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The Zodiac Guide to Female Filmmakers

Posted on February 28 2019

Sarah and Jordan of Zodiac Film Club sent us some film recommendations to keep you going until our triple bill of female friendship movies happening in our Dalston store from Weds 6th - Fri 8th March.
Celebrate Women’s Month by seeking out these female-directed films and giving them some much-needed love and attention! 

Just Another Girl on the IRT (1993)

Sarah: This is an amazing gem of a film about a Brooklyn African American teenager and her plans for her life ahead. She talks to camera Clarissa Explains it All style, and that’s just one of the many reasons it deserves a place in 90s teen classic history. But here’s a sobering fact about the film industry, director Leslie Harris has never managed to secure the financing to make a follow-up. 

Daughters of Dust (1991)

Jordan: Despite the hard subject matter Daughters of Dust is a soft, dreamscape set in the south of America, telling an ancestral story of three women. Not only is it written, directed AND produced by Julie Dash, it's also the first feature film to be shown in American theatres that were made by an African-American woman. Beyonce likes it too. 

Holy Smoke (1999)

Sarah: Jane Campion is great, and has so much more to offer than The bloody Piano. This strange cult deprogramming movie with Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel gets forgotten about but is basically just two hours of a power struggle between machismo and femininity that ends in Keitel clutching Winslet’s ankles while wearing her red dress. I just don’t know how to aim higher in life. 

We Need to talk about Kevin (2011)

Jordan: A haunting look at motherhood, We Need To Talk About Kevin looks at the estranged relationship between mother and son. Kevin (hot Ezra Miller) becomes increasingly more psychopathic and eventually murders half his classes mates, father and sister. Which makes us feel much better about our teenage strops.

American Psycho (2000)

Sarah: Apparently it takes a woman to mine the depths of toxic masculinity. It may surprise you to be reminded that everyone’s favourite psychopathic satire is directed by Mary Harron. If you feel like deep diving into her work also check out I Shot Andy Warhol, her 1996 biopic of Valerie Solanas. 

Bend it like Beckham (2002)

Jordan: I've always wished that Jess (Keira) ended up with Jules (Parminder), but she ends up getting her heart broken over the football coach. It's cute, inspiring and easy to watch on a hangover. Guilt-free. 

Mustang (2015)

Sarah: Full disclosure, I WEPT in the cinema after this one for so long that the Picturehouse workers were politely cleaning up around me. The story of sisters who are confined to the house until marriage, it’s got Virgin Suicide vibes but is far more grounded in the sad realities of the world. Some uplifting moments though I promise. 

But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)

Jordan: A queer classic, But I'm A Cheerleader is a part dark comedy/part romance. Jamie Babbit untangles the topic of 'gay conversion' therapy and gender stereotypes with sickly sweet colours, over the top characters and a cameo from Ru Paul. The critics hated it but we love it (and we're showing it on the 19th of March at The Castle Cinema!)

The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

Sarah: There’s a ton of great female directed horror out there recently (Raw, The Babadook, The Lure, The Invitation, Silent House… really it was difficult not to make this list an entirely horror filled one). But you can go further back to find women in the genre. It’s pretty silly, featuring a murderer with inexplicable motives and a big ol’ drill, but also some girls with names who talk to each other like actual humans, which is often too much to ask even of films in the 21st century.

Orlando (1992)

Jordan: Based on the well-known novel by Virginia Woolf, Orlando is a visually beautiful and ethereal escape into another time. Sally Potter keeps true to the book and we more than fall in love with Orlando as they move through time and gender. 

Grab your tickets for the Zodiac X Beyond Retro International Women's Day film festival now! Weds 6th March: Tangerine, Thurs 7th March: Girlfriends, Fri 8th March: Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion! 

Bring your best friend along to our Dalston store for only £5 a ticket with free drinks on arrival!