Either Funny or Die has an impressive turnaround time, or it”s just bleak serendipity that the role of female directors in the Hollywood blockbuster machine came up right before their latest video dropped. Either way, this lampooning of the process of choosing a director manages an interesting trick. It both feels absurd AND as if it could be happening in an office somewhere, right now, with little to no dialogue changes.
Some quick background. A week ago, director Colin Trevorrow was asked if he thought he”d have been given the chance to direct “Jurassic World” after only one indie film – “Safety Not Guaranteed” – if he”d been a woman. After all, the historical evidence points to no. Despite rave reviews, you don”t see Jennifer Kent (“The Babadook”) on any shortlists. Despite winning Best Director for “The Hurt Locker” and being nominated again for “Zero Dark Thirty,” Kathryn Bigelows” IMDB page is sparse. And there are dozens more talented women with similar perplexing career trajectories. Which made Trevorrow”s response come across as wrapped in the soft cotton wool blinders of privilege.
Many of the top female directors in our industry are not interested in doing a piece of studio business for its own sake. These filmmakers have clear voices and stories to tell that don”t necessarily involve superheroes of spaceships or dinosaurs. […] Maybe this opinion makes me naive.
Saying female directors have too much integrity to direct superheroes smacks of repackaging one of the age-old ways women are dehumanized – idolization. If a male director said he didn”t want to get in bed with a blockbuster franchise, people would see it as an individual choice. If a female director like Ava DuVernay says it, suddenly it”s extrapolated onto all women.
To put it another way:
Which is why the Funny or Die video feels so infuriating. It”s shining a light on a problem, but the problem is already so comically obvious that satirizing it feels too close to reality.