A rant about chick flicks and a few more reviews.

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So what’s the deal with chick flicks? Not as in, why do those movies get made but WHY does that term even exist?

Firstly, I can’t really find any good definition of what a chick flick actually is, but for the most part it seems to be any movie that is about a woman, or women, and/or high school and/or romance/‘women’s issues’ such as weddings, babies and falling in love.

There doesn’t seem to be any hard and fast rule to this however, Bridesmaids is a chick flick, Wedding Crashers is not, Mean Girls is a chick flick, Dazed and Confused is not,  Pearl Harbour not a chick flick, The Notebook yes a chick flick and so on and so on. What is the common denominator here? I can tell you that most ‘chick flicks’ are certainly not made by women, not at the top echelons. Of all those movies I just named, none of them were directed by a woman and on the IMDB list of top 30 chick flicks (with the highest votes) only 3 of the movies are directed by a woman and 2 of those are directed by the same woman.

I think there is a real problem in hollywood (and in many other movie industries the world over) where female stories, and female film-makers are not taken seriously. In fact, if you needed a demonstration of this attitude, this week has offered up its very own real life Hollywood example in the recent extremely white male-centric oscar nominations, including the major snub of Ava Duvernay for best director. Duvernay’s snub is not only a snub for female film-makers but also for African American film-makers too, which is a whole other major topic for discussion that I don’t have space to speak about today but if you want some good reading on the topic this is a great place to start with lots of links to other excellent pieces on the subject. 

The continued lack of funding or recognition of female directors in mainstream movie industries is a blatant demonstration of a value system where stories about women are somehow less important or less compelling. In fact, female stories have their very own specalised derogatory term to differentiate them from regular cinema: Chick Flicks.

This article has a good and quick summary of the history of chick flicks. It talks about the fact that the term and concept of ‘chick flicks’ developed out of a reactive backlash to feminist films of the 60s, and prior to that movies about women were just called ‘women’s movies’ and were marketed to both men and women.

Which for me still begs the question why did movies about women even need a special label? Mainstream movies about men get to be part of a variety of genres such as ‘action’, ‘comedy’ or ‘drama’ regardless of their quality so why do the ones that happen to be about women, or more specifically ‘women’s issues’, get lumped into one sub-genre? And what is a woman’s issue anyway?? (Just a caveat, this is all stuff that is taking place in the west – particularly in Hollywood –  I am not here speaking to the status of women on film in cultures where the history of women’s rights and representation has taken a different path, what I am talking about is mainstream western cinema and TV, especially in Hollywood)

Now obviously, there are movies that feature women in as main characters that are not classified as chick flicks, Alien and Lara Croft Tomb Radar spring to mind. Why do these movies get to be just movies when great films like Thelma and Louise get relegated to Chick Flick status? Well Kat, you might say, that’s because those movies are action movies, and as such are not technically ‘women’s movies’. And Kat, you also might say, those movies feature straight male fantasies of women rather than actual naturalistic depictions of women’s lives. 

Well dear readers, first off, I would say extremely good points. (I would also say that technically Thelma and Louise could be classified as an action movie – think about it, the plot involves assault, robbery and car chases but regardless, it’s directed by a dude and therefore has no place on this blog, for the moment) in fact I would say that actually dear readers, for the most part, you have hit the nail on the head. A chick flick, to fit the bill of a chick flick in the modern world means that a movie is somehow, strangely, according to some odd 1950s-esque definition of female taste, a movie that only a woman would want to see.  Never mind that lots of men enjoy things such as romance babies and women,  never mind that not all women want to see stories about trying to get pregnant, or identify with heterosexual love stories or care about skinny white girls being mean to each other.

And gosh isn’t it strange that we live in a culture where we collectively pretend that men do not want to see movies about romance, babies and women? And I say pretend because Judd Apatow movies are pretty damn popular across genders and they somehow don’t get classified as being chick flicks even though the subject matter is essentially the same. Hey they even invented a whole new word in order to avoid calling Judd Apatow movies chick flicks: the Bro-Mance.

The only difference that I can see between a chick flick and a Bro-Mance is that chick flicks are usually from the point of view of the female characters. A viewpoint that in our hyper-masculine society is apparently an anathema to male movie-goers. Which is weird because male viewers are seemingly quite happy to watch movies about women if they are kicking the shit out of aliens, terminators or tomb raiders but somehow if they’re just talking or walking or living lives or having feelings it becomes a no deal situation?

