letterboxd is asking its community for their lists of most remarkable feature debuts. so what is your top 10 most remarkable debuts from women directors?
SUPER FUN QUESTION.
Also I feel like I could give like 10 answers from last year alone but I’ll try to contain myself. (J/K I CAN’T CONTAIN MYSELF, GET READY FOR THE NOVEL!)
Clip dir. Maja Milos (2012) Imagine a more brutal version of Thirteen set in the social media era in Serbia and you have Clip, a brutal movie about a 14 year old girl who engages in a highly sexualized and often violent relationship with one of her classmates. It’s a shocking watch especially because Milos doesn’t try to protect her lead character (played by an actual 14 year old) at all and doesn’t shield her (or the audience) from the sado-masochistic behaviour she engages in in order to get attention and feel love.
My Brilliant Career dir. Gillian Armstrong (1979) So this is like the stereotypical period piece about a plucky young woman discovering herself only it’s SO MUCH BETTER THAN THAT. A really beautiful and quietly subversive period piece that is so visually stunning and self-assured that it doesn’t feel like a first film at all. A must see.
Titus dir. Julie Taymor (1999) When people say that a movie is like a theatre piece they usually mean it as an insult but Titus applies the “anything goes” spirit of theatre in the most fun and flamboyant way. This is a really bombastic, unforgettable visual adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s lesser known plays. Taymor mixes genres, time periods and references in a way that is intensely fresh and unique.
Fill the Void dir. Rama Burshstein (2012) This is a romantic drama about a young Israeli woman who is part of an Orthodox Jewish community who, after her sister dies, is prompted to consider marrying her sister’s widower so that he can remain in the family. Despite the icky sounding premise Burshtein (herself an Orthodox Jew) is intensely sympathetic to her characters and shows a total command of her camera and the tone of the movie which is just beautiful, passionate and romantic.
The Connection dir. Shirley Clarke (1961) This is a bit of a cheat because Shirley Clarke had directed documentaries before but whatever. The Connection takes place in real time and is about a very square documentarian who is filming a movie about a bunch of jazz musicians waiting around for their drug connection so they can get high. It definitely feels very tame for the current day but considering the film takes place in a single room Clarke packs the movie full of electric energy that makes it incredibly pleasurable to watch.
The Fits dir. Anna Rose Holmer (2015) This is just an incredible majestic film. Very spare, very artistic, very beautiful. Holmer is a genius and the movie is a gift. She does more on a budget of 150, 000 euros or whatever it was, than most directors do with millions.
Songs My Brothers Taught Me dir. Chloé Zhao (2015) There is a whole cottage industry of low budget filmmakers who think they can be the next Malick, but I think Zhao is the only one who really gets it right. This film is set in on the Pine Ridge reservation and Zhao shoots everything at the golden hour making it look incredibly lush while never shying away from the roughness and occasional boredom of small town life.
The Governess dir. Sandra Goldbacher (1998) I have literally no idea why this film isn’t bigger than it is and it’s really due for a critical revival. It’s a neo-victorian original tale about a young Sephardic Jewish woman who hides her identity and goes to work as a governess on the Isle of Skye. Unfortunately the only copies I’ve been able to view are of very poor quality but you can still see how beautiful it must have originally been. Also the story is incredibly rich and textured and deals with power dynamics between men and women, Jews and gentiles, science vs. art etc.
The Babadook dir. Jennifer Kent (2014) This is a horror movie for people who aren’t really into horror and as such it’s PERFECT. What it really is more than anything is a dark modern day fairy tale about a recently widowed woman who is having a tough time adjusting to life as a single mother to her child who is genuinely the most annoying child to ever grace the screen (really, kudos to casting, you completely understand why this woman would struggle to raise this kid).
A Girl Walks Home Aloneat Night dir. Ana Lily Amirpour (2014) So good. A surprisingly wistful and romantic vampire film in which “the girl” (the vampire) skateboards in a chador, dances alone in her room, befriends a cat, and drinks the blood of a LOT of people. It’s great.
Honourable mentions: La Pointe Courte, Children of a Lesser God, The Edge of Seventeen, Sugar Cane Alley, Smithereens, Eve’s Bayou, I Like It Like That, Hester Street, A New Leaf, Chocolat.
Growing up in Warsaw in Russian-occupied Poland, the young Marie Curie, originally named Maria Sklodowska, was a brilliant student, but she faced some challenging barriers. As a woman, she was barred from pursuing higher education, so in an act of defiance, Marie enrolled in the Floating University, a secret institution that provided clandestine education to Polish youth. By saving money and working as a governess and tutor, she eventually was able to move to Paris to study at the reputed Sorbonne. here, Marie earned both a physics and mathematics degree surviving largely on bread and tea, and sometimes fainting from near starvation.
