I caught Lisa Cholodenko being interviewed on Tell Me More on NPR yesterday and Michel Martin got Lisa Cholodenko to talk about issues related to female directors that I have not heard any women utter in public before. Finally a woman in Hollywood says out loud that it sucks that her film was nominated for best picture and that she wasn’t recognized for her directing, that we value the stories about men more than stories about women and here’s the money quote from Cholodenko:
my gut instinct tells me that there’s a kind of fundamental misogyny in the culture. There just is. You know, there’s just a weird anxiety around women.
Listen to the interview here: Oscar Glory For Indie Movie, ‘The Kids Are All Right’?
Check out some highlights from the transcript
MARTIN: Well, I understand that, as a nominee, it’s awkward and delicate to discuss, you know, the other nominations and that can be very tricky, particularly right, you know, now in the run-up to the awards. And I do understand, at least I – from what I read. But, there are those who suggest that – and not to take anything away from Kathryn Bigelow’s achievement last year when she won for “The Hurt Locker.” But there are those who say, well, the issue is she’s a female director, but she’s directing a story with men at the center…
Ms. CHOLODENKO: Mm-hmm.
MARTIN: …in a story that is the kind of the story that men like.
Ms. CHOLODENKO: Mm-hmm.
MARTIN: War movie, men at the center of it. The movie-going audience for so many years now has been primarily younger, you know, men who like a lot of special effects. And that women, if they’re telling stories with a woman at the center or told in a quieter way – character-driven, et cetera – just don’t get the kind of recognition. And I did feel that I wanted to ask your opinion about that, if that might be true.
Ms. CHOLODENKO: You know, it’s worth the inquiry. I think they’re really interesting, complicated questions. At the base of it, my gut instinct tells me that there’s a kind of fundamental misogyny in the culture. There just is. You know, there’s just a weird anxiety around women.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. CHOLODENKO: That I think that it’s just easier to uphold, like, male heroes and men things. And that’s just kind of how it is. I think we’re getting better, but I think it’s just deeply rooted and it’s based on nothing but an instinct. Because when you talk about the Kathryn Bigelow film, I mean, I think something that was tremendous was that she really did get into male psychology and sort of the male experience in such an authentic way. I was really impressed by it. But had that film been anything other than that kind of film, you know, I’m dubious whether she would’ve gotten the accolades that she got, even though I think she’s a wonderful and tremendous director.
Oscar Glory For Indie Movie, ‘The Kids Are All Right’? (Tell me More – NPR)