And let’s not even get into the fact that ‘the male viewer’ is somehow the holy grail of demographic that movies must attract in order to make money, despite the fact that Titanic and Twilight are two of the highest grossing movies of all time and are unashamedly, pointedly, deliberately aimed at a female audience, despite the fact that movies about women consistently perform well at the box office, often outlasting their ‘male’ skewing counterparts for weeks or sometimes months at a time.

AND let’s not even talk about the situation we’ve created that there’s no room anywhere in these definitions for people who don’t sit comfortably within the binary gender system, and that if you are trans, or queer, or butch or anything slightly outside the hetero-norm you get relegated to obscure indie status, or movie of the week human rights specials or you get mimicked, parodied, tokenised and trotted out by more ‘acceptable’ straight actors to play you in an oscar-baiting auteur drama (which by the way, is not unlike the way that mainstream hollywood portrays people of colour, or people with disabilities or any other kind of ‘other’ that doesn’t fit the white, heterosexual, western male ideal)

And let’s also not mention the fact that there’s a plethora of lists out there called things like ’10 surprising movies directed by women’ and that when people find out that movies like American Psycho and Wayne’s World were directed by women there’s a collective gasp of surprise, as if women couldn’t possibly make great movies about men. As if female film-makers can only ever make ‘female films’ that are somehow less than, somehow more mediocre, somehow always about women and need to be labelled as such as a kind of excuse or a warning. And that there are lists out there like ‘Top Ten Chick Flicks For Guys’ with special instructions for men whose only marker for determining a good movie seems to be: Are there hot girls, is there a car chase and/or a people being killed?   

With that in mind, here are three reviews of movies that may happen to be about some women, and directed by some women, but are just damn good movies okay? No chick flick label warning necessary.

Persepolis

Based on the graphic novel of the same name, which also happens to be the true story of co-writer and co-director Marjane Satrapi’s own life, this is a considered and poignant portrayal of life in Iran before and after the Islamic revolution. Seen through the eyes of Marjane as a child, where she is blissfully unaware of the rising political tensions around her, the story takes the viewer on a journey with the character, as she is sent into exile and comes of age in an alien land.

Marjane’s traumas as a refugee in France, and her subesequent psychological unravelling serve as a beautifully delicate counterpoint to the Iranian revolution itself, and Marjane’s experiences and her sense of loss and isolation are all the more devastating when she returns to find a changed Iran which is as ravaged as she is.

Particularly topical in Australia (and globally) right now with our terrible refugee policies, ultimately, this is a movie about the tragedy of losing your home country to war, and what happens when you are a refugee without support in a strange land. The animation is stark – the whole movie is in black and white – but in a way this stylisation helps you to engage with the intricacy of the story. I found this contrast especially nice in the early part of the movie when all around child-like Marjane there are rumblings of revolution that she is entirely innocent too, later in the movie it serves to emphasise the older Marjane’s sense of isolation and disconnection. I found the ending a little clunky but I understand that it’s based on real life and sometimes real life doesn’t have neat and tidy ending so I’m willing to overlook that because the rest of the movie was just so compelling.

An Education

Also based on a true story (the memoir of journalist Lynn Barber), this whole movie had me squirming and simultaneously mesmerised by the relationship between precocious teenage girl Jenny (played by the delightful Carey Mulligan) and much older man-about-town David. The quality of the acting is what makes this movie, Mulligan taking you on a journey with every subtle sigh of ennui she feels in stifling 1950s England and Peter Sarsgaard hitting the balance between absolutely sincere and completely inappropriate with ease.  Alfred Molina and Cara Seymour also hit the notes excellently playing her buttoned down social climber parents with delicious subtle flare.

This movie sparked some excellently intense debate as we watched it, we just couldn’t decide whether it was okay for this young teenager to be having this affair with this older man, with half of the room coming down on the ‘oh it’s real love, let it be’ and the other half firmly on the route of ‘no, he’s too old, he’s taking advantage’. I won’t tell you how the movie ends and whether it was in fact romance or something else, but the fact that it sparked debate says so much about how were drawn into the story and cared for the characters.

It’s very nicely shot, with muted colour tones and pale filters that make the sky seem wintery even in the summer, giving the whole movie that special grey 1960s English feel that instantly evokes the sense of bread-and-butter pudding, middle class post-war conservatism and the slow gathering wave of the rock and roll revolution just around the corner.

