I love filmmaking that’s unique. It’d be great to have more access to short films by women, especially when the format isn’t quite so barred from them as feature filmmaking is. HBO’s generally been good about this when it comes to international short films and documentary shorts. This week, Ovid TV added a huge number of contemporary dance short films. Look for their New Inspiration and L’Amour series. Both include a mix of shorts directed by women and men, but there are a number of women directors represented there.
If I could encourage you to do one thing in your viewing, it’d be to check out films by Indian women on streaming services. CNN’s Diksha Madhok reported this week that services like Netflix and Amazon have offered women filmmakers in India a platform that they were often denied in their industry – but that India’s increasingly autocratic government has begun threatening many filmmakers on these services with imprisonment and fines.
Much of this is due to Indian women filmmakers focusing on films that criticize rape culture. Many are based on rapes and murders of women that have become high-profile news stories, and depict the failure of government and police to respond properly or with accountability.
Other criticisms that have resulted in women filmmakers being threatened include presentations of Hindu-Muslim romances. Political firestorms have also resulted from how religious imagery is used, or the inclusion of nudity. The article discusses women and men filmmakers, but highlights the particular plight and threat involved in topics that women filmmakers have very actively pursued.
India is hardly the only country where women filmmakers face issues like these, but right now it presents a huge number of potential viewers for streaming services. Those streaming services often decide that it’s in their immediate financial interests to simply adhere to what a government requires in order to have access to those viewers. Streaming services will very often choose market access over equality.
Remind them that people are interested in seeing movies and series made by Indian women. I’ll get to work on an article to highlight them, and link it here when it’s done.
Let’s dive into this week’s new shows and movies by women:
Made for Love (HBO Max)
showrunner Christina Lee
directed by women
Hazel (Cristin Milioti) is in an overbearing marriage to a tech billionaire. She realizes he’s implanted her with a new invention: a monitoring device that allows him to track her and control every aspect of her life. She decides to go on the run.
Showrunner Christina Lee wrote and produced on “Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later” and “Search Party”. Directors include “Dexter” and “Jessica Jones” director S.J. Clarkson, and “Dollface” directors Stephanie Laing and Alethea Jones.
You can watch “Made for Love” on HBO Max. Three episodes premiere every Thursday starting on April 1.
Law and Order: Organized Crime (NBC)
showrunner Ilene Chaiken
This “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” spin-off sees that show’s Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) return to the NYPD as part of an organized crime task force. It looks to feature a much more involved story arc, with less focus on the ‘case of the week’ element featured in previous “Law and Order” series.
Showrunner Ilene Chaiken has been a producer on “The L Word”, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, and “Empire”.
Yellow Rose (Starz)
directed by Diane Paragas
An undocumented Filipina girl dreams of becoming a country music star. When her mother is torn from her by ICE, she flees to Austin, Texas – on the verge of pursuing her dream or being ripped away from it.
Diane Paragas is a Filipino-American writer-director. She’s handled both documentary and narrative work, as well as being a documentary cinematographer and editor.
directed by Philippa Lowthorpe
A group of women plan how to derail the 1970 Miss World beauty pageant. The plot is based on the real protest event, organized in part by Sally Alexander (Keira Knightley), a professor of history and an early organizer of the Women’s Liberation Movement in London.
Philippa Lowthorpe has been a director on “Call the Midwife” and “The Crown”.
Madame Claude (Netflix)
directed by Sylvie Verheyde
This French film follows Madame Claude, who runs a prostitution business that offers her considerable influence. It also involves the government, which means international blackmail and threats to both her and her empire.
Sylvie Verheyde is a noted director in France. Her films often examine subject matter such as high society, prostitution, and adultery.
You can watch “Madame Claude” on Netflix.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
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