Female Filmmaker Friday: Braid (2018) [Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival 2018]

A woman living in her imaginary world of her own making received a visit from two old friends on the run from the law and looking for easy money and as well as an easy way out. Turns out, going home may not yield the results they were aiming for.

Writer/director Mitzi Peirone creates a story here that is strong yet somewhat vague on some fronts and very hard to explain without giving too much away. What she creates with Braid is something that pulls the viewer in and doesn’t let them go until the end of the credits. Her works in writing and behind the camera are perfectly paired and create a world of its own on the screen. The characters she creates are complete and complex while not putting all the cards on the table at any point. This leads to a mysterious atmosphere and an odd flow to the story that work perfectly in this film.

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Female Filmmaker Friday: La Quinceañera (2017) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2018]

On the evening of her quinceañera, Alejandra witnesses the slaughter of her family. With the few surviving members, they set out of make things right.

Created and written by Shane McKenzie and Gigi Saul Guerrero with the latter directing, La Quinceañera started off as a series of webisodes and then became a feature with all the episodes gathered together in one feature. The film version is easy to watch with separate chapters that lead the story from a sweet start to a very bloody ending. The characters built here are strong and work together in a way that is natural and very much like a family.

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Female Filmmaker Friday: Jax In Love (2018)

A lonely woman is driving in the desert when she breaks down and must depend on the kindness of strangers.  In this, she also looks for a connection on a human level.

Written by Rakefet Abergel and directed by Colin Campbell, Jax in Love is a good, albeit short exploration of multiple themes such as loneliness, human connection, love, and letting go.  Abergel’s story shows a flare for human interactions and how to translate them to the screen while Campbell’s direction brings it all forward in a clear and easy to understand manner.  Their work comes together to create a fun short film with unexpected twists and turns.

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Female Filmmaker Friday: Tremble All You Want (Katte ni furuetero) (2017) [Fantasia 2018]

A young woman who has never dated lives in her imagination and in memories of the one boy who made her teenage heart flutter. As she tries to reconnect with him, another option opens right in front of her. What will she go for and how will it affect her life?

Directed by Akiko Ohku who also wrote the screenplay based on the novel by Risa Wataya, Tremble All You Want is a sweet story about holding onto the past, looking for what one wants, having standards, and learning to let go. The way to film is built and written is sweet but not overly so, the lead of Yoshika has an active imagination and it adds a big chunk of whimsy to the story and makes it about more than just a girl chasing a boy who may or may not give her a second thought. Some of the scenes have a bit of a feel similar to that of Amelie while not having a similar color palette and shooting style, something that is definitely good in establishing mood but also in establishing the director as doing her own thing here.

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Female Filmmaker Friday: Marie Antoinette (2006)

A look at life, loves, and losses of Marie Antoinette, a young girl sent to marry the future king of France at 15, who began her reign at 19, and lost her way in luxury and decadence soon after.

Written and directed by Sofia Coppola, the film makes a case for the viewer to see Marie Antoinette in a better light than what they have learned in history class. Here she’s painted as a teenage girl sent to marry a man she’s never met, pushed to produce heirs to the throne, while given a lavish and decadent lifestyle which led to her life feeling unfulfilled and thus making her do all she could to make her life as interesting as she could with what was offered to her. Here the take on Marie Antoinette is almost friendly, showing her as a complex person who was raised in luxury, married into more luxury, and thus completely disconnected from the French populace that ultimately took her and her husband down. The film approaches this without judgment and an interest in humanizing without glorifying a woman who’s often only known for a single quote.

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Female Filmmaker Friday: Monster (2003)

As part of our Female Filmmaker Friday series, we will bring films by women to everyone’s attention each Friday.

Based on the life and crimes of female serial killer Aileen Wuornos, “Monster” is an acclaimed true crime biography starring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci that garnered Oscar nods and plenty of awards.

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