Although women may have found greater film success in the areas of screenwriting, editing, design, and producing, there have been many women whose contributions as directors have been quite significant. In this guide to their careers and films, author Mary Hurd profiles the most noteworthy—from Barbara Kopple and her classic work in the documentary form, to Nora Ephron's insightful retellings of Hollywood's classic stories, to Sophia Coppola's current success in Hollywood. Women Directors and Their Films fills an important gap in the literature on the subject, offering a combination of biographical material and film analysis that effectively summarizes and encapsulates the life's work of these very different, very talented women.
The selection includes women of the studio age (Ida Lupino, Dorothy Arzner), contemporary mainstream directors (Amy Heckerling, Nora Ephron), independents (Mary Harron, Nancy Savoca), documentarians (Barbara Kopple), experimental filmmakers (Maya Deren), and an assortment of acclaimed international filmmakers (Jane Campion, Agnes Varda). Profiles of the directors contain both biographical and critical segments. The first, biographical section provides a basic outline of the subject's life and career; the second offers a discussion of the director's films, featuring comments on the narrative, themes, visual techniques and style, and possible critical approaches to the work. Each chapter also includes a complete filmography and brief bibliography.