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1-20 of 664 items from 2017   « Prev | Next »


CinemaCon: 'Netflix my ass' - Sony chief teases 'Blade Runner 2049'

9 hours ago | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Ryan Gosling, Dwayne Johnson, Edgar Wright, Jon Hamm on stage in Las Vegas.

‘Netflix my ass,’ Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman Tom Rothman declared after showing early footage from Blade Runner 2049 to convention attendees on Monday.

It was a typically bold statement in a session on Monday evening that wasted no opportunity to extol the virtue of the theatrical experience and stress Sony’s commitment to globally appealing, diverse content.

Minutes earlier Rothman had introduced the sci-fi sequel’s star Ryan Gosling on stage at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace and revealed part of the film takes place in Las Vegas.

The Canadian leading man told attendees how shooting the sequel with Denis Villeneuve, Harrison Ford and the cast in Budapest had been a “surreal” experience.

Footage was predictably atmospheric and featured plenty of shots of a familiar dystopian skyline. In one chilling sequence Jared Leto’s sinister character intones, “We make angels »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Colin Farrell in talks for Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo

25 March 2017 3:00 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

According to Deadline, Colin Farrell is in talks to join the cast of Tim Burton’s live-action Disney adaptation Dumbo, where he would play the role of Holt, the widowed father of two children from Kentucky.

Dumbo is gearing up to go into production in the spring, with Burton directing from a script by Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Age of Extinction). The project is expected to reunite the director with Batman Returns star Danny DeVito and Dark Shadows and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’s Eva Green.

Farrell has recently finished shooting The Killing of a Sacred Deer, his second collaboration with Yorgos Lanthimos, and earlier this week he also signed on to reunite with the filmmaker once again an Amazon series based around the Iran-Contra affair. He will also appear alongside Denzel Washington in Inner City, a legal drama from writer-director Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler). »

- Gary Collinson

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James Paxton Remembers His Late Father Bill Paxton: ‘Forever Smiling with You’

25 March 2017 8:27 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Bill Paxton‘s son is remembering his late father.

On Friday, 23-year-old actor James Paxton shared a touching tribute to his father on Instagram.

“Forever smiling with you,” he wrote, captioning a selfie of he and his father standing courtside at a basketball game.

On March 17, James posted a throwback photo of the two — showing Bill pushing his then-infant son on an oversized toy train.

“I’ll love you forever, Dad,” James wrote. “Could never possibly put into words how I feel about you.”

Bill died of a stroke last month after complications arose during heart surgery to replace a »

- Dave Quinn

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The Preview Reel: Power Rangers, Life, and CHiPs

24 March 2017 3:31 PM, PDT | CinemaNerdz | See recent CinemaNerdz news »

Welcome to this week’s “Preview Reel” column, where we look at the week’s upcoming wide release movies. After a record breaking debut from Beauty and the Beast last weekend, three new releases look to make a splash at the box office. There’s two reboots hitting the theaters this week, Power Rangers and CHiPs, and the horror-sci-fi flick, Life. None are likely to dethrone Beauty and the Beast, but lets see if any of these movies are worth your time.

Power Rangers

What we are excited about: Although this writer did not grow up watching the Power Rangers TV show, I know there is a lot of nostalgia attached to this property. People who love it are supremely passionate about it, and in an era filled with reboots and remakes, why can’t something like Power Rangers work today? It looks like it has a solid cast (anything »

- Scott Davis

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Colin Farrell in Talks to Star in Tim Burton’s ‘Dumbo’

24 March 2017 11:56 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Colin Farrell is in talks to star in Tim Burton’s live-action adaptation of “Dumbo” for Disney.

Farrell would play the father of the children who fall in love with the lovable elephant. Will Smith, Chris Pine, and Casey Affleck all passed on the role. Eva Green and Danny DeVito are also in negotiations to join the film.

