SMNTY Classics: Where are the black female directors?


Vesta Gators have been desperate to figure out how that family flew off that cliff in California, and whether it was on purpose early the morning of March twenty six rescue workers repelled down the cliff where they lifted the dead bodies of three children arm to the point where I no longer. I'm calling this an accident. I'm calling it a crime who are these women, and how did they come to adopt six children two sets of three black siblings. They were one of my early role models or what like non traditional family, look like we looked up to her like, wow. She's the best parent in the world. We're horrible. I don't mind how there's some kids that I feel as being highly abused. She was eating the garbage like something not right about this. But since she's told me about it. I just can't live with it. I'm very concerned for these kids from glamour, and how stuff works this is broken hearts. Listen and subscribe at apple podcasts or on the iheartradio app or wherever you listen to podcasts. This is Anne, and you're listening to stuff on ever told you. You may have heard recently about some controversies surrounding Kevin Hart, and the Oscars heart was all set to host the Oscars until some homophobic tweets from his Twitter account resurface posted between two thousand nine and two thousand eleven when called on to apologize by the academy and the public at large heart. Resisted it for saying given the choice to apologize step down. He'd rather step down, then quote feed, the internet trolls, and that he had evolved. And he wasn't sorry. He eventually did step down and apologize. As in eventually hours later, he issued this statement I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscars. This is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artist. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past. I'm sorry that hurt people. I am volving and want to continue to do. So my goal. Goal is to bring people together, not tears apart much love and appreciation to the academy. I hope we can meet again as recording this the Oscars have yet to find a replacement hosts, and there's even talk that there won't be a host at all. Which would be the first time that's happened since nineteen eighty eight. I'm available my rates pretty high. My jokes will be lame outdated. So, you know, it's a mixed bag, but throwing my hat in the ring actually think personally that no one really wants this job. But I'd love to see a person of color queer person woman, someone otherwise someone like that take the job. And this is certainly not the first time the Oscars have been subject of controversy. Oscar, so white the lack of women and diversity and many categories in this classic episode. We take a look back at the first female director. So please enjoy. Welcome to stuff. Mom, never told you from how stuff works dot com. Hello. And welcome to the podcast. I'm kristen. And I'm Caroline. And it is Oscar we on the podcast. That's right. Last time. We talked about sort of the history and Evelyn of women in the director's chair. And that was fascinating we learned so much incredible history that I frankly had no idea about, but we also wanted to focus today's episode on those trail-blazing groundbreaking African American directors who were out there both who laid the groundwork back hundred one hundred years ago, but also the women who are working so hard in the industry today. Yeah. Because there was one issue with Monday's episode. That came out was that. Yeah. We were talking about history, but we were also covering three white women. And while there are barriers unique to females in particular who want to direct. There are even more barriers in place for women of color who want to direct and. Before we get into the rather depressing statistics to be honest. I just want to establish the fact that yes, they are out there. They are making their films despite these barriers, and there are names that you should know. And a tweeted a friend of mine, Lauren shocker who is in LA who is a totally bad ass feminist making films, and I asked her for suggestions of women of color directors. We should give shout outs to and the response from her Twitter, followers, and other women in Hollywood making films was over well-meaning, and these aren't exclusively African American women in the director C, which we're going to focus on in this episode. But just a t things off we wanted to share some of the names that we got from Twitter. Yeah. We heard about women like Nima Barnett Millicent Shelton Janika. Bravo, Debbie, Allen mean assume Alice Wu. Julie dash who will talk about more in this episode. Yeah. I gotta tell you. Caroline. I had a real celebrity feeling moment on Twitter. When Julie dash re tweeted are tweet gunnery we connected enjoy Josh. And if you don't know Julie dashes, you'll understand a few minutes. Why that was such a big moment. And that wasn't all there even more names. Yeah. Like Tanya, right Asante who were about to mention ISA, Ray, Darnell, Martin Sookie, and Lee and Marta Cunningham, just to mention a few. Yeah. And we're going to gather all of these up into a gallery on stuff never told, you dot com with links to Debbie pages and film. So that if you didn't catch all of those names, don't worry, you will be able to find them on our website. So here's where we get to the not so fun facts that yes, these women, absolutely exist. They're doing incredible work. But in our episode on Monday we highlighted how there are in Hollywood about fifteen point two four. Male directors to every female director, right? We pointed out that it was fifteen minute sessions. Yes. Point