By: Jess Ward, Staff Writer
The silver screen has been both a creator and a reflection of the culture around it for a long period of time. Movies and films become defining moments in time; think of Star Wars’ impact in 1977, and the way it resonates today. Why, then, have only five women been nominated for best director, and only one woman awarded since the Academy Awards conception in 1929?
This is the driving force behind Alicia Malone’s The Female Gaze. Spanning 112 years in cinematographic history, and countries all over the world, Malone creates a timeline of women directors and their often unrecognized contributions to the art. With brief interjections by fellow women film buffs, The Female Gaze serves as a reference guide and reads like an anthology.
Malone never spoils the ending; instead, she convinces the reader to see it for themselves. Beginning with Alice Guy’s 1906 The Consequences of Feminism, and ending with Chloé Zhao’s 2017 The Rider, this book offers a complex and diverse history of film. These 52 films stand out as not only important feminist works but as spectacular achievements in cinema. The Female Gaze is a must-read for movie fans and feminists alike.
If you have any books you want to see reviewed, suggestions can be sent to [email protected].