The Invisible Woman: Female Directors in Hollywood

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Film scholar Louis Gianetti says, “In the field of cinema, the achievement of the Women’s Movement [of the 1960’s] has been considerable, though most present-day feminists would insist that there is still much to be accomplished in the battle against patriarchal values” (428). Gianetti’s words are an understatement. Women in Hollywood are underrated, underrepresented, and generally shoved into the background of the film industry. However, with film becoming one of the most pervasive and influential art forms of the 21st century, women’s leadership in the film industry is vital not only to the feminist movement, but to the perception of the modern female overall.
With the advent of the internet, digital media and film have become much
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It seems that women are routinely kicked out of the director’s chair in favor of a male contemporary. For example, Pixar Animation Studios (famously producing such films as Toy Story, and Wall-E), notorious for its conspicuously male-centric films and its exclusively male directors, is currently producing its first female-centric film, Brave. Appropriately enough, they hired Brenda Chapman, director of the widely acclaimed Prince of Egypt, to direct the film. Chapman and Pixar parted ways over a year ago after citing “creative differences” and Pixar quickly replaced their lost female director with Mark Andrews whose directing resume only includes short films (LA Times). Of the 14 feature-length films Pixar Animation Studios has produced, Brave is the only film to have contributions by a female director. Another recent example is Catherine Hardwicke, the director of teen girl mega-hit Twilight. Hardwicke was fired by Summit Entertainment and replaced by a male director for the film’s sequel, New Moon, despite the fact that she directed Twilight into a successful, profitable film franchise (Deadline). Hardwicke has only directed one film since 2008’s Twilight. According to a study by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, only female directors only made up 5% of directors in the 250 highest-grossing films, which is
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