two four shins. But then if you narrow it down to female directors of color, the number gets even tinier and speaking to the root director Asante, and she she directed the movie bell, which I went and saw when it came out in theaters she pointed out that black women make up just one percent of directors over all one percent unconsidered this to in the nineties only twenty eight films were directed by black women twenty feature films. I should say only three of those were released nationally and only one of those had a major Hollywood release. So when we're talking about barriers in terms of women film, making this is a group that honestly probably faces the most challenges in terms of getting a film made especially in Hollywood. Yeah. But this doesn't mean that they're. Aren't some amazing women out there, obviously as we've been trying to establish? You've got women like my Angelou who directed down in the delta. She had actually as we'll talk about earlier had wanted to direct a previous screenplay that she'd written, but she didn't get the opportunity you've got Gina prince by would who directed love and basketball, which was produced by Spike Lee and Casey limits who directed Eve's bayou, which is definitely going into my Netflix queue, and then we have Cheryl Dunya who directed the film, watermelon woman and onions actually the first openly gay black female director, and as we'll talk about a more detail in just a minute. The modern history of black women directing films is rather recent. But what a lot of people might not know is that even in those early days of film. There were black female trailblazers like the women. We were talking about in Monday's episode like the Alice Keebler Shays. Yeah. And their goal is not only to direct movies be involved in the film industry, but also to really put forth an effort to present a more accurate portrayal of the lives of African Americans that they weren't one dimensional characters who were all servants or maids that they had just as rich an inner life as any other character on screen. And so a lot of this information is coming from media messages. What film TV and popular music? Teach us about race. And we also cannot emphasize enough how great of a resource Columbia University's women film pioneers project is it's online and all of the women. We're going to talk about are also profiled over there. And the first one we want to talk about is Tracy Saudis who in nineteen twenty two the black press named her the first black woman director with the film a woman's error, which was distributed by the afro American film, exhibitors company based in Kansas City, Missouri. And she also wrote the screenplay, and what's interesting is that profile points out that in the nineteen twenty one city direct city directory for Kansas City, Missouri. And if you do any sort of family or history research, you realize how important the city directories are to look back at but they listed her as a maid. And so I think it's so interesting also to look at the career path that these women take and still today that these women take to get behind the camera. But then that leads us to Alois king, Patrick, just she was an independent businesswoman. Who also produced films with her husband? So there's that same husband wife team connection that we also talked about on the first episode, but her films had a super strong moral bent for the purpose of social uplift, for instance, her crime drama, verdict, not guilty is often screen by the end C P and the interestingly titled hell bound train preached temperance for her audience. Well in thinking about verdict, not guilty. In today's context with all of the national conversations going on regarding race relations. That was a film that she was making in the silent era about the criminal Justice system and race so films that are still relevant today and just focused more on writing and editing than actual directing. But she's still really important figure who is also by the library of congress. Yeah, they're actually putting in an effort, and I don't know how far along they are in these efforts. I'd love to hear update if anybody has one, but they have been working to edit and restore her films, which basically were in shreds. I mean, you know, we talked about the the films of the women in our first episode that they were also damaged and super hard defined these early films, and that some of them were founded in a state sale in trunk, and so you can just imagine what film from this era is like if it's not cared for well on apparently verdict, not guilty was screened so often that that's one of the reasons. Reasons why it's in tatters because us stow so many times. But then we also have Maria p Williams who was a social activist. Not surprising. I mean, it seems like all of these women have activism in their blood, and she wrote the pamphlet my work and public sentiment in nineteen sixteen. So she was already getting her voice out there, and she and her husband again that that marriage tie right there. They operated a motion picture theater and were instrumental with the western film producing company and booking exchange. And so that kind of got her into this burgeoning industry. Yeah. In nineteen Twenty-three. She produced distributed and acted in her own film, the flames of wrath, and so well, she isn't explicitly a lady director, she still an incredibly important figure, and it is important to point out. Also that the term producer was sort of used ambiguously back in those days. So basically, I think it's fine to. Her as a trail-blazing filmmaker. Absolutely. I mean at the time the Norfolk journal and guide hailed her as the first, quote