Finsterworld

I got to see this at the German film festival last year and the festival curator stood up at the start and said “I’ll watch anything, I love movies, and I really like this film, but it’s really edgy and dark, so be warned”. Which I thought was a really strange introduction from a film festival curator. But…. I am going to say the exact same thing. I really liked this film. I really did. But goodness…. It draws you in with sweetness and then smacks you over the head with darkness. Repeatedly.

The debut drama feature from documentary maker Frauke Finsterwalder meanders through several storylines following disparate characters  – students on a trip to a concentration camp, a wealthy couple travelling through the country in a bubble of money and opulence, a foot masseur who visits an elderly lady with sweet treats, a policeman who has a ‘furry’ fetish, and a documentary maker herself, self-absorbed, desperately middle class and trying to reject it, wanting to make films about something serious but never quite succeeding.  My German friend who accompanied me said that “Finsterworld’ does not mean anything in German so I am assuming that Finsterwalder deliberately intended this to be her take on the world, and she doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to examining that space where comedy, tragedy and just actually gross things often exist side by side.

As the film develops you see how the many characters are loosely connected, but rather than being a celebration of those uniting moments (a la films like Crash or 21 grams) the film takes you to places of disconnection, where the characters ultimately deliberately disconnect from each other but in doing so develop new connections which are just as dysfunctional if not more so.  This film examines the dark places you go to when you’re lonely and lustful, but wraps it up in a deceptively sweet indie-film bow complete with lens flares, bright colours and idyllic woodland forests. There are no film-noir shadows in this film, despite the fact that the characters are firmly placed in the grey moral landscape of selfishness, disconnection and downright bad behavior.

Ultimately, this is a film about people trapped in fractured relationships (the motif of capturing and releasing is used throughout the film), and the only person who manages to escape her relationships is the documentary maker herself. At the end of the movie she says to the only black person in the film “wouldn’t the world be better if there were no people in it?’ But you get the feeling she doesn’t mean it and that in fact she still craves human approval and compassion. Instead the film-maker is left alone, bereft and in a strange land.

Alright, that’s my piece over for this month. Those movies are great, the movies on those lists I pointed fun at are actually great. Go watch and have fun! Or don’t, get out in the sun, or the snow, or the great outdoors or whatever, just have fun.

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The indie/mainstream divergence or: Babes Directing Blockbusters

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Right so I was going to write this post about how female directors seem to make in the indendent sphere but somehow can’t quite make that leap to mainstream tentpole blockbusters.

But then… this month they announced that Michele Maclaren has been slated to direct Wonder Woman, and I just discovered that Sam Taylor-Johnson is directing the 50 Shades of Grey movie. Which… gosh, well, has just made both those movies about 50 times more interesting than they were about 5 minutes ago.

For those of you who don’t keep up to date with HBO TV series, comic book movies, trends in erotic fan fiction or British art darlings from the 1990s, you may not be entirely excited or surprised by this news but I promise you, it is both exciting and surprising.

First, lets talk about Michele Maclaren. Michele Maclaren is only the second female director ever to direct a super hero movie in Hollywood. Which considering how many super hero movies Hollywood releases is a kind of sad statistic. The first female directed superhero movie (according to wikipedia) was Tank Girl and was made 20 years ago. So essentially there have been no female-directed super hero movies in the last 20 years, and in fact, very few super hero movies about female super heroes in the last 20 years. There has, in this time been about 50,000 Spider-man movies, nah just jokes, there’s only been 5 that’s only one every 4 years, not many at all. By contrast there have been 5 movies in total in the last 20 years that starred and headlined a female super-hero. (That’s not counting team superhero films like the Avengers which may include female superheroes but they still often don’t get the main storyline or get much character development)

Maclaren is mostly a TV director and has developed a fan base mostly as a result of her work on shows such as The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad is a TV series that is a slick and seriously excellent exploration of humanity, the anti-hero, and the nature of evil. These are criteria that most superhero movies aspire to but never quite achieve; they get hemmed in by their own blockbuster-y-ness and are too afraid to really take the audience to dark places because at the end of the day they have to pull in those box office dollars. It will be entirely fascinating to see whether Maclaren can lift Wonder Woman out of the doldrums of mainstream comic book broad strokes and into something that inspires and challenges its audiences.