In 1896, Henri Becquerel discovered that uranium spontaneously emitted a mysterious X-ray-like radiation that could interact with photographic film. Curie soon found that the element thorium emitted similar radiation. Most importantly, the strength of the radiation depended solely on the element’s quantity, and was not affected by physical or chemical changes. This led her to conclude that radiation was coming from something fundamental within the atoms of each element. The idea was radical and helped to disprove the long-standing model of atoms as indivisible objects. Next, by focusing on a super radioactive ore called pitchblende, the Curies realized that uranium alone couldn’t be creating all the radiation. So, were there other radioactive elements that might be responsible?
In 1898, they reported two new elements, polonium, named for Marie’s native Poland, and radium, the Latin word for ray. They also coined the term radioactivity along the way. By 1902, the Curies had extracted a tenth of a gram of pure radium chloride salt from several tons of pitchblende, an incredible feat at the time. Later that year, Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel were nominated for the Nobel Prize in physics, but Marie was overlooked. Pierre took a stand in support of his wife’s well-earned recognition. And so both of the Curies and Becquerel shared the 1903 Nobel Prize, making Marie Curie the first female Nobel Laureate.
In 1911, she won yet another Nobel, this time in chemistry for her earlier discovery of radium and polonium, and her extraction and analysis of pure radium and its compounds. This made her the first, and to this date, only person to win Nobel Prizes in two different sciences. Professor Curie put her discoveries to work, changing the landscape of medical research and treatments. She opened mobile radiology units during World War I, and investigated radiation’s effects on tumors.
However, these benefits to humanity may have come at a high personal cost. Curie died in 1934 of a bone marrow disease, which many today think was caused by her radiation exposure. Marie Curie’s revolutionary research laid the groundwork for our understanding of physics and chemistry, blazing trails in oncology, technology, medicine, and nuclear physics, to name a few. For good or ill, her discoveries in radiation launched a new era, unearthing some of science’s greatest secrets.
makes a game ahead of it's time about the responsibilities we have to preserve the free flow of information so that the next generation may learn from it. The game also discusses issues like goverment censorship and the dangers of one group deciding what information is worth keeping and passing down.
makes an entire bloodline of characters whose legacy is shitting their pants in the line of duty. Proceeds to use them for endless poop jokes.
Vampire aristocrat. Lives in a gloomily decorated mansion, has an entire room of velvet frock coats and ruffled shirts, and more candelabras than anyone thought was possible.
Eccentric lady who lives in a cottage in the misty forest. Owns a lot of cats. Can often be found gathering plants in the middle of a moonlit night. Probably a witch, but no one has been brave enough to ask.
Governess wearing a flowing white nightgown, flickering candle in hand, exploring the secret passageways of a gloomily decorated mansion. She suspects the owner is a vampire.
iNow that everyone has been revived after getting ‘good’ slaughtered by victuuri in ep.10, do you have some time to talk about Otabek Altin? The precious cinnamon roll and Yurio’s new friend?
Let’s get to know this Dark Horse.
So he’s 18, he was the first to qualify for GPF, won last season’s bronze and represents Kazakhstan.
Many of you might not even be aware of the existence of this country, so in brief: Kazakhstan is a post USSR country in the centre of Eurasia, right between Russia, China, Middle East and Europe continent.
So, why would Kubo-sensei even include someone from there?
The answer is Kazakhstan’s real life figure skating hero - Denis Ten.
Denis Ten is:
the first skater to represent KZ in international championships
currently 23 years old
is from Kazakhstan but of a Korean origin
Olympic bronze medalist, World silver and bronze medalist, 4 Continents gold medalist, Asia Winter Sports gold medalist
cinnamon roll like you wouldn’t believe how sweet
Otabek is definitely inspired by Denis, and therefore I will take his perspective to judge his background.
The thing about sport athletes in Kazakhstan is that they’re ALWAYS self-made. Neither education system nor sports practice is well-developped here yet. Which is understandable since the country is still young (25 years of Independance, yay) and confused in many aspects. That’s not fine but we manage. That however does not change the fact that Kazakh sport education is a complete bullshit when compared to Europe, USA, Asia or Russia (with the exception of boxing and martial arts, probably).
Therefore if you are from KZ and want a world champion for a kid, these are the steps you need to take:
1. Sign them up for sports club early. No team sports, only individual. Team sports have no future here yet.
2. Once they start to show a talent, interest and/or competitive spirit send them to Russia. Russia has better coaches, facilities and programme. Russia is close, cheap and easy to travel to, and not emotionally stressing for the kid, since it’s the same environment there.
