sex had nothing to do with the capacity of creating good movies. With their own ambition,characteristics and skills they had to break the role of housewives, but these directors proved that there is no need to be a man in order to be capable of directing a movie and make it a success.
The French Alice Guy was one of the first movie directors. She made movies in the time of the Lumiere brothers. She used to say that women are better at making movies because women are all emotion and this is whata movie needs. In her movies we can observe maternity and women in leading roles. One of her famous quotations is “My youth, my lack of experience and my sex all conspire against me” (IMDb). This phrase shows how she was aware of her situation and how the environment into the film industry was (and probably is) working. Also we have the American Dorothy Arzner, who started as a stenographer, thenas an editor and writer. She worked at Paramount and had the opportunity of direct a financial success with the film Fashions for Women. What is good to highlight about this director is that she needed to look masculine in order to be treated more seriously. Here we can see that it was really difficult to have a “man’s job” and women had to adequate her lifestyle in order to belong. Arzner wasthe first woman to join the Directors Guild of America. More recently Ida Lupino was an actress and a film director; she thought that the interesting part of films was in the chair of direction. Lupino was called a model of modern feminist filmmakers. The fast-moving picture The Hitch-Hicker made her the first woman to direct a film noir. She used to present men in the same dangerous, irrationalforce that women were presented in that epoch.
With these three directors we can see that they have been a watershed to women in the field of making cinema. We can name more female directors such as: Germain Dulac a surrealistic and impressionist filmmaker; Lois Weber, the first woman directing a full-length feature film into a silent one; Leni Reifenstahl, a German film director known because ofher aesthetics and innovations as a filmmaker, and because her movies were Nazi Propaganda; Maya Deren who attacked Hollywood for its artistic, political, economic monopoly over America cinema; Shirley Clarke, she made the movie Bridges Go-Round which is the major example of abstract impressionism in films, and received an Academy Award for the film Skyscraper.
Female directors have always been asmall percentage of filmography history. But they have had great movies and most of them have been awarded or their works have been recognized in one way or another. Until now, only one female director has won an Oscar: Kathryn Bigelow with the movie The Hurt Locker. And here we can see that women cannot only make romantic comedy. The Hurt Locker is about a team of soldiers that disconnect...