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‘The Mindy Project’ Finale Proves Mindy Kaling Is Ready for Her ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ Gig

‘The Mindy Project’ Finale Proves Mindy Kaling Is Ready for Her ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ Gig
[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “The Mindy Project” series finale, “It Had to Be You.”]

The Mindy Project” came to an end on Tuesday with its series finale, and every major character finds love or fulfillment in some form. Everything comes full circle with Dr. Mindy Lahiri (creator and star Mindy Kaling) fleeing from a wedding on a bicycle while wearing a sequined dress. But what a difference six seasons and countless boyfriends make. In the pilot, Mindy’s bike escape is sparked by going on a drunken rant at her ex’s wedding. In the finale, she’s peddling away from her good friend’s wedding into the arms of the man she loves.

Over the course of five years and two networks, Kaling refined her romantic comedy style, which ranged from irreverent and goofy to idealistic and contemplative. It hasn’t always been the most consistent, though, and season-to-season has ranged wildly in tone and execution. This was partially due to the network switch,
See full article at Indiewire Television »

‘The Mindy Project’ Finale Proves Mindy Kaling Is Ready for Her ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ Gig

‘The Mindy Project’ Finale Proves Mindy Kaling Is Ready for Her ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ Gig
[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “The Mindy Project” series finale, “It Had to Be You.”]

The Mindy Project” came to an end on Tuesday with its series finale, and every major character finds love or fulfillment in some form. Everything comes full circle with Dr. Mindy Lahiri (creator and star Mindy Kaling) fleeing from a wedding on a bicycle while wearing a sequined dress. But what a difference six seasons and countless boyfriends make. In the pilot, Mindy’s bike escape is sparked by going on a drunken rant at her ex’s wedding. In the finale, she’s peddling away from her good friend’s wedding into the arms of the man she loves.

Over the course of five years and two networks, Kaling refined her romantic comedy style, which ranged from irreverent and goofy to idealistic and contemplative. It hasn’t always been the most consistent, though, and season-to-season has ranged wildly in tone and execution. This was partially due to the network switch,
See full article at Indiewire »

People's Ones to Watch Stars Reveal the Moment They Felt They 'Made It'

People's Ones to Watch Stars Reveal the Moment They Felt They 'Made It'
People honored the crop of Hollywood’s hottest rising stars at its annual Ones to Watch party Wednesday night, which featured the best up-and-coming musicians, actors and influencers in the industry.

Among the 26 honorees is Star Wars: The Last Jedi star Kelly Marie Tran, Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan‘s 25-year-old son Jack Quaid, country crooner Carly Pearce, Michael Jackson‘s model daughter Paris Jackson and many more. And People had one big question for the talented roster of celebrities: When did you feel you “made it” in Hollywood?

“It’s nice to have things like this. We may not have made it,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Author Erin Carlson on Her New Book “I’ll Have What She’s Having” and the Legacy of Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron died in 2012, at the age of 71, but she left an indelible mark on the world as one of the most influential voices of our time. She left behind a strong legacy and continues to inspire new and emerging artists. So, it is no surprise that entertainment journalist Erin Carlson has chosen to write her first book about the late Hollywood powerhouse. In “I’ll Have What She’s Having” she takes readers behind the scenes of the writer-director’s three most successful movies: “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “You’ve Got Mail.”

I spoke to Carlson about her research process and findings from authoring this book, what she learned about women in Hollywood, Ephron’s impact on the film industry, and more.

W&H: Nora directed her first movie, “This is My Life,” at 50 years old, and the rest is history. How would you describe her impact on the film industry, and rom-coms specifically?

EC: Nora’s gifts as a writer and journalist helped make her as iconic in the romantic comedy genre as her biggest stars and creative collaborators, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. When Nora directed her own scripts, she was masterful — only she could envision and execute the words and dialogue she wrote and the characters whom she developed. Like any singular artist, she leaves an unmistakable imprint on her work; her sweet and tart voice courses throughout her finest films, which also happened to be her romantic comedies. And she was born to make them.

As the daughter of screenwriter duo Henry and Phoebe Ephron, who raised their four girls in Beverly Hills and specialized in romances, Nora witnessed firsthand the process of writing movies, and bringing them to the big screen. She despised the word “art.” Because she understood that filmmaking was a craft, and with more experience, something at which she could improve. The truth is male directors get more chances than their women counterparts to fail and then score another plum project.

Since her critically acclaimed debut film, “This Is My Life,” did poorly at the box office, TriStar, the studio behind “Sleepless in Seattle,” was initially skeptical about handing this novice the reins of a big-budget romantic comedy — of course, she proved everyone wrong, and that romantic comedy became one of the top-grossing offerings of 1993.