colored woman film producer in the United States, which clearly was a an exciting moment. So we wanted to we thought it was important to establish that. Yes, there is that early history right there. Black women have been working in film making since the beginning of that technology. But here's the thing. The big difference jumped out to me in us talking about those early white female directors, and this group of black directors. You still have even with white female directors. There is definitely a gap in Hollywood particularly post World War Two. But when it comes the black female directors. There's nothing in Hollywood you have no Dorothy ours ner or either Lupino equivalent in those earlier days of Hollywood because it's not until the late nineteen eighty. As that black women even get behind the camera in mainstream Hollywood, right? Yeah. There is there is a line between the independent films. Documentaries that women of color putting out and actually getting to be behind the camera in Hollywood like you said, and so it's interesting to look at the root that women take to becoming successful directors. And that's something that Melvin donelson writes about in his book black directors in Hollywood, specifically about how black women filmmakers have consistently either by choice, or by, you know, financial necessity had to go the independent route and often gravitated toward documentary filmmaking for that reason. And I mean, there was also a certain appeal to particularly when it comes to documentary filmmaking because they quote provide an opportunity for inscribing, the untold accounts of black public and private figures and the historical record. Going back again to those early when we talked about who weren't just making films for the sake of making films, but making films that could accurately portray black life in black community. Yeah. And you get Jesse maple in the early eighties who was driven by this need and desire to present more positive images of the African American community. And so in nineteen Eighty-one, she becomes the first black female director of an independent feature length film called will. And it focuses around a girls basketball coach who has a heroin problem. But who was also mentoring a twelve year old boy, and it was shot on just twelve thousand dollar budget. And what's so interesting? When you talk about the routes that people take to to get where they're going. She actually didn't start her career in film until after she worked as a bacteriologist, and it was that desire to want to inject positive images of black women and black men into the media that really drove her. But she was also the first black woman to join the filmmakers union, which is interesting, and she was highly. Early. Influential in black cinema starting twenty west home of black cinema in her basement in Harlem in the nineteen eighties. That showcased the newest in black film, and she would brag that they showed Spike Lee films for anyone else showed Spike Lee films, but looking outside of the independent route and looking to Hollywood there's such a dearth of black female directors because of a lot of institutional factors that come up, obviously, talented, black female directors exist, but they're likelier to quote, sidestep the frustrating studio system and complete low budget projects remember people always coz back to the money. But also, that's usually the the go-to factor in terms of white female directors not getting these larger Hollywood scale projects, but there's an added wrinkle when it comes to black female filmmakers that it's the money, but also the content to of. People being like, well, I don't know if these stories need to be told about these black communities. Yeah. Whether they need to be told or whether they'll translate to a larger audience and national audience that has white or an international audience that might not catch everything if it's lost in translation. I mean, I'm not saying that I'm saying that those are a lot of the producers and studio systems concerns. Yeah. That was my impression of the studio. Right talking like this very stiff, but then as Melvin Donaldson writes about again in black directors in Hollywood in the nineties and the late eighties, but really in the nineties some black women directors start getting a few more opportunities to work. And I mean, this is this is again in contrast to white women directors again, lots of barriers but still had more more access, and he attributes it to a few factors starting in the nineteen eighties. He mentioned how blackmail directors kind of paved the way. May just in the sense of telling the stories of people of color in establishing that, hey, this is a valid and important and also success. We'll financially form of entertainment, right? And you also have the rise in black female authors being published in the mid seventies. Onward and then bringing those literary characters alive on screen, for example. We had Lorraine hands berry and a raisin in the sun. Terry McMillan and waiting to exhale Alice Walker and the color purple. Of course, am where recently Chimanga, negoti, aditi and Americana. Yeah, which I can't already can't wait to see. And in addition to the importance of greater visibility of black women in front of the screen, both the big screen and the small screen. It's all about this process of normalizing. It's just wild to me that we're talking about this in the context of only the nineteen nineties not the eighteen nineties the nineteen nineties. So. Why don't we talk about some more contemporary Trail Blazers and women who were breaking through those barriers to make their films. Yeah. Well, you know, mentioning