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die hard is a xmas movie | by maryann johanson

no more sitting down and shutting up for women in Hollywood?

Remember how it was in school, when all the loud, rowdy boys got all the attention of the class… and the teacher? That dynamic extends ways beyound school. Melissa Silverstein at Women and Hollywood notes precisely the same thing happening at Cannes, where the few women directors haven’t generated much news but the loud, rowdy boys are getting lots of attention:

The egos on these guys are gargantuan.

Here’s what I mean, Lars Von Trier made a great movie Breaking the Waves and another one that I found unwatcheable Dogville among others, arrived at Cannes with his controverisal film Antichrist. At the press conference for the film he declared himself “the best film director in the world.”

Quentin Tarantino has also had some hits and misses followed and declared himself god in this statement about his film Inglourious Basterds: “I love [my characters] from this god perspective because I am god as far as the characters are concerned, because I created them.”

I just find these comments so bizarre and laughable and don’t think any woman director would ever declare herself the best film director or god. I hope that both Von Trier and Tarantino comments were greeted with chuckles. I wonder what would happen if a woman director said either one of those comments. I bet that it wouldn’t be all over the web in the same way both these guys comments are.

Last week at my “The Week in Women” column at the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, I noted how Jane Campion, at her press conference at Cannes, suggested that women need to grow a thicker skin if they’re going to succeed in film. But maybe women also need to embrace their inner egotist and a lack of fear in promoting themselves.

Or else our culture needs to start celebrating thoughtful introspection and modesty the way it does arrogance and big-mouth-ery. But that’s probably less likely to happen than women learning that it’s okay to toot our own horns once in a while.



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