Film both reflects and challenges the society in which it was created
Independent Movie Data Base
Major sources -- Turner Classics, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, HBO, BBC iPlayer
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Television programs can be accessed on a SmartTV.
International programs can be accessed through a VPN (usually subscription).
Some websites provide streaming for viewers; easiest way to find them is to google "[film name] stream"
13 Roses (Historical drama, 2007) - Spanish: Las 13 Rosas
Director: Emilio Martínez Lázaro; Stars: Pilar Lopez de Ayala, Verónica Sánchez and Marta Etura.
Based on a true story, the film follows the tragic fate of 13 young women, fighting for their ideals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. All were executed.
All About Eve (Drama/Comedy, 1950) – American. based on story “The Wisdom of Eve” by Mary Orr
Director/Script: Joseph L. Mankiewicz; Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm
Classic: ruthless ingénue invades an aging actress' territory, narrated from several points of view. Rather dated choice between career and domesticity but fun to watch.
National Theatre Live (11 April 1919); Directors: Ivo van Hove, Nich Wickham
Stars: Gillian Anderson, Lily James, Monica Dolan
Trivia: BWY musical “Applause” (1970); when Lauren Bacall departed, Anne Baxter played Margot Channing (1973).
Baztán Trilogy. (Mystery) - Spanish
Based on the Dolores Redondo mysteries. Inspector Amaia Salazar returns from Pamplona to Elizondo, to her childhood village in the Basque Baztán Valley, where mystery, reason, & spirituality collide. (Spanish-English)
Director: Fernando González Molina; Stars: Marta Etura, Nene
The Invisible Guardian – Orig: El guardián invisible (2017)
The Legacy of the Bones – Orig: Legado en los hueso (2019)
Offering to the Storm - Orig: Ofrenda a la tormenta (2020)
The Devil Wears Prada. (Comedy, 2006) – American. based on novel by Lauren Weisberger
Director: David Frankel; Screenplay; Stars: Meryl Streep, Stars: Anne Hathaway
Hillarious Streep – new journalism major faces old pro in the fashion industry
Diary of a Mad Housewife (Drama, 1970) – from the novel by Sue Kaufman
Director/Screenplay: Frank Perry; Stars: Carrie Snodgress, Richard Benjamin, Frank Langella
Tina Balser is a bored NY housewife-mother married to Jonathan, a pompous, social-climbing lawyer who ridicules her in front of their children, criticizing everything she does or wears. Desiring excitement and escape, she has an affair with a dashing, successful writer who treats her as badly as did her husband. What to do when confronted with modern isolation?
The Door (Drama, 2012) - Hungarian, English subtitles. based on novel by Magda Szabó (2005)
Director/Screenplay: István Szabó; Stars: Helen Mirren, Martina Gedeck, Károly Eperjes
An unsettling, inter-dependent relationship between two very different women: Magda, an educated writer, and Emerence, an illiterate peasant who is Magda's housekeeper.
Earth (Drama, 1998) – Indian/Canadian – based on the novel, Cracking India, by Bapsi Sidhwa
Director/Writer: Deepa Mehta; Stars: Aamir Khan, Nandita Das, Rahul Khanna
The Country – 1947 Lahore experienced by 8-year old Lenny, a sheltered Parsee girl, as new borders between India and Pakistan will decide the fate of friends from different religions. Her developing awareness of the rising tide of political, ethnic, and religious violence and betrayal shatter her life of harmony and continuity. Following this film, Deepa Mehta was expelled from India.
2nd in a brilliant trilogy that depicts the restricted lives of women struggling in India.
Fire (Drama, 1996) – Indian/Canadian
Director/Writer: Deepa Mehta; Stars: Shabana Azmi, Nandita Das, Karishma Jhalani
The Home – A successful, middle-class, extended family live emotionally empty lives in a repressive environment until rage explodes into tragedy. 1st in a brilliant trilogy that depicts the restricted lives of women struggling in India.
