52 Films by Women – January

Signed up in January for Women In Film’s pledge to watch at least one film helmed by a female director per week. You can do so here if you want to take part. 52 Films By Women

I am going to try and see a new film by a female director every week, but I will occasionally revisit films I haven’t seen in a while, or personal favourites.

  1. EDEN (2014, Mia Hansen-Løve)

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Sublime drama set during the club scene in Paris in the 1990s and continuing over the course of two decades. Like Mia Hansen Løve’s previous film Goodbye First Love (2012) it deals with the intensity of youth but always in the background is the feeling this euphoria is momentary. Responsibility begins to weigh the protagonists down and the latter part of both films is this realisation that it’s time to move on.

2. BREAKING THE GIRLS (2012, Jamie Babbit)

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Watchable thriller from director Jamie Babbit, better known for outrageously funny comedies like But I’m a Cheerleader (2001) and the underrated Welcome to Fresno (2014), Breaking the Girls reworks Patricia Highsmith/Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train switching the subtle homoeroticism of the original for Wild Things (1998, John McNaughton) style erotic trysts in swimming pools. Agnes Bruckner plays the Farley Granger role as the innocent who realises too late her new friend’s plan to ‘trade’ murders wasn’t a joke. Madeline Zima is the killer with a childhood full of hurt.

3. FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE (1991, Rachel Talalay)

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Rented this back in the day but recall very little about it except Freddy killing somebody by trapping them inside a video game. Turns out the actor in that scene was a very young Breckin Mayer. Freddy’s Dead is more entertaining than I remember though the film’s biggest flaw is it’s played for laughs rather than horror. It’s fun though and female leads Liza Zane (brainy) and Lezlie Dean (martial artist) are so strong that you wonder who will be the final girl.

4. REAL GENIUS (1985, Martha Coolidge)

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One of those 80s’ comedies that appears to be very dumb on the outside but is actually really smart and has a tremendous feeling for its outsider characters. Gabe Jarrett is the new boy at a school for geniuses who has to deal with his own social awkwardness and the chaotic behaviour of star pupil Val Kilmer. Deservedly gained a cult reputation over the years.

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