Nora knew that two things contributed to a successful romcom: writing and casting. And hers were wry, knowing, and urbane, yet drenched in the unabashed optimism of the Golden Age classics of her youth. She created strong woman characters who could stand up to the men in their lives, and show them a thing or two. For example, Sally turning the tables on Harry, and acting out a fake orgasm in a deli in “When Harry Met Sally.”

Nora truly believed in the possibility of love between equals, and it was important to her to infuse Sally Albright, Annie Reed, and Kathleen Kelly with a voice — and jokes — as strong as the male lead’s. Why should the guys have all the fun? Nora created worlds in which anything, and everything was possible — worlds that we all still want to live in, and we return to again and again.

W&H: How did you come to land on the three films that you chose to highlight from her career?

EC: “When Harry Met Sally,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “You’ve Got Mail” are a trilogy of romantic comedies that represent Nora’s best and most enduring work, and through which her muse, Meg Ryan, played an instrumental part. These movies are her legacy, with “Julie & Julia” runner-up — because Meryl, Stanley Tucci … butter!

Sleepless in Seattle

W&H:You did a great deal of interviews for this book. Which women in her life did you know that you had to talk to and were there any women who did not want to speak to you?

EC: I knew that I absolutely had to speak with Delia Ephron, Nora’s sister and collaborator who worked with her on “Sleepless” and “You’ve Got Mail.” Delia told me she was the “guardian” of the sisters’ scripts, namely that Nora trusted her to protect the integrity of their screenplays during the filmmaking process. Delia had crucial insight into Nora’s vision and working style. I was lucky to interview her.

Meg Ryan, meanwhile, proved a challenge — just when I thought her publicist would connect me for an interview, she went radio silent even though Tom Hanks, her beloved colleague, had spoken with me. At the time, “Star” magazine had done a series of unflattering covers of Meg, and it appeared that she felt burned by the media and potentially even talking to journalists. Who can blame her? However, rather than Meg give me PR-approved soundbites about her own legacy in romantic comedy, it was more fascinating to put together a portrait of her based on my wide-ranging interviews with the folks who could speak openly and honestly about her transformation from ingenue to leading lady in the span of “When Harry Met Sally” to “Sleepless.”

W&H: I loved reading about Nora’s relationships with different men in Hollywood during the course of her career. Can you talk about these relationships, and particularly any sexism in the film industry that she faced during the course of her career?

EC: Nora was married three times. Her first husband was the comedy writer Dan Greenburg, whom she divorced amid the feminist movement that shook things up in the 1970s; her second was Carl Bernstein, who, together with Bob Woodward, linked Watergate to President Nixon. Bernstein left her for another woman while she was pregnant with their second child.

That experience traumatized and humiliated her — but she had the last laugh when she wrote the juicy novel “Heartburn,” a thinly veiled account of the demise of her marriage to Bernstein. That book, of course, became the movie with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson; Bernstein did not want this movie to get made, though he reportedly loved that Jack, the hottest movie star of his day, was playing a fictional version of Carl.

Several years later, Nora married Nick Pileggi, her third — and best — husband. Pileggi is a “famously nice guy,” as Nora has written, and renowned for his reporting on the Mafia. He wrote the book which inspired Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas.” More importantly, he adored Nora and relished in her success, rather than harbor resentment toward it.

But you’re asking me about Nora’s relationships with men in Hollywood! Well, she and “When Harry Met Sally” director Rob Reiner were pretty tight. He trusted her and believed in her talent and gave her the credit of associate producer on his movie; even though he had a hand in co-writing the script for Harry and Sally, Nora received the sole credit as the screenwriter, as well as the only Oscar nomination for anyone involved with the film. That says a lot about Rob. He’s a mensch, with a strong mother.

Rob appreciated Nora and her contributions and what she brought to the character of Sally as well as her keen social observations and killer one-liners. They understood each other as comic writers and as the children of parents who were successful in showbiz. With Nora, Rob saw an equal. It is utterly mystifying to me that he still believes that men and women’t can’t be friends — how, then, could Nora continue to work in Hollywood and be friends with men like Rob, or Mike Nichols, or Tom Hanks? That is the great irony.

When Harry Met Sally

W&H: What did you learn about women’s roles in Hollywood while writing this book?

EC: It’s still a man’s world, with shitty roles for women and a dearth of directing opportunities. Like Nora, if women want to create movies and TV series centered on female characters, then they will need to write and direct material they originate and cultivate themselves.

W&H: Which modern women in Hollywood have been greatly influenced by Nora?