Related

Colin Farrell to Star as Oliver North in Iran-Contra Series for Amazon (Exclusive)

Burton is directing from Ehren Kruger’s script. Justin Springer, who worked on “Tron: Legacy,” is producing with Kruger.

The original story followed an ostracized baby circus elephant who strives to achieve his full potential. Burton’s movie will included both live-action and animated elements.

The studio’s emphasis on live-action reboots follows the success of “Maleficent,” “Cinderella,” “The Jungle Book,” and most recently, “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. The Mouse House has remakes of “The Lion King, »

- Justin Kroll

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Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films Sued by Family of ‘Great Debaters’ Subject

24 March 2017 11:21 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films has been sued by the family of Melvin B.Tolson, who was portrayed by Denzel Washington in the 2007 film “The Great Debaters.” The suit was filed in federal court in Louisiana on Wednesday by David Wayne Semien, described as the succession representative and legal guardian of several of Tolson’s relatives. The Weinstein Company and Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Distribution are also named in the suit. “The defendants never requested, nor did Mr. Tolson’s heirs ever give the defendants consent to use or exploit Mr. Tolson’s name, image, likeness in making and distributing a film about his life without any. »

- Tim Kenneally

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Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Sued by Family of Man Depicted in 'The Great Debaters'

24 March 2017 9:12 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

"Life rights" is something that is often discussed, but rarely understood. It refers to the notion that a movie studio has some obligation to get the consent of an individual if that person's name and life experiences are to be adapted into a television show or feature film. However, there's no explicit law requiring that. Instead, there are some state laws protecting one's name or likeness from being commercially misappropriated, and that's what the family of Melvin B. Tolson is attempting to use in a lawsuit over the 2007 film, The Great Debaters, directed by Denzel Washington.

Tolson was a »

- Eriq Gardner

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Power Rangers Won’t Give Beauty And The Beast Much Trouble -- The Weekend Warrior

23 March 2017 7:25 AM, PDT | LRMonline.com | See recent LRM Online news »

Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out. 

So we’re going to try something different this week, because the Weekend Warrior has been getting a little long in the tooth, and we’re worried that our busy readers may prefer shorter and more concise pieces. We’ll give this a try over the next few weeks and maybe I’ll write a little more when there’s a bigger movie opening.

How Will Power Rangers and Two Other Movies Fare Against Disney’s Beauty and the Beast?

This past weekend, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast reigned supreme with nearly $175 million--over $20 million more than my prediction (ouch!)--and even with a substantial drop this weekend, it’s unlikely that any of the three new movies will be able to »

- Edward Douglas

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Fences

21 March 2017 11:07 AM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Verdict? The film of August Wilson’s play is absorbing, intense. If we rate by quality of writing, acting skill, and the craft of direction, Denzel Washington’s film betters most of its fellow Best Picture nominees. It’s also something positive for the arts, a ‘black experience’ play that can’t be pigeonholed as merely black- themed. The appeal of its compelling characters goes beyond racial boundaries. Viola Davis did win a well- deserved Oscar, and this is fine work from one end to the other.

Fences

Blu-ray + Digital HD

Paramount

2016 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 138 min. / Street Date March 14, 2017 / 39.99

Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney.

Cinematography: Charlotte Bruus Christensen

Film Editor: Hughes Winborne

Original Music: Marcelo Zarvos

Written by August Wilson from his play

Produced by Denzel Washington, Scott Rudin, Todd Black

Directed by Denzel Washington,

2017 is the year for envelope- fumbling at the Oscars, »

- Glenn Erickson

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Good Neighbors: Comparing Fences on Screen and Stage

21 March 2017 11:02 AM, PDT | FilmSchoolRejects.com | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

A new video sets the interpretations side-by-side.

