female film directors

“It’s irrelevant who or what directed a movie, the important thing is that you either respond to it or you don’t. There should be more women directing; I think there’s just not the awareness that it’s really possible. It is.” - Kathryn Bigelow


But … in my own experience of male and female directors, people have a much, much harder time taking a direct command from a woman. It’s somehow very difficult for people.

- Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep directed by women filmography:

She-Devil dir. Susan Seidelman -1989
The Music of Regret dir. Laurie Simmons - 2006
Mamma Mia! dir Phyllida Lloyd - 2008
Julie & Julia dir. Nora Ephron - 2009
It’s Complicated dir. Nancy Meyers - 2009
The Iron Lady dir. Phyllida Lloyd - 2011
Suffragette dir. Sarah Gavron - 2015
Harriet Walter on creating an all-female Shakespeare trilogy
Honestly, you wait ages for an all-female production of a martial, masculine, Shakespeare play, and then three come along at once. This autumn actress Harriet Walter and director Phyllida Lloyd are reviving their acclaimed Donmar Warehouse productions of Julius Caesar (2012) and Henry IV (2014) alongside a new production of The Tempest, all three set in a women’s prison.

Long ago, I remember thinking I could never be as good, kind, wise, loving and generally brilliant and gorgeous as her. It’s taken me over half a century to stop trying. - Emma Thompson about her mother Phyllida Law (x)

Review: Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander by Ann Herendeen

Note: This is a guest review from Rachel at dendritic-trees.   Rachel lives in Montreal and would read a lot more if she wasn’t so busy working on a PhD in Neuroscience.  She identifies as biromantic asexual.

It’s really rare to find a book where a man begins the story identifying as gay and then comes out as bisexual.

Andrew Carrington is the heir to an earldom and one of the most eligible bachelors in Regency England.  Unfortunately for both him and his potential brides, he’s not interested in women and much prefers the company of the men at the exclusive club, the Brotherhood of Philander, where men of similar tastes can gather.  Under pressure to marry and conceive and heir, he arranges to marry Phyllida Lewis, a young woman from an impoverished family who writes romance novels under a pseudonym.

Originally both partners are happy with the terms of their business-like arrangement, if not their actual marriage. Phyllida is financially secure and free to continue her writing career, while Andrew is free to start a relationship with Matthew Thornby, a handsome newcomer to London.  That is, if his enemies don’t discover and reveal the secrets of the Brotherhood of Philander while he finds himself increasingly and unexpectedly attracted to Phyllida.

The book gets off to a slow start that is driven largely by personality conflicts because none of the characters like each other very much, Andrew is rather misogynistic and Phyllida puts up with him because she has very little choice.  As Andrew spends more time around Phyllida and some of the other female characters, though, he revises a lot of his opinions about women and becomes a lot more pleasant.  Once it gets off the ground, it’s a very humorous Regency romance.  By the end I couldn’t put it down.

Andrew’s progression from perceiving himself as only being attracted to men, to realizing that he’s attracted to and falling in love with Phyllida is treated respectfully, but its also absolutely hilarious at times.  So is Phyllida’s developing attraction to Andrew, and, especially to Andrew and his male partners.  By the end of the story, he has shifted from a gay man who takes a wife for practical purposes, to a bisexual man in a polyamorous relationship with his wife and male partner.

The story never actually describes Andrew as bisexual, preferring period accurate language.  Ann Herendeen also provides a very thorough set of author’s notes where she explains both the history of gay and bisexual relationships and the language used to describe them and clarifies that she was specifically writing a bisexual romance.  This is one of the very few cases where having the author explain that a character is bisexual after the fact actually makes sense.  It keeps the historical detail intact but prevents any confusion for people who might have gotten a bit lost in the unfamiliar language.  Its also a great introduction to a some underrepresented history, and includes a few references for people who want to know more.

- Rachel