It will take a village to diversify Hollywood

The New Yorker's Richard Brody recently argued that critics have failed female filmmakers — but he's only identified a part of a much greater problem

Where are all the female directors?
(Image credit: (iStock))

Last December, after months of research, critic Manohla Dargis began posting a series of pieces on women in film for The New York Times. Her stories tackled the false hope stoked by Kathryn Bigelow's historic Oscar win and the recent rise of Selma director Ava DuVernay; Hollywood's "fear-driven," male-dominated industry; how women directors view the industry; and finally, how women are fighting for better Hollywood opportunities.

It was the last piece that earned the ire of New Yorker critic Richard Brody, who replied with his own story on how critics have failed female filmmakers. Brody argues that Dargis buried the lead, and "breezes" by important facts. The thrust of his argument focuses on the underappreciated talent of Elaine May, and others whose vision ought to earn more financing and recognition. "Dargis' complaint about the state of the industry seems misplaced," he writes. "Today's leading independent visionaries are tomorrow's acknowledged auteurs; rather than merely waving at independent filmmakers en route to the shining studio cities, it would be worth calling attention to artists of today who have made superb films and ought to be bumping up to the next level of financing and recognition."

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