Florence Foster Jenkins (Biography, 2016) - American
Director: Stephen Frears; Writer: Nicholas Martin; Stars: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant
Sympathetic portrayal of a dreadful singer who made it to Carnegie Hall
Ghost Topic (Drama, 2019) - Dutch/French; English subtitles,
Director: Bas Devos; Stars: Saadia Bentaïeb, Laurent Kumba, Jovial Mbenga
Khadija, a middle-aged Maghrebi immigrant living and working in Brussels with her 17-year old daughter who no longer belongs to the same 'lost generation' as she does.
The Glorias (Biography, 2020) - American. available on You Tube
Director/Script: Julie Taymor; Writer: Gloria Steinem; Stars Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore.
The story of feminist icon Gloria Steinem's itinerant childhood's influence on her life as a writer, activist, and organizer for women's rights worldwide
Refer IWC-V – Mrs. America (TV) and Marchese “Interview” (Articles)
The Hours (Drama, 2002) – American. based on the novel by Michael Cunningham
Director: Stephen Daldry; Screenplay: David Hare; Stars: Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Ed Harris
Using the novel Mrs. Dalloway as a linking vehicle, three women's stories intertwine as they deal with repression, isolation, lesbianism, and suicide - Virginia Woolf (1941), Clarissa Vaughan (2002), and Laura Brown (1951)
The House of Bernarda Alba (Tragedy, 1991); English. based on play by Federico García Lorca.
Director: Stuart Burge, Núria Espert; Stars: Glenda Jackson, Joan Plowright, Amanda Root
After the death of her husband, Bernada Alba puts her daughters under a rigorous mourning which confines them to the house for seven years.
The Iron Lady (Drama, 2011) - American
Director: Phyllida Lloyd; Screenplay: Abi Morgan; Stars: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent
Margaret Thatcher recalls her life as she clears out her deceased husband's clothes.
Julie and Julia (Drama/Comedy, 2009) – American based on the book by Julie Powell (2005)
Director/Writer: Nora Ephron; Stars: Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci
Lives of Judy Powell and Julia Childs intertwine as Julie cooks all 524 recipes in Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Little Women (Drama, 2019) - American - based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott (1880)
Director/Script: Greta Gerwig; Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlon, Meryl Streep
Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the story of the four March sisters - each determined to live life on her own terms.
1933 – Director: George Cukor; Script: Sara Manson; Stars: Katherine Hepburn
1949 -- Director: Mervyn LeRoy; Script: Andrew Solt; Stars: June Allyson, Janet Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret O'Brien
1994 – Director: Gillian Armstrong; Script: Robin Swicord;
Stars: Winona Rider, Trini Alvarado, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon
Mrs. Dalloway (Drama, 1997) – British. based on the novel by Virginia Woolf
Director: Marleen Gorris; Screenplay: Eileen Atkins; Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Michael Kitchen, Rupert Graves
Mrs. Dalloway shops for flowers and invites an old beaux to her dinner party
Not Without My Daughter (Non-Fiction narrative, 1991) - American. Based on the true story by Betty Mahomoody
Director: Brian Gilbert; Starring Sally Field, Alfred Molina
Betty Mahomoody joined her husband to his native Iran for a two-week vacation where she finds herself and her four-year-old daughter, Mahtob, virtual prisoners of a man rededicated to his Shiite Moslem faith
On the Basis of Sex (Biography of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 2019) - American
Director: Mimi Leder; Writer: Daniel Stiepleman; Stars Felicity Lones, Arnie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates.
Ginsberg from Harvard Law days (1956) through her early ACLU cases on gender discrimination.
Persepolis, (Animation, Memoir, 2007) -Iranian - based on the graphic novel series by Marjane Satrapi.
Director: Vincent Paronnaud
Growing up under the Iranian Revolution. Wonderful.
