Wonder woman - a call to arms
Am I fatigued by comic book films? Yes.
Am I slightly envious of the gorgeous Gal Gadot and would I rather not watch her for 2 hours? Yes.
Will I be seeing the new Wonder Woman film? Most emphatically, yes.
This is a no-brainer for two reasons:
Female Lead Female Director
Is that a big deal? Once again, yes. The studios might have started to trust female leads a bit more, but they are slow off the mark with female directors.
Women behind the camera frame a different story - not a female-centric story, just a different one. And thank goodness. I've been to see a tonne of superhero films and not once have I thought: "Oh, this film is about a guy. Huh, I guess it's just not for me". Yet when we get female leads carrying a film, somehow it's not universal but just a little something for the ladies. Well, it's 2017 so we can stop that now and just concentrate on the job in hand which is about gender equality and diversity on screen.
Remember the drama around last year's Ghostbusters? There wasn't even anything wrong with it. Okay, maybe it was a little on the 3 star side but, you know what, even the original isn't the best film ever. And it's certainly not Bill Murray's best film ever (that's for a different post). The problem was, it didn't hit the box office heights that were expected of it. Audiences didn't show up in support of the four heroines on screen. That feeds back to the Hollywood machine, and the blame falls at their feet.
The point here is that we need to support these efforts at fairer representation in major studio productions, because representation in the mainstream is where the greatest strides need to be made. We shouldn't segregate female or male helmers. Women directors make up less than 10% of those working in the industry. We need to reach at least 30% (number not plucked out of thin air). Once we reach 30%, then we hope to be in a position where those on both sides of the camera and the stories they tell are more representative of the actual global population. And let's make sure those women are made up of all creeds, let's not make this into a white women privilege thing.
The lower the number people who go to see a female-directed film, and the lower the box office receipts, the easier it is to make excuses about the film bombing and so fewer films helmed by women will be greenlit. Women and Hollywood riff on this more here.
So, this weekend - where, helpfully the English summer remains mixed on the weather front - I will be taking my 13 year old son to see Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman. And he's not even being forced because, as he always says: "Mum, sexism just isn't cool".
[Kate Gerova, Head of Marketing at Curzon Cinemas]
Wonder Woman is out now, playing on Curzon screens and in cinemas around the country. Tickets can be booked now by clicking on the button below.