In directing Fences, Denzel Washington took on a daunting challenge: explode a family drama conceived for the intimacy of the stage into the light-of-day, wide world of cinema. This might not sound like such a huge challenge, and to some it might even sound easier than rendering a story from a novel or other non-dramatic source, but the theater and the movie house are different places, and the stories told inside each of them benefit and suffer in ways because of these distinctions. For example, theater thrives off the immediacy of the performance and the presence of a live audience, as such making it more dramatic with large, bold performances, while cinema, removed from the audience and one-shot scenes, can focus more on the intricacies of character and narrative.

In the case of Fences, Washington managed to coax the best out of both worlds: the bombastic nature of the stage »

- H. Perry Horton

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Colin Farrell & Yorgos Lanthimos re-team for Amazon series

21 March 2017 1:45 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Amazon look set to once more throw down the gauntlet to its main rival Netflix with its latest project. The studio has reportedly managed to bag Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos, and his lead, Colin Farrell, for a new project. This follows not long after the announcement that they are developing a David O. Russell drama starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore. The new project will focus on Oliver North and his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair.

The production is still in very early stages, with the script still being written by Enzo Mileti and Scott WilsonBen Stiller and Nicky Weinstock are on-board as executive producers. Lanthimos had this to say about the forthcoming project:

“I’m really excited to be working with Colin again on something quite different to what we have done so far. I look forward to joining forces with Ben and Nicky, who had an »

- Kat Hughes

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Colin Farrell to Star as Oliver North in Iran-Contra Series for Amazon (Exclusive)

20 March 2017 2:43 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Colin Farrell is ready to return to the small screen.

Farrell and his “Lobster” director Yorgos Lanthimos are teaming up again on an Amazon show about Oliver North and his involvement in the Iran-Contra affair. Farrell will star as the former U.S. marine in the untitled limited series, which will primarily focus on the Iran-Contra scandal, and Lanthimos will direct.

According to sources, the project is still in development as Amazon awaits scripts from Enzo Mileti and Scott WilsonBen Stiller and Nicky Weinstock are exec producing for Red Hour Films.

“I’m really excited to be working with Colin again on something quite different to what we have done so far,” Lanthimos said. “I look forward to joining forces with Ben and Nicky, who had an excellent casting idea and saw the potential of the material early on and Amazon, who has embraced the project with great enthusiasm. It »

- Justin Kroll

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John Waters and Dita Von Teese Featured in Documentary About Cult Icon Tura Satana

20 March 2017 12:22 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Great news for Tura Satana fans: a documentary about the legendary actress, vedette and exotic dancer is in the works.

Satana became a cult icon after playing Varla — the leader of a women’s gang who kills a young man with her bare hands and helps kidnap his girlfriend — in the 1965 Russ Meyer’s cult classic “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”

Read More: John Waters Wants You to Wreck Things From the Inside in ‘Make Trouble’ Book Trailer — Watch

Off screen, the Japanese-born actress lead a turbulent live. As a child, she was interned at WWII Japanese relocation camp Manzanar, in California. Then, she moved with her family to Chicago, where she was the victim of a racially-motivated rape by a group of teenagers before her tenth birthday.

However, Satana turned her life around, becoming a famous burlesque dancer, and even dating Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. According to The Guardia, »

- Yoselin Acevedo

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George Clooney Surprises a Very Lucky Lady on Her 87th Birthday

20 March 2017 11:45 AM, PDT | Popsugar.com | See recent Popsugar news »

Special visitor for Pat »

- Brittney Stephens

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Life: Director Daniel Espinosa On The Outer Space Thriller

20 March 2017 11:00 AM, PDT | LRMonline.com | See recent LRM Online news »

Swedish director Daniel Espinosa might have been another foreign filmmaker working in obscurity until his film Snabba Cash (Easy Money) caught the attention of Hollywood, and he was hired to helm Safe House, an action-thriller starring Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington that became a huge hit over here. (Espinosa’s next movie, the psychological thriller Child 44, failed to find much of an audience, more due to poor marketing than anything else.)