Now I am going to confess that I am one of those people who couldn’t quite handle Breaking Bad. But it’s not because it was badly made, it’s just that I got up to season 4 and realised that I didn’t want to stay on this journey with those characters. In fact, would argue that one of the reasons I stopped watching was because it was too good, and I cared about the characters too much. However… the other reason I stopped watching was because I felt constantly frustrated that the female characters were so one-dimensional. I have been told by ardent fans that they do get developed a little bit in future series, and I also know that TV directors have very little say over creative character development so I don’t really attribute this lack of depth to Maclaren in general, but it was one of my main bugbears with the show as a whole and it will be interesting to see whether its a problem with Wonder Woman as well.

And… Sam Taylor-Johnson… Sam Taylor Johnson is the lady who made: Brontosaurus (NSFW) and David which are, on the one hand, kind of art-wank and on the other hand, utterley mesmerising, confronting and difficult to forget.

She is most well known for her striking morpheus-crying-12photography series such as ‘Crying Men’, which disrupt and explore pop culture and gender roles, particularly masculinity.

Taylor-Johnson’s art is thought provoking and has recurring themes of vulnerability, gender, voyeurism and the fragile body.

However, her foray into mainstream feature films with ‘Nowhere Boy’ well personally I found it kind of bland. Nowhere Boy is a bio-pic of the early life of John Lennon, and it was not really a bad film as such, it was eminently watch-able and very well shot. It’s just that it had absolutely none of the disruptive exuberence that comes through in Taylor-Johnson art films. It was very buttoned-down and didn’t take any risks. Maybe that’s just because she wanted a blockbuster audience, or maybe she was swept up in the very conservative mechanism that is studio film-making. Regardless, what you got was a solid, slightly unimaginative film with some great cinematography and of course a great soundtrack.

All of which makes Sam Taylor-Johnson an incredibly interesting choice for 50 Shades of Grey. I haven’t read the book but from all the critiques I’ve read it’s a pretty misogynistic (and yes books by women about women can still be misogynistic) and reductionist view of s&m relationships, with one dimensional characters and a lack of understanding of consent and what constitutes abuse.

So can Sam Taylor-Johnson lift 50 Shades of Grey out of its rigid gender stereotypes and into an exploration of all the things that make her art films great? Things like vulnerability, gender and voyeurism? Or will she just play it safe and make another bland blockbuster that doesn’t disrupt anything?

The movie comes out in February, I’m undecided as to whether I’ll go and see it, but here’s the trailer so you can form an opinion of your own.

Reading List: things from the internet that might explode your world

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  • Let’s start with an advertisement for Goldieblox. What dogoldieblox you guys think of Goldieblox? On the one hand hooray for a company making toys for girls that challenge gender boundaries, on the other hand, it bothers me a little that the girl at the centre of this narrative is still white, blonde and thin (although at least not hyper-sexualised like most Disney Princesses)
  • Which leads into  this excellent article  which bemoans the fact that the face of modern feminism often ends up being white, thin and desperately middle class. One of many excellent quotes: “…the torment of the middle-class housewife longing for an office job – has been allowed to define the popular understanding of what feminism is for, and what women really want, for two generations. The fact that outside white suburbia women have always had to work for money does not factor into this convenient fiction…‘Having it all’ now means having a career, kids, a husband, a decent blow-dry – and that’s it.”
  • Which also leads into this  dissemination of race and representation of women’s bodies and motherhood, and who is ‘allowed’ to breastfeed in public and who is not. And also this delicious critique: Professor Edward Rhymes points out that in films featuring the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold (think: Pretty Woman and Mighty Aphrodite), the character is invariably played by a white woman: “There has yet to be a critically-acclaimed or commercially successful film, where a central character was a Black prostitute. So even when the “textbook” requirements of what constitutes being promiscuous is met, her whiteness saves the day. Even at her most licentious, she is made to appear innocent, wholesome and strangely virginal.” 

Girl 6which had me racking my brains for movies that star black prostitutes in a positive light, or even movies that star black prostitutes at all. The only one I could think of was Girl 6 although technically the character is a phone sex worker not a prostitute so it’s not quite the same. I’m sure there are others but I’m having a mind blank. Any suggestions? 

  • Annie HallNext up, also related why Woody Allen won’t be hiring a black actor any time soon. Because, as with so many movies set in New York, he writes for a world where the population is exclusively white and where white is the norm. Black people in New York (or Paris, Barcelona and Rome) obviously could not be anxious or nerdy or intellectual or even Jewish, or any of those things that Woody Allen has somehow incorporated into his own unique genre. Ugh.
  • And following on from that, why is Shonda Rhimes (Scandal_Season_3creator of iconic shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal) always being called an ‘angry black woman’: “But here’s the thing: After you write about that, write about something else. Wgreys-anatomyrite about her vision, write about her courage, write about her talent, write about the fact that she’s been able to achieve something that very few people have been able to achieve. Write about that.”  

