Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Masculinity in the Film Industry

I am currently an aspiring director attending film school and interning with a broadcast television network. I have to say, even on the student level, that many of the things in this forum hit very close to home. I have been called "Mom" in a derogatory manner while assistant directing, been asked repeatedly if I need help with my equipment, and even attracted unwanted attention from male crew members. I am curious about the mind set of the men in the industry and their particular brand of masculinity that leads them to continue to embrace and nurture such a patriarchal system in Hollywood and beyond. Many of the men in this blog seem to feel the need to show their superiority by making women feel lesser or that their work is not as valuable. Often there is the feeling of a math equation in a crew situation. Where there can only be two girls on the crew or at least three of the production team keys have to be male. Why is this? There is always that image floating in history of the Orson Welles, big, strong, domineering director who is large and in charge on the set. This idea is haunting and I think part of a masculine Hollywood fantasy that refuses to die. Take a look at this photo by renowned artist Annie Leibovitz. It features George Clooney as the director surrounded by a literal sea of passive women. I love the quote from Kathryn Bigelow (the only woman to ever win the academy award for best director) about how the film is what matters not the gender of the filmmaker. Steps are being made in the direction of inclusion and diversity, as shown by the work of such organizations as the Film Fatales, but there is still a ways to go.

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