Now, Espinosa is back with Life, an outer space thriller starring Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and more, which looks at what it might be like if life was discovered on Mars, and what might happen if that life turns out to be hostile. For the astronauts of the Iss (International Space Station), it becomes a life or death situation as a single cell organism starts growing and becoming stronger and smarter, as they have to figure out »

- Edward Douglas

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‘Fences’ Actor Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell to Star in World War II Drama ‘Overlord’

20 March 2017 10:08 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Paramount Pictures and J.J. AbramsBad Robot have signed “Fences” actor Jovan Adepo and Wyatt Russell to star in the World War II drama “Overlord.”

The film is directed by Julius Avery (“Son of a Gun”), and produced by Abrams and Lindsey Weber through Bad Robot. The script is written by Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips”) and Mark L. Smith (“The Revenant”).

The movie takes place in 1944 on the eve of D-Day and centers on a group of American paratroopers, who are dropped behind enemy lines to carry out a mission crucial to the invasion’s success. But as they approach their target, they begin to realize there’s more going on in the Nazi-occupied village than a simple military operation. “Overlord” will begin shooting this May in the U.K.

Adepo starred in “Fences” as Cory Maxson, the son of the characters played by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. He »

- Dave McNary

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‘Fences’ Jovan Adepo & Wyatt Russell Paratroop For Paramount’s ‘Overlord’

20 March 2017 9:22 AM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Jovan Adepo, who portrayed Denzel Washington’s son in the Best Picture Oscar nominee Fences, and Wyatt Russell (Everybody Wants Some!!) are headlining Bad Robot and Paramount Pictures’ period war pic Overlord, written by Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) and Mark Smith (The Revenant). The film, which starts production in May in the UK, is being directed Julius Avery and produced by J.J. Abrams and Lindsey Weber. The plotline: On the eve of D-Day, American paratroopers are… »

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Daniel Espinosa interview: Life, creatures, sci-fi, Giger

20 March 2017 7:46 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Ryan Lambie Mar 21, 2017

Director Daniel Espinosa talks to us about his new film, Life, and his thoughts on the science fiction genre...

Nb: The following discusses a few plot points in Life, but only ones you've seen in its trailer.

See related  Fast & Furious 8, and cinema’s strangest family The forgotten casualties of the Fast & Furious franchise Fast & Furious 9 and 10 release dates confirmed

Life immediately distinguishes itself from other post-Alien, monsters-in-space movies with one simple concept: it's not set in the future, but the present. Its events don't take place on a ship somewhere out there in the galaxy, but in the International Space Station orbiting Earth.

So when an alien organism's discovered in a soil sample retrieved from Mars, and a group of scientists begin studying it, there's an added layer of tension: in astronomical terms, the events are taking place on our own front door step.

Swedish director Daniel Espinosa, »

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Clive James: ‘Idris Elba is the most kingly British star since Richard Burton’

18 March 2017 1:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

To collect an actor’s performances is still one of the best reasons for continuing the long search into infinity

As a Denzel Washington fan, I try to see every movie he has made. When I was still flying, I would watch a Denzel movie two or three times on the trot, just to study the way he timed a sardonic smile – even today, I time a sardonic smile at my granddaughter’s dog. But those of us who would once haunt the DVD racks to pick up a Denzel movie must reconcile ourselves to never seeing, on any flight entertainment system, one of the greatest performances of his late period. Starring as an airline pilot in Flight, he is not only meant to be high on alcohol, but the airliner is also meant to be on the verge of falling apart.

Long before it crashes, you realise that, if »

- Clive James

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What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 4: 1984–1999

17 March 2017 2:02 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Mississippi Masala

by Carrie Rickey

This five-part Truthdig series by Carrie Rickey is published in partnership with Women and Hollywood. The series considers the historic accomplishments of women behind the camera, how they got marginalized, and how they are fighting for equal employment. Specifically, this series asks, why do females make up between 33 and 50 percent of film-school graduates but account for only seven percent of working directors? What happened to the women directors in Hollywood?