my Angelou again, she is the first black woman to have a feature film screenplay produced with nine hundred seventy two's, Georgia, Georgia, and she had wanted to direct it, but didn't and she ended up being unhappy with the final product, and she had to wait to sit in the director's chair until nineteen ninety eight's down in the delta. And she has a great quote about. Hey books or my world movies or your world? If I'm doing something that seems odd or wrong, please pull me aside. And we'll go for a walk together. And you can tell me that way. Yeah. I had fun Google imaging images of Maya Angelou and the director's chair. And it's as it's exactly what you'd think it looks like it's my Angelou and directors Jesse looks like she's having a good time. I didn't realize though that she was a director. And also, I mean, the first black woman to have. Feature film screenplay produced. Yeah. Who knew well. That's why we're here. Kristen that's why we're talking about this today. Hopefully, spreading some knowledge, then there's the amazing us and palsey. She's the first black woman to direct a major Hollywood studio feature film, the movie a dry white season in nineteen eighty nine. It's about apartheid and it starring the stars Donald Sutherland, Marlon Brando and Susan Sarandon Brando, actually came out of retirement to work in this film. And he ended up getting his final Oscar nomination for his role in her film and policy is the only woman to ever direct Marlon Brando, which is pretty interesting and other moment of celebrity Twitter excitement. She also weighed in on the tweet about women of color, directors Lee. Yes. Yes. So I mean that right there the fact that that she enjoyed Ashmore hopping on board of this conversation shows just how much activism there still is. Around this specific issue and talking again, we about her route into making it started pretty early. She was born on the island of Martinique and made her first film in France at seventeen. Yeah. And in nineteen eighty three her first feature film sugar. Cane alley was presented at the Venice film festival. And she became the first black artist to win Caesar a silver lion award at Venice. And when it comes to the importance of dry white season, not only was it groundbreaking in the sense if he was making it, but also its content. It helped bring attention to apartheid and genocide happening in South Africa. So I mean, clearly that just goes to show the importance of getting these new and diverse perspectives because they're the storytellers now. Well, now, let's talk about Julie dash we've mentioned at the top of the podcast and people are probably like, okay, you've mentioned Julie dash five times. What do are you so obsessed with Julie dash well? Julie dash listener friends was an independent filmmaker who ended up making the very first general theatrical release directed by a black woman about that for a title. Yeah. That's nine hundred ninety one daughters of the dust which explored the complexities of a black family with a black female protagonist, and it was shot for eight hundred thousand dollars on Saint Helena island off the coast of South Carolina. And it it I this is another film that I'm adding to my list of things that I have to go see because it sounds just incredibly fascinating the way that it presents this multi generational, look at this African American family and the technique that it uses to tell the story so interesting focusing on the voice of an unborn child to sort of help bridge, those generations and look into the past where the families come from it also look into the future where they're going. Yeah. And in Monday's episode on the those pioneering Hollywood directors. We also mentioned at the top of that episode the importance of. Sundance the Sundance film festival for showcasing filmmakers of color, female filmmakers, and that was where daughters of the dust. I caught people's attention in terms of film. Critique in analysis donelson writes that dash reveals what no other Hollywood filmmaker had done in the past namely that black women possessed, physical and spiritual beauty as well as psychological diversity. Yeah. And it's those representations that dash is talking about in dollars of the dust when she has this quote about how it affects men male male viewers in the audience, and she says, I think the for a lot of white males and blackmails to they get to go there and assume the personality of the characters on screen a lot of people couldn't do that for daughters of the dust. I mean, I've seen men run out of the theater, and I think that's so funny. She's she's presenting an incredibly. Portent voice and incredibly important perspective. But talking about how some members of my audience just can't handle it. Well, and that goes to considering why it is important to talk about female directors and that influence because what is onscreen is reflected on what's behind screen, and we talked to all the time about the importance of representation in visibility and a lot of times. Yes, if if films are being exclusively made by white men a lot of times, then a lot of those times. Those are the stories that end up being told and not that there's anything wrong with those stories, but hey, you know, we like we like to see ourselves all of ourselves reflected on screen yet at dash points out to end eweek dot com that this film, and it's incredibly important perspective. Ultimately proved a little bit limiting. She says that daughters of the dust which was selected for preservation in the national film registry. In two thousand four by the way. Gave her a reputation as an auditor who specializes in the cinema of ideas