This is a film about a time, pre-war, pre-Suffrage, when, for women of a certain class, jobs were out of the question, and waiting for marriage little more than a gilded cage. Orphaned ex-showgirl Coco becomes the mistress of a rich man who treats her with affection but not with respect, and steals his clothes to make herself the masculine fashions that distinguish her, and eventually lead to her own salon and career.
Birds Eye View (which runs the annual festival of films by women film-makers) interviews diector Anne Fontaine on their blog:
Rachel: In the UK, only 6 or 7% directors are women. What’s the situation in France?
Anne: I’m not sure of the statistics, but it’s certainly better than that in France. We are really the only European country with a very important new generation of women directors – not like US, Italy, UK etc. This is simply because there is more help to make movies in France. There is more democratic access. The government supports a lot more creativity in film.
It’s also worth checking out BEV’s First Weekenders Club – they’ll send you emails to let you know what films directed by women are opening; boxoffice takings in that first weekend can make or break a film. BEV says:
Each cinema ticket bought on an opening weekend is a vote of support for the film and its makers. If we show cinemas that we love the films that women are making, then we’ll get to see more of them. Yes, it is that simple.
Meanwhile, Bitch Magazine’s blog has an interesting post about female directors who weren’t actors first, and challenges us to name our favourite female directors…