Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nora Ephron

For any artist most would agree that ones age, gender and ethnicity are bound to be expressed in the art they create. This is also true for the art of film making. For the most part, the films we typically see as that of the males perspective; and while they are entertaining, they are limiting. For some female directors and auteurs, film making is a way of teaching the audience about the female perspective. "I teach the kids how media works and how powerful it can be, how they can use if for their own ends. At the same time, I teach them about what a big responsibility working in media is" (Saalfield). One of the biggest problems women face is proving that their work can be taken seriously. Feminism is seen as being an ugly word, but the women in film are just striving for the same respect that men are shown. Questions like "Why did you make a film about women? Why is she focusing on details? [and] Why is she focusing on the look on a woman's face?" Should not be seen as bad film making, but just a different approach.

While some stray from making overtly feminine movies in order to avoid this stigma that comes along with being a female director, Nora Ephron has made a career of it. Her resume includes movies like Julie and Julia, Bewitched, You've Go Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. Some label them as ‘chick flicks,’ but these films have promoted strong female characters, that are not sexualized and are typically good role models for young women. Some of which have landed her Grammy noms, and sadly a Razzie or two. A lot of her criticism as a director is the romantic comedy genre that she embraces. She has said that "most men don't want to direct movies that aren't about them," but she continues to write and direct movies that she believes in.

One of Ephron's first notable films about sex between women and men is When Harry Met Sally. In the film the the male character, Harry, believes that "men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way." The female character, Sally, challenges that theory, and although the main characters do end up in the end, the movie explores an emotional aspect of the relationship rather than having any physical images blur the concept of the relationship.

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