3. Once they come of an age to participate in a competition SEND THEM AS FAR AS YOUR BUDGET ALLOWS YOU. USA and Canada for figure skating. USA, Europe and Australia for swimming and tennis. Why? Because it’s one thing to train in your rivals’ adobe, all of them
young talented and ambitious, being coached by their coach, at the same time as them, and completely other thing to be enrolled in a kind of sports boarding school where the coach is from some France and other students are from all over the world, struggling to get better same as you. Goverment does not provide any stable scholarships for this, btw. It’s all up to parents to find, choose and pay for. If you happen to have a kind, well-educated and persistant coach in KZ, they might win you some bonuses in a harsh battle against bureaucracy, but it will not be enough to cover for all or even half of it.
LAST YEAR!!!! You hear me?? He was 17, and already a bronze medalist when he returned to his hometown!!
That means that all the time before he spent overseas. Can you imagine that?? A 13-16 year old Otabek in another hemisphere from his home. That’s like half an equator, one ocean and 11-14 timezones away.
a l l b y h i m s e l f
struggling with language barrier (think he had time to perfect his English before? not likely), with harsh training and obligatory schoolwork - all on top of taking care of himself all by himself.
Can you imagine Otabek coming back on one of those days to an epmty room in a dorm and messages from his family. Calls might be very hard to time up with such time diference. His mom inquiring how he has been, if he eats properly and does his laundry in time, scheduling for skype calls, updating him on his relatives and friends, giving advice on treating colds and stomach ache, and all those other things that most of the boys his age get for granted.
My heart aches over thinking how lonely he must’ve felt.
And, he probably wouldn’t be able to tell them, if anything would not go well. Because there would be nothing they could do from over there, it would only cause them to worry more. Even more than they already would have been.
So there was only one way for him: to suck it up, train hard, suceed and make them proud.
He is not trying to prove himself to himself as Yuuri, nor does he need to prove himself over others like Yurio. He doesn’t want it for fame like JJ, he wants it for his family, his people and his country. That’s any Kazakh’s default mission in life - make your parents proud. Especially after he had returned home with a medal and proved himself to be capable of competing at the same level as Victor fucking Nikiforov and Christophe Jeacometti!!!!!! Him! A Kazakh boy of 17 years!! Kubo-sensei does not joke around when calling him a hero, because he is one! A hero and a history-maker, same as Phichit.
We haven’t seen his coach or team yet, but I have a feeling that it would be the same situation as Denis’s. Meaning, he doesn’t have one.
Denis Ten often travels (or used to travel) to the competitions by himself. There is no staff assigned to help him out. He is used to do trivial things like filling paper forms, booking time for practice, booking hotels, turning in audio tracks for the performance, etc. There have been numerous times when they had either messed up the music at the start of his performance or even played the wrong hymn during the awards ceremony. In his interview, Denis admitted to being totally lost at what to do at those time. There’s also no one to defend/protect him when something comes up, since there’s no one from KZ who has a weight in figure skating world.
I have a distinctive feeling Otabek will be the same.
I mean, how the hell would he be comfortable enough to rent a bike and ride all over Bar-freaking-celona, with no fear to get lost/in trouble, if he wasn’t used to this kind of responsibilities? Again, he’s 18.
At the same time Yurio is like:
Therefore his friendship with Yurio is truly a blessing. They do have a lot in common, they’re practically from the same background: the lifestyle in KZ and Russia does not really differ. It’s the same culture, the same language (KZ is bilinguial: both Kazakh and Russian are widely spoken), a really similar mindset, educational system, environment, custom etc. They’re both outsiders in the current lineup, striving to make a name for themselves. It’s almost the same as 5 years ago in that camp when both Otabek and Yurio were new to the rink in Saint-Petersburg. That’s what Otabek referring to, I think, when he says Yurio had eyes of a soldier. In that environment they’d be both treated the same, you know. Otabek as a no one from nowhere and Yurio as a that guy from Moscow. Not even sure what’d have been worse.
Also there’s a post going around about bad realtion between Russians and Kazakhs, stressing that Kazakh is an inferior race to Russians - PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE DO NOT BELIEVE IT THAT IS NOT TRUE!!!!!!!
Our nations have always been close, we have a long and complicated history but the friendship between two countries and people is very strong.
There are some issues in terms of racism on both sides but it is very rare/obscure case and is usually triggered by something.
Therefore I ask you to support Otabek Altin and his friendship with Yurochka! Please do adopt him! Please do dote on him! He really deserves and needs that!
and if you have some more feels to spare, please take a look at Denis Ten too :3
After his brother’s death, Killian became his nephew’s guardian. Finding a qualified governess proved a formidable task for him. That is until Miss Emma Swan arrived at his door. In no time, she enchanted both younger and the older master of the house.