The Queen (Drama/History, 2006) - British
Director: Stephen Frears; Script: Peter Morgan; Stars: Helen Mirren, James Cromwell
The Royal Family is forced to acknowledge public mourning for Diana's death
RBG (Documentary, 2018) - American
Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West. Life and career of Ruth Bader Ginsberg
Still Alice (Drama, 2014) - American
Directors: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland; Stars: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin,
Linguistics professor diagnosed with Early-onset Alzheimer's fights inner decay as she tries to survive with love and peace. Lovely little film.
Thelma and Louise (Drama/Comedy, 1991) - American
Director: Ridley Scott; Writer: Callie Khouri; Stars: Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis
Iconic “buddy movie” turned upside down. A weekend breakout holiday turns into a murderous adventure and escape.
Two Women (Drama, 1960) – Italian - based on novel by Alberto Moravia
Director: Vittorio De Sica; Script: Cesare Zavattini; Stars: Sophia Loren, Eleanora Brown
Mother and daughter escape 1943 Rome for the safety of a mountain village where, after a peaceful interlude, they find the war brutally catching them.
An Unmarried Woman (Comedy/Drama, 1978) - American
Director/Writer: Paul Mazursky; Stars: Jill Clayburgh, Alan Bates, Michael Murphy
What to do with new independence? Erica, a NY wealthy woman must adapt after her husband of 16 years leeave her for a younger woman. She struggles to create a new identity, redefining herself in her own right rather than as an extension of someone's else's personality. Set against the zeitgeist of swinging 1970s New York, very much a film of its place and time.
Volver (Drama/Comedy, 2006) – Spain/Argentina; English subtitles
Director/Writer: Pedro Almodóvar; Stars: Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas
Three generations of women meet again in Alcanfor de las Infantas to visit the grave of the mother where they find spirituality, incest, and murder.
Water (Drama, 2005) – Indian/Canadian
Director/Writer: Deepa Mehta; Stars: Lisa Ray, John Abraham, Seema Biswas
The Tradition - Set in 1938 colonial India during Gandhi's rise to power, the story of an 8-year old child-widow who is sent to a widows' ashram to do penance and where she will be expected to work as a prostitute to pay her board -- like Kalyani, another young, beautiful widow. A third, older woman agonized about defying tradition to save them both.
3rd in a brilliant trilogy that depicts the restrictive lives of women struggling to survive in India.
The Women (Comedy, 1939), American – based on the play by Clare Boothe
Director: George Cukor; Script: Anita Loos; All Female Cast: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, Joan Fontaine, Mary Boland
Catty gossip, infidelity, prima donas, and no sisterhood among the rich and aspiring
Remake unsuccessful: (2008) Director/writer Diane English; Stars Meg Ryan et al.
The Whale Rider. (Mythic Tale, 2002) – New Zealand - based on the book by Witi Ihimaera
Director/Script: Niki Caro; Stars: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton
Pai, a young Maori (Whangara people) girl feels drawn as a leader of her village, but tradition and her grandfather reject her claim. Good to watch with the grandchildren; Witi Ihimaera's daughter asked him to tell a tale about a girl hero. He did.
Related: The Making of “The Whale Rider.” (Documentary, 2003) - Director: Jonathan Brough
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (American Gothic, 1962) – novel by Henry Farrell
Director: Robert Aldrich; Script: Lukas Heller; Stars Bette Davis, Joan Crawford
Classic: Sibling rivalry run amok between aging actresses as characters & actors
Woman Under the Influence (Drama, 1970) – American
Director/Writer: John Cassavetes; Stars: Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper
The film tells the story of Mabel, a housewife and mother of three, married to a violent husband construction worker. who does not adapt to social norms and suffers from emotional instability.
Rowlands proposed the original idea for the film about a character experiencing the dilemmas, problems, and concerns in the 1970s.
Yerma (Drama, 1998) - Spanish. Based on the play by Federico García Lorca
Director: Pilar Távora; Starring Aitana Sánchez-Gijón, Juan Diego, Irene Papas
A childless woman's desperate desire for motherhood becomes an obsession that eventually drives her to commit a horrible crime.