International Women's Day Editor's Picks

FULL ARTICLE

8 March every year is International Women's Day worldwide. This year, the team at Film & TV are sharing our favourite films made by women.

Monsoon Wedding (2001) dir. Mira Nair

By Leah Martindale, Film & TV Editor

The trailer for Monsoon Wedding is a masterclass in exquisite culture | YouTube / Movieclips Classic Trailers

Monsoon Wedding is a female-fronted Indian tragicomedy that toys with stereotypes at every opportunity. Rejecting the tropes and traditions of Indian cinema that are established in its opening act, the film pushes women’s stories, sexuality, and suppression at every turn.

With vibrant colours, beautiful dances, and family fracas galore, it would be easy to miss the sneaking suspicions and buried traumas the film rests on until they are thrust, uneasily and uncomfortably, to the forefront. The film’s masterful balancing act between tragedy and comedy reflects the tip-toeing familiar to many victims of trauma in a respectfully artistic manner unlike many films I have seen before.

| Tomboy is a touching example of gender nonconformity and love above all

You Were Never Really Here (2017) dir. Lynne Ramsay

By Louie Bell, Deputy Editor

Phoenix plays the damaged veteran Joe in Ramsay's thriller | IMDb / Alison Cohen Rosa / Amazon Studios

Starring Joaquin Phoenix in a far superior performance than in Joker (2019), You Were Never Really Here is an existential psychothriller about a traumatized war veteran who earns cash hiring himself out as a mercenary, specialising in rescuing trafficked young girls. Weapon of choice? A hammer.

This supremely directed uber-violent masterwork is frightening, haunting, and heartbreaking, punctuated by a pulsing, warped electronic score by radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood. Wrapped up in mystery yet up in your face for every second, you won’t ever want to look away.

This International Women’s Day is the perfect chance to go back and watch some of the best female-directed films from outside the Anglosphere

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020) dir. Cathy Yan

By Laura Aish, Digital Editor

Margot Robbie (Harley), Rosie Perez (Renee Montoya) and director Cathy Yan onset | IMDb / Claudette Barius / Warner Bros.

Whether you love comic book superhero-style movies or not, Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey is definitely worth a watch. It is an action-packed film with a strong female-led cast expertly fronted by Margot Robbie as the infamous Harley Quinn.

Following a break-up with the Joker, one of the most widely known villains from DC comics, Harley Quinn is on a mission to rebuild her life and prove to those around her that she is more than just a supporting sidekick. Overall it is a chaotic clash of action, comedy and drama that I definitely recommend seeing if you get the chance.

| The Rise of Skywalker: Reylo, Red Flags, and Feminism

Sleepless in Seattle (1993) dir. Nora Ephron

By Daisy Game, Entertainment Subeditor

Ephron's film showed a long-distance relationship in a touching and tender light | IMDb / TriStar Pictures

Friends mock me for it - my mother expresses concern over it - but it’s something with which I have come to terms. I, Daisy Game, am a romantic and Sleepless in Seattle does not help. This 1993 triple whammy - Ephron wrote, directed, and produced – tells what might perhaps be deemed the healthiest long-distance-relationship-tale to date.

The key to Sam and Annie’s success? They’ve never actually met. Sleepless is Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. It’s a dusky New York city. It’s the stuff of dreams, and it will forever hold a place in my poor, delusional heart.

The film pushes women’s stories, sexuality, and suppression at every tur

Happy as Lazzaro (2018) dir. Alice Rohrwacher

By Siavash Minoukadeh, Entertainment Subeditor

Lazzaro (Luca Chikovani, left) is the kind-hearted protagonist of the film, starring in his first role | IMDb / Tempesta

With Parasite (2019) and its Oscar win having hopefully opened the doors for a broader appreciation of foreign-language film, this International Women’s Day is the perfect chance to go back and watch some of the best female-directed films from outside the Anglosphere and Alice Rohrwacher’s allegory is a great starting point.

Shot in the gorgeous Italian countryside, it starts simply - rural villagers working for their sneaky landlord in what looks to be the 1950s. Things then take a surreal twist that left my jaw on the floor.

Featured: IMDb / DC Entertainment


What is your favourite film directed by a woman to watch this year?

AUTHOR

Leah Martindale

Part-time Film & Television MA student; full-time Instagram storier, and ABBA enthusiast; amateur film critic. Can always be found writing from bed.