Kathryn Bigelow

The Guardian published an article over the weekend, asking the question “Why are there so few female filmmakers?”It’s something that most film writers/bloggers have wondered for a while now. And it has come up again just in time for the Academy Awards, where many believe that Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow will have a fighting chance to become the first female director to take home an Oscar.

On Saturday, Bigelow became the first woman to win the DGA award for Outstanding Direction of a Feature Film. And only 6 times in 60 years has the DGA winner NOT won the Oscar for Best Picture, and in 58 of the last 60 years, the DGA winner went on to win the Oscar for best director. Sofia Coppola was the first third woman to ever be nominated for the best director Academy Award, for Lost in Translation in 2003, but of course, she lost to Peter Jackson.

But back to the question at hand: why are there so few female filmmakers? The Guardian says that it was once blamed on the small amount of female applicants entering film school, which is no longer the case. It has often been blamed on a chauvinist culture, or the fact that a lack of female filmmakers means fewer role models and mentors. Coppola’s nomination didn’t inspire a surge of female filmmakers (as far as I can tell), would/can a Best Director win by Bigelow change anything? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Focus Features Announces 2010 Release Dates

Eagle in the ninth

Focus Features today announced their 2010 release slate. Highlights include:

  • March 12th 2010: The Squid and the Whale writer/director Noah Baumbach‘s Greenberg which stars Ben Stiller
  • April 16th 2010: Thomas BalmèsBabies, a documentary film which simultaneously follows four babies around the world – from birth to first steps.
  • Wednesday, September 1st 2010: Anton Corbijn‘s The American starring George Clooney as a retiring assassin
  • Third Quarter 2010: Kevin Macdonald‘s Roman epic adventure The Eagle of the Ninth
  • November 2010: Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck‘s (Half Nelson, Sugar) dramedy adaptation of Ned Vizzini‘s 2006 novel It’s Kind of a Funny Story
  • TBA 2010 (we assume in December for Award Season): Sofia Coppola‘s Somewhere starring Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning

After the jump you can read the full press release, which includes detailed plot synopsis for all of these films.

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Somewhere

Our friends at Collider scored a shitload of early promotional images and posters from the American Film Market. You can head on over to Collider to see all of the images, but I thought I’d profile a few of the projects that I’m more looking forward to. After the jump you will find photos of Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere starring Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, Noah Baumbach‘s Greenberg starring Ben Stiller and The American starring George Clooney,
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Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere Draws on Family History

somewherecasting_1

The Coppola clan often tells stories about family, and Sofia Coppola has been known to draw on her life when writing film characters. Some of the inhabitants of Lost in Translation were famously based on her former husband Spike Jonze and the actress Cameron Diaz. (And Diaz’s appearance at Comic Con this year suggested that Anna Faris’s characterization of Diaz was dead on.) Now there are suggestions that her new film, Somewhere, draws directly on her experience in the limelight with her father, Francis Ford Coppola. Read More »

somewhere benico

Update: Movieline has confirmed that Benicio is in the film, and that his role “involves a brief run-in with Dorff’s actor at the historic hotel.” So it is just a cameo.

Has Benicio del Toro joined the cast of Sofia Coppola‘s new movie Somewhere? The Los Angeles power pop band Rooney reveals in a new blog post that they filmed a cameo for the film (yes, the movie is already in production) but also mentioned that Benicio is one of the stars of the movie.
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bana1

Yes, Party Boy. In a bit of casting news already earning groans from snobs and wooo’s from slobs, Jackass‘s Chris Pontius will co-star in Sofia Coppola‘s ode to Hollywood’s storied Chateau Marmont hotel, Somewhere. Pontius will play “Sammy” in the 2010 flick, best friend to the main character, a “hard living actor,” to be played by Stephen Dorff, of S.F.W. fame. Further casting choices have not been announced. Dakota’s younger sister, Elle Fanning, plays the daughter to Dorff’s character, who causes him to “reexamine his life after a surprise visit.” Twinkle, twinkle.

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/FilmCast

crank 2 posterIn this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley get excited for 24: New York, get ambivalent about Wanted 2, get disappointed by Mitch Hurwitz’s Sit Down, Shut Up, and get intrigued by The Girlfriend Experience. Special guests Dan Trachtenberg from the Totally Rad Show and Jen Yamato from Rottentomatoes join us for this episode.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next MONDAY night at Slashfilm’s live page at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as we review State of Play.

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somewhere casting

Sofia Coppola has announced that she will be returning to the big screen with a dramedy she wrote titled Somewhere. Her fourth film will star Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, and centers on Hollywood’s iconic Chateau Marmont, the hotel of choice of many tabloid-friendly celebrities. The story is about a “bad-boy actor” who gets an unexpected visit from his 11-year-old daughter, and is forced to reexamine his life. Sounds like Dorff is being set up for a Mickey Rourke-like performance.

Coppola calls it “an intimate story set in contemporary Los Angeles,” while Focus Features CEO James Schamus describes it as having all the “witty, moving and empathetic qualities that characterize all [of Sofia's] work.” I was a big fan of Coppola’s earlier work, but very turned off by Marie Antoinette. With Somewhere it sounds like Coppola is returning to some of the settings and themes that earned her acclaim with Lost in Translation. Elle is a fantastic child actress, although Dorff is no Bill Murray, but who is? The film is scheduled to begin production in June.

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