EC: Funny you ask: Since Lena Dunham was mentored by Nora, and is a hugely talented writer-director in her own right, people want to categorize Lena as the new Nora. She’s not. Lena is open and unfiltered where Nora was self-possessed, always aware of the boundaries between people.

If I had to choose a Nora heir, it would have to be Tina Fey. Tina led “Saturday Night Live” for years before “30 Rock,” and the two women share a similar arch, self-deprecating sense of humor and B.S. detector that have won them zillions of female fans. Plus, they set their movies and TV shows in New York, capturing the endless idiosyncrasies of the Greatest City in the World.

Another thing: I know it sounds weird, but Taylor Swift also reminds me of Nora. She just keeps bouncing back from shit, and reinventing herself, and writing about her love life and exes within a narrative in which Taylor always wins as the heroine, never the victim, of her own story. Her own romantic comedy. Harry Styles be damned!

“You’ve Got Mail”

W&H: How far have women come since then and how do you think Nora would feel about where women in Hollywood are today?

EC: Following a summer in which Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” kicked ass, and Nicole Kidman and Elisabeth Moss cleaned up at the Emmys, it’s easy to feel better about the state of women in Hollywood today. However, we have a long way to go toward creating roles for actresses that are as compelling as those men get to play — and not just love interests, mothers, wives, and daughters.

Nora, a barrier-breaking feminist, loathed panels on women in film. She hated labels and felt trapped by them and wanted to be known as a “director,” not a “woman director.” That said, she would doubtless be heartened by a newly energized feminist movement of women and girls who are taking less shit and taking more names. “Go out and get what you want,” she might tell them. “Just do it.”

“I’ll Have What She’s Having” is available now and can be purchased on Amazon.

https://medium.com/media/b944fd4727ea47477e9028d3530d9c97/href

Author Erin Carlson on Her New Book “I’ll Have What She’s Having” and the Legacy of Nora Ephron was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Ten Best: Phone Scenes in Movies

To celebrate today’s release of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus – available in stores from today – here’s a list of the Ten Best phone scenes in movies, showcasing some of the most famous telephone calls ever made.

Pillow Talk (1959)

A man and woman share a telephone line and despise each other, but when he sees the woman for the first time and immediately falls for her, he has fun by romancing her with his voice disguised. Pillow Talk was the first of three movies in which Doris Day and Rock Hudson starred together and was named by the National Film Registry for being ‘culturally, historically and aesthetically’ significant.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

The 1989 American romantic comedy starring Billy Crystal (Harry) and Meg Ryan (Sally) raised the question: ‘Can men and women ever just be friends’? Grossing a total of $92.2 million at the box office, the film’s plot focuses
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

'Singles' at 25: Cameron Crowe on Making the Definitive Grunge Movie

'Singles' at 25: Cameron Crowe on Making the Definitive Grunge Movie
By the time Cameron Crowe made Singles in 1992, the 35-year-old director was already a decade into his career's second act. A former journalist for Rolling Stone, he'd pivoted towards the movies after adapting his book about going undercover at a Los Angeles high school – Fast Times at Ridgemont High – for the screen in 1982. And his directorial debut, Say Anything... (1989), proved that he had a knack for capturing teen spirit.

Crowe, however, wanted his audience to grow up with him, so for his follow-up movie, he turned his attention to twentysomethings.
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Guest Post: Why the Lack of Women-Made Films in the National Film Registry Is a Problem — and How…

Guest Post: Why the Lack of Women-Made Films in the National Film Registry Is a Problem — and How We Can Fix ItDirector Gina Prince-Bythewood and star Sanaa Lathan on the set of “Love and Basketball”: New Line Cinema. “Love and Basketball” is one of Wifv’s nominations for the National Film Registry.

Guest Post by Maya Pearson

New strides towards equality are being made every year for women in Hollywood. This summer “Wonder Woman” shattered box office records and glass ceilings alike, in no small part thanks to director Patty Jenkins. And one can hope that films like “Atomic Blonde” will inspire more female-led action films in the coming years. While it is important that we celebrate the groundbreaking achievements of women filmmakers today, we also have a responsibility to pay tribute to the trailblazing women who have helped us get where we are.

One way to aid this effort is by nominating films to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry (Nfr). Every year the Nfr accepts 25 films that are at least 10 years old and considered to be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” to preserve. While the registry is conscious of the importance of female filmmakers, women-made films are still highly underrepresented in the registry. Out of 700 films archived as of 2016, only 40 — or roughly 5.7 percent — are directed by women. While severely lacking in representation for female filmmakers, the National Film Registry has found room for controversial films helmed by men over the years. For example, the notoriously racist “Birth of a Nation” (1915) was inducted in 1992.