not words making the chances of her doing a sophomore feature close to nil. So basically here she's presenting this incredibly important film with these perspectives that are really not represented anywhere else. And people were like, oh, are you just going to make movies like that? This is so artsy. Yeah. Oh, okay. We'll never mind, and she hasn't made another theatrical release sense her made for TV film. The Rosa Parks story did earn her a nomination from the directors guild for outstanding direct to'real achievement in movies for television. Which yet again was a first for a black woman. And she has been so vocal about the need for more, black female directors. Obviously, she's active on Twitter as well. So even though she hasn't yet had that sophomore film after daughters of the dust. She has certainly been active. Yeah. Absolutely. And then. You know, speaking, I that leads us to Darnell Martin who was the first black woman to write and direct for a major studio in nineteen Ninety-four her critically acclaimed. I like it like that came out from Columbia Pictures, and she really didn't like the fact that during the promotion of the film, people were paying so much attention to the fact that she was not only a woman, but a woman of color that that seemed to be like the huge selling point almost in the marketing for it. And it's interesting that, you know, she also directed the film Cadillac records a couple years ago that had Adrian Brodie and beyond saying it, but her gender ethnicity really didn't receive nearly the same attention that they did when her nineteen Ninety-four film came out, and perhaps that's a good sign. Yeah. Not that not that attention shouldn't be called to it, of course. But like, hey, I'm a director. She doesn't have to preface it by saying, I am a woman of color director. Yeah. I mean, this is something that comes up a lot on stuff. I've never told you especially when we're talking about women in traditionally male dominated industries, where it's like just let me be a doctor just let me be director. Just let me be a construction worker, right? It doesn't always have to be qualified. And that is that will be probably a sign of progress. When this episode is just about directors. Right. Exactly. But then that brings us to Angelo Robinson who is the highest grossing black female director for not the most artistic or critically acclaimed film. It was Herbie fully loaded which did gross one hundred forty four million dollars worldwide on a fifty million dollar budget. So and not the bud and even though as people point out. Yeah. Herbie not. The most imprint that's not a film for the ages. What however it is notable that this was the first time a black woman was at the helm of such a huge franchise film. And I think this is an incredibly important point to bring up because. Not that we need the proof. But here's proof that a woman and a woman of color that can home a project that draws a Jillian eyeballs that people will want to go see a film that has this great appeal, regardless of who's in the director's chair if it's good it's good and people are gonna wanna see it. And it shouldn't matter that the director is a woman of color. Well, and at this point to we've gone down the checklist of all of these first of women of color proving again, and again, like, yes, I can successfully direct a fantastic film. What more do we need and the and the answer is more women of color directing films. Yeah. And we're going to talk more about that. When we come right back from a quick break. I'm Katie golden. I studied psychology and biology at Harvard, and I pretend to be a bird on Twitter and my new podcast creature feature. We've you nature in man from a new perspective each episode asking comedian to get inside the minds of animals, so we can explore the startling connections to human psychology, you'll find blood bands and treachery that make game of thrones seemed like a dumb show for babies. Join us every Wednesday and subscribe on apple podcasts or on the I heart radio app or wherever you listen to podcasts. In the first half of the podcast. We focused a lot on the women Trail Blazers the first four African American female directors. And they're a lot of incredible work has been done. An incredible foundation has been laid. But when we look at Hollywood because keep in mind the differences between going the independent route. And Hollywood where the big bucks are where you don't have to some filmmakers have done sell your own possessions. Just so that you can make a film because you're that passionate about it. There is still such a dearth of black women directors. Yeah. Writing about this over at the Grio lamantia Brown says that since Julie dashes nineteen Ninety-one breakthrough of daughters of the dust. There have been only ten Hollywood films directed by black women released nationally and with a decent enough marketing campaign to actually assist with its promotion. Yeah. In Brown goes on to talk about. Attending panel. That was helmed by black women directors, Nima Barnette, Leslie, Harris, Bridget Davis and Tanya Hamilton and in answering that question of will why aren't there? More women directors. Why aren't black women's movies being made they attributed the problem more to content than funding that it starts even even be even before the financing issue with just the story itself and the characters and the communities that the stories are examining, right? So producers and studios just being afraid that the voice in the film or the tone of the film or the content will not attract enough eyeballs. Yeah. If we think that like a female on samba will lead film is considered knee just