Standing alongside J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series as one of the fundamental pieces of high fantasy storytelling is Ursula K. Le Guin‘s Earthsea series, a collection of novels set in a fantasy archipelago of hundreds of islands where magic lays in a delicate balance. Or, at least it should be. Forgotten in classrooms and ignored by major Hollywood studios, we have yet to receive an adaptation that does justice by Le Guin’s sweeping, majestic series, which spans five novels and nine short stories. But maybe we will soon.
A24 is developing an Earthsea TV series based on Le Guin’s novels with Nightcrawler producer Jennifer Fox, who originally optioned the rights to the series last year and received the blessing of Le Guin before her death in 2018.
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At the beginning of 2018, Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig became only the fifth woman in history to be nominated for a Best Director award at the Oscars. “That’s one hand!” she enumerated to USA Today following her indoctrination into the sadly small mile-high club. It’s a club that unfortunately looks to remain small as most female directors remain out of the awards conversation and new reports emerge that female filmmakers saw their numbers shrink in 2018.
But before you write off 2018 as a bad year for women — or at least a step backwards after 2017’s industry-shattering breakthrough success with Gerwig, Patty Jenkins, and more — I implore you to take a closer look. Last year saw Anna Boden, along with Ryan Fleck, taking the helm for Marvel’s upcoming Captain Marvel, and the announcement of Cathy Yan directing Birds of Prey for DC and Warner Bros. And the slate of Sundance darlings were overwhelmingly female-fronted — from Sarah Colangelo‘s unnerving The Kindergarten Teacher, to Desiree Akhavan‘s ebullient The Miseducation of Cameron Post, to Jennifer Fox‘s harrowing abuse drama The Tale. Lynne Ramsay, Josephine Drecker, and Chloe Zhao achieved some of the highest critical acclaim of the year for their films You Were Never Really Here, Madeline’s Madeline, and The Rider, respectively. Hell, there were two movies about Ruth Bader Ginsburg directed by women in 2018.
The numbers may not be speaking, but the quality remains unquestionable. Female directors are slowly making inroads in Hollywood, and while they may not be breaking the Top 100 — or may get unjustly snubbed by the Oscars yet again — don’t believe anyone when they say there are no female directors. Here 18 movies directed by women in 2018 that you should watch.
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One of the most powerful movies of this year’s Sundance Film Festival is coming to HBO next month, and now its first trailer has arrived. The Tale is the autobiographical story of director Jennifer Fox (played here by the always-terrific Laura Dern), a documentary filmmaker who dives into her own past and uncovers the truth about the sexual abuse she suffered when she was a teenager. It’s tough subject matter, but the deafening buzz about the film at Sundance and our own glowing 10 out of 10 review indicate that this is definitely going to be worth checking out. Watch The Tale trailer below. Read More »
Hollywood is reeling from outing sexual predators who have been hiding in plain sight for years, even decades. These revelations have sparked the imperative #MeToo movement, inspiring countless women to share the stories of sexual abuse and harassment that they’ve either repressed or suppressed. Director Jennifer Fox is one of those women, and she tells her brave and heartrending true story in The Tale by using memory and documentary influences as narrative elements that play with the medium in ways that bolster this harrowing recollection. Read More »