In response to the AFI’s manifestly failed attempt to list the “100 Greatest American Films of All Time,” the Mediascape Journal of Cinema and Media Studies has published its own list entitled, “Top 100 American Films by Women Directors.”
Now that’s what I call a useful list. It reminds us once again of the difference between filmmakers who have a genuine personal style, and those who are simply manufacturers of corporate product. Looking at Mediascape‘s list and disregarding the merely talented, promising, or “lightly likeable,” I find at least five living women film directors working in the U.S. of A. whose names alone are sufficient to lure me into a theater (given a halfway interesting project). In other words – genuine auteurs. They are:
Elaine May (A New Leaf; The Heartbreak Kid; Mikey and Nicky; Ishtar);
Julie Taymor (Titus; Frida);
Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark; Wild Palms; Strange Days);
Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol; American Psycho; The Notorious Bettie Page – with Lili Taylor and Gretchen Mol, above);
Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation; Marie Antoinette).