While female filmmakers waited for Judge Pamela Rymer to hand down a decision in the 1983 Directors Guild class-action suit against Warner Brothers and Columbia Pictures, alleging discrimination for not hiring women and ethnic minorities represented by the guild, there were positive signs of change in Hollywood.

In 1984, for the first time that almost anyone could remember, one needed two hands to count the number of feature films by women released in the U.S. market. One was Diane Kurys’ “Entre Nous” (1983), nominated for best foreign film at the Academy Awards in April 1984, making Kurys the second female director whose film was so honored.

Between 1950 and 1980, the number of movies directed by women in the Directors Guild of America (DGA) totaled 14. From 1984 to 1985 there were 12.

In 1984 many women were making their second features. Among them were Gillian Armstrong’s period drama “Mrs. Soffel,” Amy Heckerling’s gangster comedy “Johnny Dangerously,” Penelope Spheeris’ teenage-runaway saga “Suburbia,” and Amy Holden Jones’ romantic drama “Love Letters.” Martha Coolidge, beloved for “Valley Girl,” her 1983 debut, was on her third feature, “National Lampoon’s Joy of Sex.” With more women behind the movie camera in the United States than any time since the ’teens, it seemed that Hollywood was reopening the studio gates to women. Their movies featured women in lead roles.

The wave of optimism crested in 1985. Argentine director Maria Luisa Bemberg’s historical romance “Camila” (1984) was in contention for best foreign film. Susan Seidelman, an Nyu film-school grad who made a splash in 1983 with the indie “Smithereens,” released “Desperately Seeking Susan,” starring “It Girl” Rosanna Arquette and Madonna, cast when the latter was a relative unknown. It was a runaway hit. Heckerling and Spheeris each released third features, respectively “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” and “The Boys Next Door.” Coolidge released her fourth: “Real Genius,” a genuinely funny nerd comedy with a fully developed female character — and special effects.

Then came the crash.

In August 1985 Judge Rymer handed down her decision. While the class-action case was important and viable, Rymer ruled, she had to disqualify the DGA from leading the class due to a conflict of interest. White male members also competing for directing jobs dominated the guild, she said. Thus the DGA was in no position to represent the interests of its women and ethnic minority members. Out of exhaustion and lack of money, the Original Six, the group of female filmmakers that had first spurred the DGA to initiate the suit, did not pursue it any further.

As the DGA suit played out during the early 1980s, Hollywood’s business model was in flux. Studios abandoned the one-size-fits-all strategy of advertising a movie in general-interest publications and embraced segmented marketing — that is, making and marketing movies to a specific demographic. Fewer dollars were spent advertising movies in mainstream newspapers and more were spent on ads that ran during TV shows young males were said to watch. More and more, movies starred predominantly men and boys. Because actors had higher-profile roles, they could command higher salaries than actresses.

By dividing the market into sectors, studios divided the audience and the culture. Boys see movies about boys. Older people see movies about older people. Women see movies about women. Those in different demographics no longer watch the same stories.

In 1980, four of the 10 top box office stars were women: Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Sissy Spacek, and Barbra Streisand. In 1990 there was only one: Julia Roberts. According to 1990 statistics from the Screen Actors Guild, not only were actresses underpaid, but they were also “undercast”: 14 percent of the leading roles, and only 29 percent of all roles, went to women.

The “Indiana Jones” trilogy made in the 1980s reflected the progressively diminishing role of females in film during a decade when male action/adventures dominated the multiplex. In “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981), the character Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) plays Indy’s helpmate. In “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984), the Willie Scott character (Kate Capshaw) is helpless. And in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” archeologist Elsa Schneider (Alison Doody) is the enemy.