For decades women have worked to effect change from both behind and in front of the camera. The importance of ensuring that their filmmaking contributions are not lost cannot be understated. The Nfr includes what are considered to be some of the most significant American films ever made. By ensuring that women-made films are among these ranks, we demonstrate that we value these works, stories, and experiences to the same degree as those created by men.

Women in Film and Video of Washington, D.C. (Wifv) selects several films written and directed by women to endorse for the National Film Registry every year. These are our suggestions:

He’S Only Missing (1978), written and directed by Robin Smith, is a highly personal documentary which follows the families of American soldiers attempting to track down their loved ones during and after the Vietnam War.Sleepless In Seattle (1993) is one of the most well-known films of writer-director Nora Ephron’s career. She directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with David S. Ward and Jeff Arch.Eve’S Bayou (1997) centers on an African-American family in the 1960s. The film, written and directed by Kasi Lemmons, intertwines fraying relationships with elements of magical realism.Boys Don’T Cry (1999), written and directed by Kimberly Peirce, depicts the true story of Brandon Teena, who fell victim to an anti-transgender hate crime.Bring It On (2000), written by Jessica Bendinger, is a cult classic that highlights female friendships and rivalries in high school cheerleading.Love & Basketball (2000), writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s revered feature debut, presents a unique hybridization of the sports and romance genres.Stranger With A Camera (2000) is a haunting documentary from Elizabeth Barret which, by looking into the murder of filmmaker Hugh O’Conner, examines moral questions about documentary filmmaking itself.Jesus Camp (2006) was directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, and provides an unprecedented, objective look at evangelical Christianity in America through the eyes of children.Marie Antoinette (2006) was written and directed by Sofia Coppola and provides an atypical, female-driven take on the collapse of the monarchy leading up to the French Revolution.Juno (2007) was written by Diablo Cody and provides an unusual look at pregnancy from the perspective of its witty teenage protagonist.

You can learn more about each of these films and how to nominate them here. You can nominate up to 50 films before the September 15, 2017 deadline.

We can’t change the amount of female representation in the past, but by nominating films for the Nfr, we can help ensure that the contributions of female filmmakers are preserved for the future.

Maya Pearson is an intern at Women in Film and Video of Washington, D.C. She is studying Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University.

Guest Post: Why the Lack of Women-Made Films in the National Film Registry Is a Problem — and How… was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Marvel's Inhumans — IMAX's first TV show premiere

Kayti Burt Aug 1, 2017

Our Us chums talked to IMAX's Greg Foster, Inhumans showrunner Scott Buck, and director Roel Ruiz about Inhumans' IMAX debut...

The way we watch TV is changing. For many, that means smaller, mobile screens and a more isolated viewing experience. These aren't necessarily bad advancements, but there are things we lose when the communal, big-screen viewing experience goes out of style.

See related American Horror Story renewed for seasons 8 and 9 American Horror Story: Roanoke might be its best season yet American Horror Story season 6: Roanoke Chapter 10 Ryan Murphy: celebrating a showrunner who never holds back

Luckily, IMAX doesn't plan on letting the communal, big-screen viewing experience go out of style anytime soon.

Next month, IMAX, Marvel, and ABC will release the first two episodes of new TV series Marvel's Inhumans on IMAX screens around the world. Following the IMAX debut, Inhumans will be
See full article at Den of Geek »

Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp Are Back Together After Breaking Up Over 2 Years Ago

Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp Are Back Together After Breaking Up Over 2 Years Ago
Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp have rekindled their romance, a source tells Et.

The two started dating in 2010, but called it quits five years later. Back in March, Mellencamp went on Howard Stern's SiriusXM radio show, and implied that there was no way that he would ever have a shot at getting back with the 55-year-old actress.

"Oh, women hate me. I loved Meg Ryan," he said. "She hates me to death."

Watch: Meg Ryan Dismisses Speculation About Her Changing Face -- 'I Love My Age'

As to why Ryan would have such negative feelings toward him, the 65-year-old musician elaborated, "I think it’s because I’m a child. I throw fits, I gripe, I complain. I’m moody. Every bad thing that a fella can be, that’s me.”