A Different Kind of Politics

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Okay so I have a long and meandering post about rom-coms coming soon, which I am still in the throes of researching.

BUT, given the current political situation in Australia (which is very anti-refugees) I thought it might be timely to plug a couple of films about refugee rights in Australia

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

This…. is actually directed by a dude. However, one of the co-creators is a woman (the inspiring Jessie Taylor) . And really, I am writing this blog to discuss inequality and at this point in time, asylum seekers (particularly those who come by boat) are getting a pretty raw deal in Australia.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is thought provoking, heart-breaking and compelling. It’s an exploration of the reasons why someone would risk their lives to sail in a leaky boat to the shores of a country that does not want them. It highlights the fact that seeking asylum by boat is just as legal as seeking asylum by plane or on foot, and that by turning away or imprisoning refugees who survive the long and dangerous journey over the sea is, Australia is breaking several UN conventions.

The film follows several characters in limbo waiting in Indonesia for ‘processing’ (At the current rate of processing the wait could be 40 years or longer, many of them have already been there several years already), they are a people in-between, not legally recognised by the Indonesian government, not accepted by the Australian government, no income, rough, unsanitary, and cramped living situations, and traumatised from where they have just come from. And yet, they have hope, they somehow still cling to the idea that they might be the ones, they might get through, if only they take the right boat and pay the right people, they might get to the ‘lucky country’.

Mary Meets Mohammad

Directed by Heather Kirkpatrick, an ex-relief worker who has worked with refugees in many different countries. She was studying film-making in Australia and stumbled upon this story about the first refugee detention centre in Tasmania.

I haven’t actually seen this one yet but I am very keen to get my hands on a copy because it looks like a great watch and its been getting rave reviews.

It’s the story of a woman who is vehemently opposed to refugees in her community, and the encounter that leads her to change her mind. It looks fascinating.

See, it’s a pretty confusing topic for many, Asylum-seekers. Often people seem to treat it as if it is an immigration problem (and oh I could say so many things about the western world and our labyrinthine immigration policies but I’ll leave that to another post). However, as these films take care to remind us, and as many advocacy organisations point out, refugees are actually not immigrants. They didn’t come to Australia because they like the climate, they are desperate escapees, running from persecution, strife and outright violence in their own countries, they cannot return home, this is not a choice for them.

At it’s heart, the issue of Asylum Seekers is a human rights issue.

This is one of the reasons why films about refugee issues are so important, they give the debate a human face.

In Australia media are not allowed in the detention centres (in fact, not even Amnesty International are allowed into the detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island) and so completed films and documentaries about asylum seekers are few and far between, and often a battle to get made. These are the two most comprehensive films that I could find about the subject.

If anyone has any others they would like to suggest, feel free to share them in the comments.

Thanks for reading.
Peace Out.

 

Oh and also

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TODAY: Life In The Home

Some friends of mine (the delightful and very talented Prisca Bouchet and Nick Mayow) made a documentary as part of Loading Docs, an online film festival of short documentaries all based around the theme ‘Home’.

Their film is a beautiful and sensitive study of life in a retirement home in NZ and it’s definitely worth a watch.

There are also several other lovely short documentaries on the site and I would recommend checking them out also.

 

So many exciting and inspiring documentaries out there people! Go forth and enjoy!

And Now For A Bit of Shameless Self Promotion

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And Now For A Bit of Shameless Self Promotion

Hey so I made a short film. Well, more of a short documentary. Well, more of a kind of artist profiley thing. But it’s a film (well, a video technically) and it’s playing in Melbourne at the City Library for the month of June.

It is a ‘behind the scenes look’ at the art work of the amazingly talented Ellen Sorensen, who makes painfully exquisite and detailed papercuts that will transport you to other worlds and tell you stories that will inspire your mind.

Her work is exhibiting at the library this month and is dotted around all the nooks and crannies between the books in excitingly lit spaces.

So if you live in Melbs and like beautiful art come down to the city library on flinders lane and have a wander around!

Now…. to stick on topic and say something slightly relevant for this blog. It has not escaped my attention that a lot of female directors tend to gravitate towards documentary. And I can say that after working in drama for many years and then making this tiny tiny documentary I can see the appeal.
You get a lot more control of content, you work with smaller crews so it’s much more intimate and you have more control over the hours you shoot.

