‘Women Make Film’, a documentary series directed by filmmaker Mark Cousins, is a master class film with women as sole protagonists. The director has done an exceptional analysis of the history of the cinema by selecting more than one thousand fragments of films made by women. The result: a documentary series of 14 hours in which deals with different aspects of cinematography. We have had the opportunity to see the first hour of this project at a meeting in the Academy of Cinema, and later we have shared opinions with Carla Simon, director of ‘Summer Of 1993’, Clara Roquet, screenwriter of ‘The days to come’, and Elizabeth Peña, writer of ‘The Kingdom’.
The main objective of this project is to reclaim works of women filmmakers and unknown to rescue some of the films forgotten in the history of cinema, thus leaving aside the films most known by the public. ‘Women Make Film’ is not a story strictly chronological, nor is there too many references biographical filmmakers, but Cousins focuses on analyzing how these directors, from different times and backgrounds, have looked at, portrayed or constructed reality with their cameras. All of this narrated by the actress Tilda Swinton and Jane Fonda.
In the first chapter, Cousins focuses on the different ways to start a film and in the tone that can be given to each of them. In this way, it will showing the opening scenes from various feature films, while the is analyzing. It’s like a film class in which there are only teachers. At first sight it appears a documentary created by and for filmmakers or film lovers, and can give the feeling that those who are not very posts on the topic you are going to find a little lost. However, Simon does not think the same thing: “I don’t think that is a very viewers. I think that what you can see around the world. It’s like an invitation or a window to discover new things. In addition, it is very fresh and dynamic”.
‘Women Make Film’ is a way of create concerning female and open our eyes on the history that we have always been told. How many directors worked in the classic Hollywood? What has been hidden from women filmmakers for decades by critics, historians or producers? These are some of the questions addressed in this documentary. “I am very surprised that I, who have studied film and I have attended many classes in film history, I’ve never known, nor I have told this story“explains Roquet. “I am ashamed of not knowing all these women”, confesses Simon. “I only knew the 2% of the women who appear”adds Peña.
The three filmmakers agree that have grown up without many points of reference to which to cling. In fact, Roquet, and Simon did not know what I actually was in the film until they came to the university, because they had lived their entire childhood in very small towns, in which to go to the cinema had to move to another city. “I would have loved to see this documentary with 15 years old, now 36because I think that would have helped me to see the world in a better way”declares Peña.
During the talk after the viewing of the first chapter of ‘Women Make Film’ also the question arises of whether it is a documentary that highlights the role of the female director, why is a man who leads and the one who chooses the fragments that appear. “It does not hide never that it is his objective view”says Roquet. Regardless of whether it is a man who selects the scenes to study, what is important is that “you discover things by yourself, you’re not going to get to know”concludes Simon.
More details on ‘Women Make Film’
The documentary series created by the historian, film critic and filmmaker scotsman Mark Cousins was created before the explosion of the movement “Me Too” and in the case of Harvey Weinstein. “I didn’t want to victimize women, but to show your art. I wanted to show that there were some jobs mind-boggling of female directors to those who had not paid attention”says Cousins to TCM.
‘Women Make Film’ presented to directors such as Dorothy Azner, Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion, Chantal Akerman, Agnès Varda, Jessica Hausner, Claire Denis, Alice Guy-Blaché, Liliana Cavani, Maren Ade, Lucrecia Martel, or the Spanish Ana Mariscal. TCM the issue entirely and exclusively the 8th of march, International Women’s Day, from 10 in the morning until 12 at night. A marathon in which you will be able to learn a lot of films, but especially in which you will obtain a large list of related female.