Despite such trends, the late 1980s and 1990s proved to be boom years for female directors in Hollywood and Indiewood, as independent film is known. In 1987, Kathryn Bigelow, a onetime sculptor and graduate of Columbia University’s film program, made her second feature, the “vampire Western” “Near Dark.” And though Elaine May’s studio film “Ishtar” was almost universally panned upon release, it earned belated respect. Richard Brody of The New Yorker correctly described it as “an unjustly derided masterwork.” In 1987, six percent of films were directed by women, higher than at any time since 1916.

The percentage dropped in 1988, but that was a watershed year for female filmmakers. “Big,” a comedy from Penny Marshall (co-written by Anne Spielberg), was universally acclaimed. It was the first movie directed by a woman that surpassed $100 million at the box office. With the romantic comedy “Crossing Delancey,” Joan Micklin Silver returned to making big-screen fare, and her modest hit was well received. Also in 1988, Silver’s daughter, Marisa, made her second feature, “Permanent Record,” about teen suicide. “Salaam, Bombay!”, the first feature from Mira Nair, the India-born, Harvard-educated documentarian, was a best foreign film Oscar nominee.

The following year, “Look Who’s Talking” from Amy Heckerling likewise surpassed the $100 million mark for box office sales in the U.S. and made nearly $300 million worldwide. For the most part, though, heads of studios regarded Marshall’s and Heckerling’s box-office smashes as flukes. Two heads of production told me in 1991 that “movies by women don’t make money.” Nevertheless, it turned out to be a exceptional year for the quality and range of releases from women. And it shaped up to be a year when movies by female filmmakers did make serious money.

Some of the highlights of 1991: Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust,” an evocative portrait of generations of Gullah women off the South Carolina coast circa 1901; Jodie Foster’s “Little Man Tate,” about a child prodigy emotionally torn between his mother and a psychologist for gifted children; and Mira Nair’s “Mississippi Masala,” a sexy romance about a South Asian woman born in Uganda (played by then-newcomer Sarita Choudhry) in love with an African-American man (Denzel Washington). Both Kathryn Bigelow’s action film “Point Break” and Barbra Streisand’s psychological study “Prince of Tides” examined the emotional costs to men who struggle to prove their masculinity. Bigelow’s movie grossed $83 million and Streisand’s $110 million. (Adjusted for inflation, that’s $148 million and $196 million in today’s dollars.)

Not only can female filmmakers make movies that show a different side of men, but they also make movies that show different aspects of women. Penny Marshall’s “A League of Their Own” (1992), about the All-American Girls Baseball Leagues during World War II, celebrates the athleticism (rather than the sexuality) of the female body. Nora Ephron’s “This is My Life,” her 1992 directorial debut about a single mom whose choice of comedy career affects her daughters, shows that career and motherhood need not be in conflict. Like Ephron’s film, Allison Anders’ “Gas Food Lodging” (also 1992) explores what happens when the children of single moms reconnect with biological fathers. Male directors were, and are not, making movies like these.

During the 1990s, almost every year brought a new evergreen made by a female filmmaker. In 1993 there were two. One was Jane Campion’s “The Piano,” a haunting allegory about a mute woman that struck a chord internationally. It earned $62 million at the box office and multiple Oscar nominations, including one for best director, making Campion the third woman to be cited in this category. The other was Nora Ephron’s “Sleepless in Seattle,” the comedic romance between two people who don’t meet in person until the last scene, which scored a $227 million box office.

“Sleepless” additionally introduced the questionable concept of the “chick flick” to a broader audience. This is a non-genre that has come to be defined as any movie that, according to the term’s proponents, women want to see and that men think they don’t want to watch — or any movie directed by a woman. The division between “chick flick” and its corollary, the “dick flick,” is a perhaps unintended consequence of target marketing, implying that movies represent a gender-linked proposition.

Almost overnight, the perception was created that movies predominantly featuring women, or “women’s interests,” or directed by women would shrivel the manhood of the male moviegoer. In 1994 the head of a major studio told me, without irony or shame, that “Women on the screen means no men in the audience.” When I asked him for data to back up his claim, he said he had it, but it was proprietary.

