Women at the Helm: Female Directors in Hollywood

Thursdays, April 5 - May 10
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Instructor: Kaj Wilson

Thursdays at 10am

April 5 - May 10, 2018 (6 classes)

Cost: $144/members, $180/public


In the beginning, when Hollywood was in its infancy, women took the helm as directors alongside men. But as the stakes grew, Hollywood industrialized and relegated women to prescribed roles.

During the golden age of the studio system, a female director was a rarity. By the 1970s, the situation had slightly improved, with a handful of women making groundbreaking films, even though many had to go outside the mainstream. Women continue to make strides, but are still a long way from achieving parity with men. In 2017, only 11% of the 250 top domestic grossing films were directed by women.

Through a diverse selection of short and feature films, this course pays tribute to women directors and their pioneering work over the decades. Representing a variety of genres and styles, these landmark films deal with critical issues of female agency, sexuality, friendship and survival. The class will feature work of filmmakers such as Maya Deren, Dorothy Arzner, Ida Lupino, Kelly Reichardt, and others.

About the Instructor

Kaj Wilson served as Artistic Director of The Boston Jewish Film Festival for twelve years. For her work she was honored with a Special Commendation from the Boston Society of Film Critics and with the Image Award for Vision and Excellence by Women in Film and Video/New England. Prior to joining the BJFF, she was Film Editor of The Improper Bostonian. She studied film at Boston University’s graduate College of Communications. Kaj has sat on panels, grant committees, and international film festival juries. A popular speaker, she introduces films, hosts film series, and leads film discussions at movie venues and non-profit organizations throughout the Boston area. This is her eighth Coolidge course offering.