A Year With Women: 103 Essential Films By Female Filmmakers

A Year With Women: 103 Essential Films By Female Filmmakers's icon

Created by Panunzio.

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From Cinemafanatic.com:

Lately I’ve become more and more frustrated with the various “best ever” lists that have been released because they rarely feature films by women, or if they do it’s usually one or two films. I think this is more a reflection of those who are polled for these kinds of lists, as well as a compounding of history on itself. For so long films by men have made up the bulk of the film canon and I think people are afraid to add new films to these revered lists. I also think many people haven’t seen very many films by women, or if they have it’s always the same handful of films. In an attempt to create a better, more inclusive list of great films by women, I polled over 500 critics, filmmakers, bloggers, historians, professors and casual film viewers, asking them to tell me what films directed (or co-directed) by women are essential viewing. Some people only responded with as little as five votes, others submitted hundreds of films. In the end, I received over 7,000 votes for 1,100+ different films. After tallying up this data, with ties factored in, I then had a list of 103 essential films directed by women.

While this list is in no way the end all and be all of female filmmakers, it does include films from multiple countries, filmmakers of all ages, films from all kinds of genres and spans 9 decades. Also, I would like to point out that although the earliest film on this list is from 1935, there were several filmmakers from the silent era who were women (and whose films were in the initial 1,100+ list), including Alice Guy-Blaché, Lois Weber and others. This list should be looked at as a springboard, a way to get your feet wet with the most beloved films made by women. There are lots of resources to find even more great films by women. DirectedByWomen.com and TheDirectorList.com are two such invaluable places to start learning more about the thousands of women who have been making films since the beginning of cinema.

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  1. 1 new

    Clueless

    1995, in 5 top lists Check
  2. 2 new

    Lost in Translation

    2003, in 17 top lists Check
  3. 3 new

    The Piano

    1993, in 14 top lists Check
  4. 4 new

    Selma

    2014, in 5 top lists Check
  5. 5 new

    American Psycho

    2000, in 8 top lists Check
  6. 6 new

    Cléo de 5 à 7

    1962 — a.k.a. Cleo from 5 to 7, in 14 top lists Check
  7. 7 new

    The Hurt Locker

    2008, in 12 top lists Check
  8. 8 new

    Fish Tank

    2009, in 5 top lists Check
  9. 9 new

    The Virgin Suicides

    1999, in 4 top lists Check
  10. 10 new

    Winter's Bone

    2010, in 4 top lists Check
  11. 11 new

    Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080...

    1975 — a.k.a. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels, in 11 top lists Check
  12. 12 new

    The Babadook

    2014, in 3 top lists Check
  13. 13 new

    Zero Dark Thirty

    2012, in 6 top lists Check
  14. 14 new

    Sedmikrásky

    1966 — a.k.a. Daisies, in 17 top lists Check
  15. 15 new

    A League of Their Own

    1992, in 4 top lists Check
  16. 16 new

    Meshes of the Afternoon

    1943, in 10 top lists Check
  17. 17 new

    Big

    1988, in 7 top lists Check
  18. 18 new

    Boys Don't Cry

    1999, in 7 top lists Check
  19. 19 new

    Orlando

    1992, in 6 top lists Check
  20. 20 new

    Point Break

    1991, in 6 top lists Check
  21. 21 new

    Stories We Tell

    2012, in 6 top lists Check
  22. 22 new

    We Need to Talk About Kevin

    2011, in 2 top lists Check
  23. 23 new

    A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

    2014, in 2 top lists Check
  24. 24 new

    An Education

    2009, in 2 top lists Check
  25. 25 new

    The Hitch-Hiker

    1953, in 5 top lists Check
  26. 26 new

    Bright Star

    2009, in 2 top lists Check
  27. 27 new

    Beau travail

    1999, in 13 top lists Check
  28. 28 new

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High

    1982, in 5 top lists Check
  29. 29 new

    Wayne's World

    1992, in 3 top lists Check
  30. 30 new

    Near Dark

    1987, in 8 top lists Check
  31. 31 new

    Persepolis

    2007, in 8 top lists Check
  32. 32 new

    Marie Antoinette

    2006, in 1 top list Check
  33. 33 new

    Little Women

    1994, in 2 top lists Check
  34. 34 new

    Meek's Cutoff

    2010, in 2 top lists Check
  35. 35 new

    Wadjda

    2012, in 3 top lists Check
  36. 36 new

    Beyond the Lights

    2014 — a.k.a. Blackbird, in 0 top lists Check
  37. 37 new

    Pariah

    2011, in 4 top lists Check
  38. 38 new

    Wendy and Lucy

    2008, in 3 top lists Check
  39. 39 new

    Bande de filles

    2014 — a.k.a. Girlhood, in 2 top lists Check
  40. 40 new

    An Angel at My Table

    1990, in 7 top lists Check
  41. 41 new

    Obvious Child

    2014, in 0 top lists Check
  42. 42 new

    Ratcatcher

    1999, in 5 top lists Check
  43. 43 new

    Bend It Like Beckham

    2002, in 3 top lists Check
  44. 44 new

    Tomboy

    2011, in 2 top lists Check
  45. 45 new

    Sans toit ni loi

    1985 — a.k.a. Vagabond, in 8 top lists Check
  46. 46 new

    But I'm a Cheerleader

    1999, in 1 top list Check
  47. 47 new

    Me and You and Everyone We Know

    2005, in 4 top lists Check
  48. 48 new

    35 rhums

    2008 — a.k.a. 35 Shots of Rum, in 2 top lists Check
  49. 49 new

    À ma soeur!

    2001 — a.k.a. Fat Girl, in 5 top lists Check
  50. 50 new

    Monster

    2003, in 3 top lists Check
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Last updated on Jan 10, 2016; source