Despite such signs of cultural and corporate sexism, the 1990s were a good time to be a female filmmaker. In 1994, Gillian Armstrong’s “Little Women” was immediately embraced as a classic. Newcomer Darnell Martin’s “I Like it Like That,” an urban comedy about a working mother juggling job, marriage, and parenthood, earned positive reviews. And Rose Troche’s “Go Fish,” the first indie comedy about girl-on-girl courtship, marked a milestone for the burgeoning genre.

The following year, 16 films by women were in U.S. release, setting another record for that era. Many of them were comedies. There was Amy Heckerling’s “Clueless,” a droll version of Jane Austen’s “Emma” set at a Beverly Hills high school. There is Betty Thomas’ “The Brady Bunch Movie,” in which the former actress sets the characters of the 1970s TV hit in the 1990s to great comic effect. Distinctly not a comedy was Kathryn Bigelow’s “Strange Days,” a science-fiction thriller about sex crimes, which lost money but became a cult favorite. At the 1996 Oscar ceremony, with “Antonia’s Line,” Dutch filmmaker Marleen Gorris became the first female filmmaker to direct the award-winning foreign film.

But apart from Bigelow and Mimi Leder, a director of episodic television who in 1997 directed “The Peacemaker” and in 1998 “Deep Impact,” female filmmakers were not making action films. For the most part women made comedies and human stories, movies with no explosions in the opening scene. Veteran filmmaker Martha Coolidge spoke for many women when she noted that the scripts the studios sent her were for comedies or family dramas. “About 90 percent of what comes my way are ten different kinds of breast cancer stories, ten kinds of divorce stories, and ten kinds of women-taking-care-of-their-fathers stories,” she said. “I do those. I care about those deeply. But one does want to do more.”

Female filmmakers were typecast in the way many actors and actresses have been, for the most part pigeonholed in family drama and comedy genres. For example, in 1997 actress Kasi Lemmons made her directorial debut with “Eve’s Bayou,” a haunting family drama, and Betty Thomas returned with the Howard Stern biopic “Private Parts.” In 1998, Ephron returned with the romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail.” Nancy Meyers, a long-time screenwriter, made her directorial debut with the family-friendly comedy “The Parent Trap,” and Brenda Chapman, a Disney animator, was one of three directors on “Prince of Egypt,” the animated story of Moses.

In 1999, three female filmmakers made rookie features unlike anything in American movies. Two were romantic dramas about teenage sexuality, the other an imaginative Shakespeare adaptation. Sofia Coppola’s “The Virgin Suicides,” based on the novel by Jeffrey Eugenides, looked at how boys look at girls, subversively turning the female gaze on the male gaze. Kimberly Peirce’s “Boys Don’t Cry” dramatized the life story of Teena Brandon, who changed her name and gender to become Brandon Teena and fell victim to a hate crime.

Julie Taymor, the theater director who created “The Lion King” on stage, made her movie debut with “Titus,” an anachronistic version of the Shakespeare history play “Titus Andronicus,” underscoring its parallels to Italy under Mussolini.

At the end of the decade — and century — of the 11,000 filmmakers working both in television and film included in the Directors Guild of America, about 2,300 were women. While women made up 21 percent of the membership, they comprised only 9 percent of the filmmakers working in movies.

Most, including Martha Lauzen, a professor at San Diego State University and the head of the Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television, naturally assumed that in the new century the needle would move toward 50/50.

In addition to writing film reviews and essays for Truthdig, Carrie Rickey has been a film critic at The Philadelphia Inquirer and Village Voice, and an art critic at Artforum and Art in America. Rickey has taught at various institutions, including School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania, and has appeared frequently on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” MSNBC, and CNN.

What Happened to the Women Directors in Hollywood? Part 4: 1984–1999 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »

- Women and Hollywood

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