Obviously this is not always the case with all documentaries where the content might be controlled by a network, or they might end up controlling your hours but even then it feels like it would be much easier to work documentaries around childcare and life in general than it would be when you’re working the 15/18 hour day standard that most drama shoots require. Why is childcare something that only female directors need to take into account? Well that I don’t know but it’s one of the theories as to why more women don’t become directors so I guess that’s still a function of the society we live in.

Anyhoo, rant over for now. If you live in Melbs do come down and see some lovely artwork and a film about aforementioned artwork 🙂

Peace out,
Kat

Remembering Nora Ephron

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“I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.”

It is one year ago today since the delightful Nora Ephron passed away at the age of 71.

She was an acclaimed essayist and novelist (and she wrote books about being a woman and getting old! Which is, for some strange reason in our society, a challenging concept!) as well as an award-winning screenwriter and director.

She carved out a niche in a profession that is reserved for men. And she did it by making movies about interesting, complicated, problematic women. She was often called ‘the queen of romantic comedy’ (which for some reason, makes her sound less important than say, Martin Scorsese who makes mostly non-romantic movies about interesting, complicated, problematic, men)

And gosh, I loved Sleepless in Seattle SO MUCH when I was a teenager. I don’t even know why except, well, it’s a fairy story I suppose? A fairy story where the girl isn’t this perfect princess who just waits for the guy to come to her, she’s a little kooky, and disorganized (although let’s not get too carried away here she is still thin, pretty and blonde) and she goes to HIM.

Or maybe it’s because I totally do this too when I’m driving

And I really liked Michael which I thought was a vastly under-rated movie – John Travolta as a dirty sex- mad angel and a perfectly cast Andie Macdowell and William Hurt as two uptight tabloid reporters – it’s a 90s wet dream that movie. But also, aside from that, it’s just genuinely, quirkily, funny

And how could I forget, how could anyone forget, ‘When Harry Met Sally’? (which I know, she did not direct, Rob Reiner directed it, but she did write it and it’s such a seminal movie I couldn’t not include it) When Harry Met Sally is pure comedy classic gold. And also, it’s good to remind myself sometimes that that character, performing that scene with all that sexual energy, and showing a women owning all that sexual energy, that was still a fairly daring act back in 1989 (one might argue it’s still a fairly daring act now in some circles)

And I know, Ms Ephron’s movies were pretty much straight down the line classic Hollywood films. But at the same time, movies like Julie and Julia are incredibly sophisticated storytelling when you think about it – Julie and Julia is a movie based on a book, based on a blog, based on a person who herself was on TV and also wrote a book, and set in two different periods on two different continents. And she does this a lot, the parallel stories thing, the mental gymnastics asked of the viewer are actually quite complex in order to watch Nora Ephron’s films.

And she writes/creates these lovely strong, complicated, problematic female characters who don’t quite fit into the world around them, and consequently often do slightly crazy things to try and find their voice.

Now, to be honest, her lovely quirky characters did often end up finding their voices in fairly conventional ways – but not everyone has to climb Mt Everest to find their voice right? Sometimes you just have to climb the Empire State Building and take a chance on love, or write a blog about cooking, or follow an angel across the country

But even though they were often conventional her characters were always memorable.

And I do love that her final movie was about two women who aren’t needing to be ‘saved’ or ‘found’ by a man. In fact, Julia Child saves Julie Powell in a sense.

And yes, I have noticed that most of Nora Ephron’s movies are about white middle class people who are usually heterosexual. And yes, I do agree that that is problematic, and a systemic problem in Hollywood in general, in fact.

And I do wonder if she ever just wanted to break out of the box and make something really unconventional and challenging (although maybe she was just more comfortable doing that as a writer? Silkwood is apparently amazing although I haven’t seen it yet, I’ll try to put up a review when I do). But then again, Nora Ephron made big blockbuster movies that were seen all over the world, maybe if she had made things that were less traditional she wouldn’t have been able to share all these interesting, varied, not-just-damsel-in-distress female characters with the world?

And really, sometimes, just the act of going to work every day, as a woman in a role that for some arbitrary reason has been assigned mainly to the male half of the population, that’s a revolution in and of itself.

And oh boy, I really did love Sleepless in Seattle.

Thanks for the movies Ms Ephron, may you Rest in Peace.