considered take it down a few more notches for that a film starring maybe a black female on some of the oh, no no not enough. People will be interested in that. Certainly certainly there aren't enough people in the world who would be interested in what black women. To say, and that was something that acclaimed director Dee REEs experienced with her film pariah, which is about a lesbian sort of coming out process that came out in two thousand eleven which was hailed by people, including Meryl Streep being like, this woman is incredibly talented. She needs to make more films. But when it comes to pariah, for instance, it was considered quote, two black and two gay for Hollywood financing. Which gets to that content issue. Like, Ooh, I don't know two things we could probably have maybe pretty gay maybe pretty black. But both of those. I don't know. Yeah. That's that's way too Nishi because we don't have any people like that on the world make another transformers instead. But I think it is important to get back to Julie dash and her perspective on the whole thing considering she is such a big advocate and agitator for women of color to get behind the camera. She had a great quote in Indy week talking about how hey they're not enough of us. Let's say that they're not enough of us working we exist. We're here. They're here. There are just not enough of us working we need work and would love to have the same opportunities. Everyone else has especially when it comes to telling all kinds of stories not just stories about African Americans, but all kinds of stories and that's important to to keep him. I do think that these women get Kigen hold by their ethnicity of people thinking. Oh, well, you're a black. Woman. So you're really only gonna wanna tell stories about other black women. Right. When you think about it? I mean, you have you have white men telling the stories of women of all colors all the time, you know, clearly their gender and races not inhibiting them in the storytelling process. So it's great that she points out. I'm Asante who side note won a BAFTA for her debut film away of life. She was quoted in the route saying, we I e black female directors, basically do not register on the scale when it comes to black women. We are under one percent of directors overall. It's tough being a woman of color director because I am needed the color or the shape that some people are comfortable with seeing in their directors and that makes it hard. Yeah. And I thought she had a really good point beyond the women of color issue, just about femininity and womanhood in general. She says the fact that I use my femininity as a tool. And not a hindrance is not always comfortable to people to be honest with you. But I believe it's about creating a track record that is undeniable. And so in other words, like who cares? You know, what I look like the fact that I am so incredibly capable and I have this particular set of skills means that I can helm and helmet great film. But also tell a great story, and it's absolutely worth noting. This is part of the broader problem for women directors, even if they have had a theatrical release, even if they've had their one Hollywood film, it's far less common for female directors to get their second or third chance for theatrical release period, regardless of the color of their skin. Yeah. You kind of have to be a Kathryn Bigelow. Basically, you're going to be an exception to a rule if you are a Kathryn Bigelow. Yeah. I mean, also think about two and we've talked about her on the podcast before and she is absolutely important. But it's also interesting to think about the content. Of her films as more kind of warzone tougher shoot them up kinds of stories. Yes. Something that can appeal to a white male audience. But now we're going to talk about the game changer. And I have a feeling the podcast listeners have been waiting for us to mention her name's since they probably saw the title of this podcast because yes, she inspired this whole thing. And she has gotten a lot of conversation started of late about black female directors. And that is the one and only Eva Dubar name, and she became the first black female director nominated for a Golden Globe for best director for her film Selma. She was beat by of course, Richard Linklater for boyhood. But Spike Lee for his film do the right thing and Steve McQueen for twelve years a slave. We're the only other black directors ever nominated for a Golden Globe. Yeah. And also not bad for someone who is on their third film. And also after making a mid career switch from being in a being a film publicist to being like, hey, you know, what I want actually make these fill and she clearly has a knack for. I mean Selma is not the first time do Rene as made headlines her second feature middle of nowhere. Also, tractive rave reviews also attracted successful sales and won her the best director award at Sundance, which was huge. That was also a I use the first black female director to ever snag that award. And her first feature film. I will follow came out in twenty eleven. So this is all pretty rapid fire. I mean, she's she seems to be a prolific filmmaker at this point so far her actual direct to'real debut. However was a two thousand eight documentary, this is the life. And I think I think that's interesting. I think that goes back to what we established at the top of the podcast as far as people who have different perspectives. Not just women of color directors women directors or really any. Person of color. They almost have to enter certain industries certain fields through an alternative route in order to get funding or to get the eyeballs on their