Female Directors have had it rough to be able to direct anything with a few early exceptions from the very early great Lois Weber to Dorothy Arzner and Ida Lupino. Now, we are seeing more female directors than ever before but it is still a tough business. I am looking forward to what everyone else will choose this week as the director of choice for each film. If you wish, check out Wandering Through The Shelves who has come up with these weekly themes. Here are my 3...
1. DANCE, GIRLS, DANCE(DOROTHY ARZNER)-1940
I have not seen this film in decades but I remember it so well because it stars Lucille Ball (who met Desi when she was making this film) as Bubbles and a young, beautiful Maureen O'Hara as the wholesome Judy, an aspiring ballerina(that would never happen as her ampful ta-ta's would be in the way). They meet in a struggling dance troupe headed by the little gnome, Maria Ouspenskaya who sees potential in Judy as a ballerina. When Bubbles and Judy are in some New York Dance thingy, they meet a wealthy numbnut and both fall for him. Can we see a cat fight coming on? You bet your booties because Bubbles wants her man. There is more to the deceptively naive plot and one I have to see again.
2. A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (PENNY MARSHALL)-1992
Penny Marshall went from playing Laverne on Laverne & Shirley (actually they started on Happy Days) to becoming quite a good director in her own right. This film is based on a true story when the men were fighting in the Second World War, the sports people decided to start up a woman's baseball league which became more popular than anyone would have thought. We see these women be picked for the ability to play ball(something I sorely lack in) with Geena Davis as the star player much to her sister's chagrin. Rosie O'Donnell and Madonna shine as fellow ball players and Tom Hanks is excellent as a boozy, tobacco chewing, probably smelly, manager of this team. We get to see all the issues women have to face playing on the team and come to care for all of them even smelly Hanks who realizes he has a true team in his hands. I know my brother will know all the facts about this time in baseball.
3. THE PIANO (JANE CAMPION)-1993
Holly Hunter shines in this film as a bride to a wealthy plantation owner in New Zealand set in the mid 1800s. She comes with her young daughter(Anna Paquin, who won the Oscar for her role) and her piano. Oh yes, she does not speak but we quickly get the feeling she feels she can not let her guard down when it comes to men especially her jerk of a husband. Enter, in this hot climate, the sweaty worker for her husband played by Harvey Keitel..yup, good ole Harve has the hots for this dame who doesn't speak a word but loves to play the piano. It is sweaty, steamy and has oodles of sensualness throughout this film with Harvey dropping his clothes to show his..um...vulnerability. It can steam up your glasses and with that....I need a cold shower.
Which films would you choose?
I just heard that one of the blogger friends I know, and many of you know as well, has passed away on December 16th. Jo(Jo on Food, Life and a Scent of Chocolate) went quietly and she did not suffer which is good. It was always fun to read her blog about her day's events, recipes and her love for asparagus. She was a sweetheart.