Stern suggested that Mellencamp call and attempt to make amends with the Sleepless in Seattle star, but he insisted that he'd already attempted to do so
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Meg Ryan And John Mellencamp Back Together, Says Source: ‘They Have A Bond’

After splitting up nearly three years ago, rocker John Mellencamp, 65, and “Sleepless in Seattle” star Meg Ryan, 55, are reportedly back together, with the New York Post‘s “Page Six” column citing a source who claims the pair have rekindled their romance. “They are together,” said the source. “It’s been a few months.” According to reports, […]
See full article at ET Canada »

Female Directors Power List: See Which Filmmakers Grossed Over $100 Million

Female Directors Power List: See Which Filmmakers Grossed Over $100 Million
Wonder Woman” is expected to top the weekend; claims that it will be the most successful film ever directed by a woman will soon follow. That’s possible, but far from guaranteed: While Hollywood’s pretzel logic would suggest that women rarely direct blockbusters, Patty Jenkins’ success story will have a lot of competition.

The dearth of women directors trusted by studios to helm top movies becomes even more suspect when adjusting grosses to current ticket prices. Despite limited opportunities, 14 have grossed over $200 million, and 40 total over $100 million when calculated at current numbers.

Below, we go into detail about the top directors and their movies; there’s a lot to see, with some compelling and surprising conclusions. However, more than any other statistic, here’s one that stands out: Among the most successful female directors, after adjusting to current ticket prices, the career average per film gross is over $100 million for several.
See full article at Indiewire »

Lynda Obst Testifies in Robert Durst Murder Case

Lynda Obst Testifies in Robert Durst Murder Case
A Hollywood producer testified Wednesday that a friend claimed to have impersonated the first wife of real estate heir Robert Durst in a telephone call that prosecutors say took place after the wife was dead.

Lynda Obst, whose films include Sleepless in Seattle and Interstellar, took the stand during a pre-trial hearing for Durst, who is charged with shooting Susan Berman in 2000 at her Los Angeles home.

Obst said that Berman, a mutual friend, confided that she had pretended to be Kathleen Durst in a 1982 telephone call to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

A...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Lynda Obst Testifies in Robert Durst Murder Case

A Hollywood producer testified Wednesday that a friend claimed to have impersonated the first wife of real estate heir Robert Durst in a telephone call that prosecutors say took place after the wife was dead.

Lynda Obst, whose films include Sleepless in Seattle and Interstellar, took the stand during a pre-trial hearing for Durst, who is charged with shooting Susan Berman in 2000 at her Los Angeles home.

Obst said that Berman, a mutual friend, confided that she had pretended to be Kathleen Durst in a 1982 telephone call to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

A...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Why Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Are Proving the Skeptics All Wrong

Why Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez Are Proving the Skeptics All Wrong
Sorry to have ever doubted you, J.Lo and A-Rod. If everything is meant to be, or all roads lead to where you need to go, or everything happens for a reason, or whatever, perhaps Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez were simply inevitable, like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle. Which means you can't linger too long on any pain, suffering or screw-ups that preceded this moment in time, and just remember that the obvious doesn't always present itself right away. Lopez and Rodriguez met 12 years ago, at Yankee Stadium before a game, but both were married—Mets fan Marc Anthony was right there in the picture with them after all. Only now does it mean a thing that...
See full article at E! Online »

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

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.
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A Woman Heartbreakingly Just Set Up a Real-life 'Sleepless in Seattle'

  • Fandango
In the classic romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle, Tom Hanks plays a man whose wife recently succumbed to cancer. His son wants him to get a new wife, so he calls into a radio show and sells the entire country on this wonderful widower, his father. One woman, played by Meg Ryan, becomes rather obsessed with the guy. Eventually they meet and, we assume, fall in love.   Almost 24 years later, a real-life version of Sleepless in Seattle may be brewing. Author Amy Krouse...

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A Woman Heartbreakingly Just Set Up a Real-life 'Sleepless in Seattle'

  • Movies.com
In the classic romantic comedy Sleepless in Seattle, Tom Hanks plays a man whose wife recently succumbed to cancer. His son wants him to get a new wife, so he calls into a radio show and sells the entire country on this wonderful widower, his father. One woman, played by Meg Ryan, becomes rather obsessed with the guy, and eventually they meet and, we assume, fall in love.   Almost 24 years later, a real-life version of Sleepless in Seattle may be brewing. Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who is mostly known for children's books, wrote an article in the Style section of the New York Times pimping out her own husband. Rosenthal has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer and is hoping to leave her man in good hands.  Unlike Hanks's character...

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Meg Ryan’s Luxurious Home Could Be Yours For $11 Million

Meg Ryan’s lust-worthy New York City loft has hit the market and will have you dreaming up a renovation of your own! The “Sleepless in Seattle” actress is trading her sophisticated Soho apartment — envisioned by designer Monique Gibson, architect Joel Barkley and Ryan herself — for $11 million. Related: ‘Free Spirit’ Kristen Stewart Channels […]
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