projects. And so she like many other women directors of color started out in the documentary field in quickly going back though to Sundance and the importance of that platform, particularly for filmmakers of color and women filmmakers that so when Julie dash was bring daughters of the dust to Sundance back in the day. That was when Richard Linklater was bring slackers as well. So I mean, this is clearly, you know, she was up against some some tough competition. But then linkletter comes swoops back in again beating out do Nate years down the road for best director at the Golden Globes for boyhood, which is a film. I really enjoyed a lot as well. But we're not here to talk about rich link later, and obviously we need to talk about the Oscar snow. That everybody's been talking about with Duvernois and her film Selma. She does talk about how this not being nominated for best director was something that she expected. She was talking about this with Entertainment Weekly. And you know, she said it, it would be lovely. And when it happens to whomever, it happens to it will certainly have meaning, but she knew it wouldn't be her. She says it's not me being humble, it's math. And so when you look at that math. We have to look at how the nominating branch. The directors nominating branch of the academy is ninety one percent male and percent white. Yeah. I mean directors nominate directors actors nominate actors and. I mean, and that's so the cards are stacked against she. She said all right. She was like, I don't have any Aloes within that group that group is outside of my network, and she also did not play politics publicly bristling at negative critiques of president Johnson's portrayal in Selma where he is highly resistant to signing the Voting Rights Act, and there was a lot of you know, or grumbling about that. And she came out on Twitter and was like, you know, basically saying this is ridiculous. You know historical revisions just period happened in in any of these kinds of films, but she was getting particularly Wham Bassett for it. And she she had nothing to do with it. And there were some members of the academy of Motion Picture Arts and science who were like, you know, what I didn't like that. I really didn't like that. She should have. She should play the politics better. Well, you know, the speaking of the academy they do have. Their first black female president. Yeah. Cheryl Boone ISAACs and that though did not stop one anonymous academy member from making a comment to Entertainment Weekly about quote. It's almost like because she is African American. We should have made her one of our nominees. I think that's racist. Look at what we did with twelve years. And that makes me like roll my eyes so hard that they fall out of my head because there seems to be a really common perception that just because twelve years a slave was recognized for the filmmaking in the acting in the directing that that should somehow be enough. Right. And then last year was the was the year for a black director. Yeah. Basically, basically, but also that leads us back to that whole discussion of, but is that the only story that we allow black directors and writers to tell and black actors to portray only stories about slavery. What about you? Modern stories about humanity. You know, and you know, going back to Julie dashes film daughters of the dust. There are other stories to tell that aren't just about slavery. And it does seem though like do Rene is taking it completely destroyed. I while she wasn't expected if she were even nominated she knew she was never gonna win, and she's taking cues at this point from Kathryn Bigelow and figuring out how to be the very first black female director of her caliber, she told Entertainment Weekly, quote, I'm trying to be clear follow my own footsteps because there is no black woman's footsteps to follow. So I mean, she she could absolutely be the game changer. I mean, she's not going to stop making films anytime soon, and she is. I mean, she's the one she could be early. She could be the one. But the problem is why is there just the one? Yeah. Well, it's it's like we talk about so much on the podcast around so many. Issues, and it's that issue viz visibility normalizing and idea. Whether that's an idea about women in general women color in this case, it's women in front of and behind the camera. The more we say, look, a black women can tell a story that appeals to to wide audiences, and and or not or tell a story that's very specific to a certain subset or community of people. That's fine too. But you know, the fact that there are so many hurdles to overcome is discouraging. But I think someone like du Vernet is a great figure to have in the news right now because it seems like she's sort of kicking butt and taking names. And I'll tell you what. Like, and she's not the only one in Hollywood doing that. Just judging off of the Twitter reaction to a simple question of like, hey, who who should we shout out for this podcast episode, and the enormous response from that it's clear. That these women are. I mean, they're almost they're not blind to the barriers, but they're working in spite of them, and they're not backing down anytime soon, and they're active and their vocal, and they are banging down the doors, and we're hopefully doing our part to spread the visibility and awareness around that. Yeah. They're out there. They're making films and they're important films to watch and important directors to watch out for. Yes. So please, please listeners right in and tell us your favorite directors women women of color, anyone who has created films that have meant a lot to you. And we'd also like to hear