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  • Ellen Cheshire

#DirectedbyWomen 1969 - 1940 - make a connection with these films


For International Women's Day I did a blog, #DirectedbyWomen 2000 -2021- Stories Women Tell, where I selected a single film per year, directed by a woman, from 2000 - 2021. It was a tough task, as much has been done to see films by female filmmakers commissioned and distributed in the past couple of decades. But what about the 20th century? How far could I go back until I'd not seen a film directed by a woman in that year? Well I managed 1970 - 1999 fairly easily, although there were some years where I had only seen one or two films directed by a woman. But this one, looking at 1940 - 1969, was mucher tougher! (* indicates only found/seen one film directed by a woman for that year). Without the experimental filmmaker Maya Deren and the BFI's recent DVD release, The Camera is Ours: Britain's Women Documentary Makers I wouldn't have made it!

Do let me know on twitter of any films I should be watching to broaden the range of directors.


Here we go, 1940 - 1969... You can read reviews of many of these films on my letterboxd.


Lions Love (1969, Agnès Varda)

Three Poplars in Plyushchikha (1968, Tatyana Lioznova)

Ruddigore (1967, Joy Batchelor) * - pic. below












Daisies (1966) Vera Chytilova - - pic. top right

Le Bonheur (1965, Agnès Varda)

Rattle of a Simple Man (1964, Muriel Box)

Sparrows Can't Sing (1963, Joan Littlewood)

Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962) Agnes Varda

The Connection (1961, Shirley Clarke) - pic. below










Skyscraper (1960, DA Pennebaker & Shirley Clarke)*

The Wayward Girl (1959, Edith Carlmar)

The Very Eye of Night (1958, Maya Deren)*

The Passionate Stranger (1957, Muriel Box)

Together (1956, Lorenza Mazzetti) - pic. below










The Widow (1955, Park Nam-ok)

The Teckman Mystery (1954, Wendy Toye)

The Hitch-hiker (1953, Ida Lupino)

The Happy Family (1952, Muriel Box)

Olivia (1951, Jacqueline Audry) - pic. below













Outrage (1950, Ida Lupino)

Death is a Caress (1949, Edith Carlmer)

Children of the Ruins (Jill Craigie, 1948) *

The Private Life of a Cat (1947, Alexander Hammid/Maya Deren) *

Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946, Maya Deren) *

Homes for the People (Kay Mander, 1945) - pic. below












Witch’s Cradle (1944, Maya Deren)*

First Comes Courage (1943, Dorothy Arzner)*

The Falcon Takes Over (1942, Irving Reis/Ruby Rosenberg)*

English Inn (Muriel Box, 1941)

Dance Girl Dance (1940, Dorothy Arzner) - pic. below




Will I find a film a year pre-1939?

Suggestions welcomed via twitter.