Balance is The Key
I have recently written some posts in regards to female creativity concerning movies and literature and compared the female paradigm of inspiration, creativity, and love with the male one of money, career, and sex. By doing so, I wanted to highlight something that, to my mind, has been in the shadows. Not always intentionally, though. In fact, I believe in balance of feminine and masculine. For, each woman has male energies to complement her female ones, and each man has the female ones to compliment his male expressions. The question, however, lies in the balance of the two. When too much attention is paid to one – be it male or female - the outcome tends to be pear-shaped.
Now, I have worked in the entirely female and the predominantly male teams and can see pros and cons of each setting. However, I do not incline to either, I prefer to work in teams where there is a balance between female and male members. For, each party has to compliment the other not contradict or overwhelm. But such structures seem to be rare or non-existent. The reason being the male paradigm and its domination in business and creative fields.
Speaking of movie making and its future, I believe that in the years to come the best collaborations and outcomes will be with the balanced female-male teams. But for it to happen, men-cinematographers have to master the balance between their male and female energies. For, the old pattern of ego-centred male-dominating cinematographers will not be favoured anymore. The times have changed, you see.
If before, in the 20th century and to some extent in the first decade of the 21st, ‘me-the-genius’ attitude worked and brought some recognition to such figures as Quentin Tarantino, Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa and other film directors who were often cited in the books on the history of cinematography, now, at the turn of the next decade, it is dissipating into the oblivion.
During the first 20 years of the 21st century we witnessed a switch of gears towards recognition of the female creativity. The first steps in that directions were made in 2000s when more of the stories written by female authors – Bridget Jones Diary (2001), Girl With A Peal Earring (2003), Devil Wears Prada (2006), Twilight (2008), Harry Potter (2000-2009) - were made to screen. Of course, there was a reason for that – to capitalise on the already achieved by the female authors success in print. Obviously, where money is involved men also want to be part of the success and get their piece of the lucrative pie.
2010s saw more adaptations of the female authors’ books to screen. Only now, a trend of the female creative tandems – author, screenwriter, film director – started to emerge: The Hunger Games (2013), Fifty Shades of Grey (2015), Me Before You (2016), Little Women (2019), Emma. (2020). Female authors wanted to be sure that their message got onto screen as they envisaged not as male directors felt it should be. Another trend of the 2010s is appearance of female screenwriters/film directors - Sofia Coppola, Greta Gerwig, Céline Sciamma, Valérie Müller, Nancy Meyers. At the moment, they mostly come from within the movie industry - either the ones who have established their position there, Nancy Meyers's case, or the ones who have been born into it like Sofia Coppola, or the ones coming from the acting background like Greta Gerwig.
The above trends of 2010s in movie making when it comes to female writers, screenwriters and film directors are not new, though. Back in 1920s, the same was done by women working in Hollywood. In order to battle threats to their creative autonomy and authorship, they formed writer/director and writer/writer partnerships as wells as formed independent units and companies, and organised writing guilds.
As we enter a new decade of 2020s, the trends of 2010s will continue to develop with more of female moving making tandems emerging and eventually leading to the balanced female-male cinematographic teams. However, it will take up to 10 years to reach this point as women have to reclaim their place in the cinematographic industry, as they were and are the integral part of it - for who can observe life and tells stories better than women, - and men have to work on their female energies and expressions of such.