Women fare better in independent film
PARK CITY, Utah
Despite equal representation of male and female filmmakers at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, a new study shows there has been little change in the number of women working as directors and producers at the independent-film showcase over the past decade.
But women still fare better behind the camera in independent film than in studio productions.
The Sundance Institute and Women in Film commissioned the study last year and announced the results Monday in Park City, Utah.
Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism examined gender disparity in American narrative and documentary films shown at Sundance from 2002 to 2012.
Study director Stacy L. Smith and her team assessed the gender of more than 11,000 directors, writers, producers, cinematographers and editors of the 820 narrative and documentary films shown over this period and found that women represent less than one-third of those filmmakers.
“There has been no sustained or meaningful change across the last 11 years in the percentage of directors or producers at the Sundance Film Festival,” Smith said.
Filmmaker Michael Winner dies at 77
“Death Wish” director Michael Winner, a British filmmaker, restaurant critic and bon vivant, died Monday. He was 77.
Winner’s wife, Geraldine, said he died at his London home after an illness.
Winner’s 30 movies included three “Death Wish” films starring the late Charles Bronson. Many of his features sit at the schlockier end of the spectrum, but he also worked with Hollywood icons including Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum and Faye Dunaway.
One of his earliest films was the 1962 nudist feature “Some Like It Cool”; later, he specialized in thrillers and action movies, including “The Mechanic,” “Scorpio” and the violent “Death Wish” series.
Winner never took criticism of his films too seriously.
“If you want art, don’t mess about with movies,” he once said. “Buy a Picasso.”
Born in London in 1935, Winner was writing a showbiz column for a local newspaper by the time he was 14, and as a student edited the Cambridge University newspaper, Varsity.
His 1960s British films included “West 11,” a gritty thriller set in a shabby London neighborhood; “The System,” a tale of young men on the prowl in a seaside town; and “I’ll Never Forget What’s’isname” starring Oliver Reed as a fed-up London adman and Orson Welles as his boss.
Winner was best known for “Death Wish,” which stars Bronson as a law-abiding citizen who turns vigilante when his wife and daughter are attacked. The 1974 film was criticized for its violence but was a commercial success in an America fretting about urban violence and a fraying social fabric.