Our focus for week two was looking at women auteurs, or women film creators who are considered the authors of their films and have injected their style into the works, whose films have moved beyond transnational boundaries. Our primary films for this week were Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Věra Chytilová’s Daisies, Agnès Varda’s Faces Places, and Nadine Labaki’s Caramel. Each one of these films was created by a female auteur who not only managed to push their films beyond transnational boundaries but reached elite status within the film industry. By analyzing these films and the statuses of their creators, we began to unpack questions surrounding why they are considered anomalies within their home countries and strategies these women use to share their films and work against gender norms and stereotypes. We also broke down some of the ways in which the auteur model helps directors, like granting successful creators a wide-reaching platform to reach larger audiences, and hurts the film industry by making it difficult for new creators to enter film spheres and for well-known directors to become separated from past identities, styles, and works.
One characteristic of the films that stood out to me most was that, despite employing completely different stylistic elements, each film shared a number of similar thematic concerns. It pushed me to think about how truly wide-reaching a number of social issues are. We are able to connect to thousands of others because we all must deal with specific social, political, or economic issues because of our gender, sexuality, race, nationality or economic status. One of the places where we begin to differ from one another is in our responses to these issues and the art we create as a personal reflection.
Image source: Film Inquiry