Phenomenal Changes – Women Filmmakers

For many years in our society, there have been only men who made movies, wrote scripts, and used females as their center of attraction for the movie. This had continued for over a period of time. But now, the scene has changed for the better. Now it’s not only men but also the females who have jumped into this challenging field of writing scripts and directing movies. The change has undoubtedly been phenomenal.

The kind of stamina the women have shown towards directing and making a film has been incredible. Earlier, it was thought to be the arena of only males. But as time progressed and as the women came to know of their capabilities and abilities, the usual scene started changing for the better and the good. Not only this, women showed equal strength as men and proved them in every way they could. Women like Mira Nair from India made a film called ‘Salaam Bombay’ which claimed national as well as an international accolade.

It was an Oscar nominee. Besides that, there were other women directors like Yvonne Rainer, Beth B, Leslie Thompson, Kathleen Collins, Julie Dash, Minh-a, and the like. Their work sent a wave so distinct that it shook the whole world and the people realized what the women could do besides sitting at home and tending to children.

Whatever the males made was not questioned even if it was controversial. On the other hand, a slight mistake on the part of a female director would render them incapable of making films. Such was the plight of the male counterpart. Our culture was not in favor of women directors. Gender biasing was at its peak until time took a turn.

But, as time progressed and as the thinking changed, people started realizing the ability of women to do such challenging work. The topics and the kind of theme chosen by a female director are as any other theme taken by a male director or writer. A female Indian director made a movie called ‘Water’ which depicted the challenging and most disgusting state of women in Indian society. Another female director ‘Gurinder Chadda’ directed a movie called ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ which portrayed an Indian-American family whose daughter aspired to become a football player and how she was demoralized at every step and was told to marry and take care of the family.

Thus, we see that a female director, whether an Indian, American, or African, often tried to show the world the condition of females in their respective societies. And the job was always well done. It became every female’s strength to stand for her rights and not be suppressed by the opposite sex come what may. The female directors can depict the true conditions of a female through their work. They meticulously gather even the minutest detail, which would help achieve their ultimate aim.

The movie made by Robert Aldrich, which was called ‘Whatever Happened to Baby Jane’, portrays a very delicate and horrifying relationship between two sisters. The movie is based on the novel by Henry Farrell. A grotesque “Baby Jane” Hudson (Davis at 54 years of age), a former vaudeville child star, and paralyzed invalid sister Blanche (Crawford) from a mysterious, career-ending car accident (for which Jane was blamed but never charged), also a former movie star, live together in a gloomy, crumbling mansion in Los Angeles.

Robert Aldrich very well draws the picture of one sister having animosity and a feeling of malice towards the other one who is specially-abled. Themes include family secrets, resentment, hatred and deceit, and Jane’s realization that she has gone from being the cute and beloved Baby Jane to old and unloved. The story culminates with an unusual twist.

The movie won an academy award for ‘Best Costume Design’, Black and White. It got a total of five academy award nominations which is a very commendable achievement. There is a very delicate relationship portrayed between the two sisters who are sisters in real life too. One tried to deceive another and the director has evidently shown the cold war that goes on in between the two actresses. It was released on October 31, 1962. The reviews got after the release of the movie by various reporters and magazine editors were indeed applauding the work of Robert Aldrich.

The image of women, thus, was not well depicted long back also. One can evidently conclude that women have undoubtedly cleared themselves of all accusations which said that they are not able to step into any field except staying at home and taking care of the kids. Women have proved what they can do and can very well speed ahead of men who think that they cannot be superseded by anyone. The great actresses of the 1930s and 1940s could sweep off any actor full from the screen.

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