recommendations along these same lines for films that we should be watching some of these movies that were listed in our research. I had never heard of but can't wait to watch. So Email us mom Steph at how stuff works dot com is our Email address. You can also tweet us at mom stuff podcast. And if you're on Twitter and wanna stay in the loop on what women of color up to behind the camera. I highly recommend that you follow. The hashtag kick. Start diverse. Versity and don't forget you can always messages on Facebook as well. We've got a couple of messages to share with you right now. Marcus hanna. Devante Abigail, Jeremiah and Sierra heart six beautiful black children ranging in age from twelve to nineteen. We're all adopted by Sarah and Jennifer heart both white on jen's Facebook page. It looked as if they were the perfect blended family, even earning the nickname heart tribe from friends then on March twenty six twenty eight teen the families GMC Yukon was found belly up on the rocks. Blue California's highway one could these lives have been saved broken hearts new podcast from glamour, and how stuff works investigates this question with more than thirty never before heard interviews authored by Jin heart field reporter, Lawrence smiley leaves. No stone unturned even returning to the scene of the crime, six months after the crash and pressing all agencies involved in an incident that left six dead and two missing starting to simmer forth with new episodes dropping every Tuesday co host and glamour editors Justin Harman and Elizabeth Egan follow the family's journey from South Dakota through Minnesota, Oregon and washing. And finally to that one hundred foot cliff in California, listen and subscribe to broken hearts, spelled H A R T S Conde nast. I ever narrative podcast at apple podcast are on the I heart radio app or wherever you listen to podcasts. I have a letter here from Sean that is not necessarily about a particular episode that Kristen. Published more about a an unfortunate. Verbal vomiting issue that we have. And I I wrote her back, and I thanked her for pointing this out. But okay, let's get to it. She says I really enjoy listening to your podcast before I started listening. I would've never thought myself a feminist, but listening has made me realize how it is a positive thing to be. However, I do have a small point to make win discussing issues affecting women outside of the USA, you often interchange UK and British with England and English as I'm sure, you know, the UK is made up of England Wales Scotland and Northern Ireland when you discuss issues that affect British women, but used the word English you were ignoring several million women with diva Lucien of certain powers to local governments in Scotland Wales Northern Ireland it is possible when you discuss certain issues that may be something which may affect English women only, but the majority will be issues affecting British women key. Keep the podcast coming. So. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much to our Welsh fan Charen for pointing this out. Yes. In the process of citing all of the studies that we do site and every episode we trip up sometimes. Yeah. So thanks for thanks for really kindly pointing this out. We love kind corrections or the best kinds of corrections. I've got a letter here for Mary rose about our gay best friend episode, which we have been hearing so much about and these letters fantastic even coming. She writes after listening to your podcasts, gay best friend. I wanted to put my two cents in regarding lesbians and friends and my experience, but myself and most lesbians that I know have straight women as our BFF's, I do have some lesbian friends. But as I imagine happens with straight people there can be tension there sometimes which can lead to drama, which is not fun. I know many lesbians do remain friends with their exes. But that's probably a whole other podcast. I also have gay male friends that I enjoy immensely and a few straight male. Friends, but my closest friends are straight women. I do think that most lesbians tend to be closer to women overall, regardless if they're gay or straight or somewhere in between. So thanks, Mary rose and everybody else who's written into us. Mom suffered house. Upwards dot com is our Email address and for links all of our social media as well as all of our blogs, videos and podcasts as well. As our list of women of color behind the camera that you should pay attention to head on over to stuff. Mom, never told you dot com. For more on this and thousands of other topics is it how stuff works dot com. It's been twenty years since the groundbreaking series sex and the city premiered on HBO now award winning author James Andrew Miller is ready to take back in time and reveal the show's humble yet, bold beginnings in chapter five of his popular podcast origins with James Andrew Miller back in June nineteen ninety eight people were mostly watching movies and boxing on HBO. The network took a risk when they gave the creators of sex in the city freedom to create a show about relationships about friendship between four women in New York City. Jim Miller who's written award winning books on Saturday Night Live and ESPN weaves a story with one on one interviews that includes sex in the city, creators, Candace Bushnell, Michael Patrick king and Darren star as well as the actors who brought these conic characters to life, Sarah. Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon Chris Davis, Chris north it came Mr. big and many more origins chapter five sex in the city is available now wherever you listen to podcasts.

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