In a recent interview with Variety, Creed director Ryan Coogler, admitted off the record, that women filmmakers are better than men.
When pressed by the reporter, Kristopher Tapley, Coogler changed his mind. “You really don’t want that on the record? I think you should put that on the record. It’s a powerful thing to say.”
“Yeah, put it on the record. In film school, life, whatever, they’re equipped to do this job, in many ways, better than us. They’re infinitely more complex than we are. Stronger and sharper. So, you know, we’re going to get better movies [if we have more female filmmakers]. The industry would improve. That’s the best thing I could say about that. They’ve got to be given the opportunity.”
It is a powerful statement for a male director to make. In fact, it may be exactly what Hollywood needs. At this crucial moment in time, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigating Hollywood’s hiring practices, it’s important to add men’s voices to the chorus of why more women directors should be hired.
Coogler also spoke about his DP on Creed, Maryse Alberti. “This is my second time working with a cinematographer who’s a woman. I worked with Rachel [Morrison] on Fruitvale, and Rachel was pregnant. She was having her son at the time [I was making Creed], so I got the opportunity to work with Maryse on this one. And she sees the world in such a unique way. She’s one of the most open-minded people that I’ve ever met. But at the same time very strong and always looking for story, which is always great to have in collaborators.”
He said it would have been easy to hire a bunch of dudes to tell a story about wrestling, but Alberti “would see things that would happen and have ideas about things that were just so awesome, things I would never see. She was able to form a great relationship with the actors and it was a really incredible process working with her.”
While there have been a plethora of articles on Making a Murderer since it’s release, this one from Fusion tackles an important distinction about the series. While it shines an important light on the American justice system, it’s also proof that women can create engaging stories and successful films about men.
Men direct stories about women all the time, but women are still expected to create female oriented content.
Obviously, there are exceptions other than Making a Murderer‘s Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. Namely, the only woman to win an Oscar for directing, Kathryn Bigelow, often directs films where the main characters are male, including The Hurt Locker and Point Break (the original, not the god awful sequel that is currently in theaters.) More recently, Ava DuVernay directed Selma, a movie about Martin Luther King Jr.
Women should have as much choice as men do about what they direct. They should be able to get hired to direct the next superhero movie, Star War, or Bond, but they should also be able to have the ability to turn these offers down in favor of pursuing other projects, just like men do.
As quoted in first The Daily Beast and now Fusion, Murderer‘s Ricciardi said, “We consider this an American story.” No gender labels necessary.