Saw the amazing After Tiller movie yesterday—documentary about the 4 doctors who still perform late-term abortions in the US and are public about it. It’s a deeply personal, intimate film where you see patients and doctors struggle with the moral complexities of every decision, guided by their deep belief that women have the right to choose their destiny and to do what they believe will be the best outcome for their pregnancy. And they do this while under incredible pressure from terrorists, abusers, and assassins who harass and stalk them at every turn.
I’m so proud that the Sarah Jacobson Film Grant was able to support the completion of this film and I urge all of you to sign up for their mailing list so you can see it when it comes to your town.
(I’m going to disagree with Lana a bit here, I wuoldn’t say Tiller was “vilified by most of the country," he was vilified by right wing extremists who eventually murdered him.)
In honor of all those women out there making films and kicking ass, I propose a new manifesto—Sarah Jacobson
Because movies that reflect a woman’s point of view are still too rare.
Because even though women are achieving incredible feats in business, politics, sports and the arts, we are still invisible unless we are the love interest or the heinous bitch (or both!).
Because women who have made films in the past have been written out of history—like Alice Guy Blache, the first narrative filmmaker (The Cabbage Fairy, 1896), who went on to run her own studio and was involved with over 700 films and has been totally left out of the history books.
Because distributors don’t pick up films made by women and critics don’t champion girl-friendly movies that do get released. (Can you name any female-directed, critic-darling movies where a woman doesn’t die at the end?)
Because the industry doesn’t know how to market to a female audience and isn’t interested in organizing one.
Because women over 35 are one of the largest movie-going audiences and Hollywood doesn’t want you to know!
Because someone made, released and gave a ton of money to Shallow Hal!
Because girls are still getting intimidated out of film school.
Because we are not going to put up with this *beep* any longer.
Because we are tired of women filmmakers and women’s stories being considered a stigma.
Here are the guidelines:
—At least one of the main characters is a woman
— The main woman character does not die at the end, especially if she flaunts moral and sexual conventions
— The main woman character does more than be helpless and/or sleep with the main man character
— No rapes against women unless it deals with the consequences
— No “glamorous” female naked corpses
— More eating pussy and clitoral stimulation scenes during sex scenes if there are any
— No shopping montages
— No makeovers
— Must have at least one guy in the cast who straight girls would want to French kiss
—No dissing of fat girls
— No male fantasy lesbian makeout scenes
— Beautiful girls only fall head over heels in love with ugly loser guys if he’s rich or gives good head
— The main woman character must have one real friend who doesn’t *beep* her over at the end because of jealousy over a man
— A woman must either be the writer or the director of the film
— TAKE YOUR CREDIT. Women, no more holding back to not intimidate others, especially if you are producing your boyfriend director.
Sarah wrote this in 2002. She died in 2004. The Sarah Jacobson Film Grant is dedicated to keeping her spirit alive—and we need your help. We give grants to young DIY filmmakers who are making movies and kicking ass, as Sarah would say. You can donate as little or as much as you’d like—every bit counts. (Harvey
I’m really excited about June 14th for these two reasons:
Rhonda Lieberman’s Cat Show exhibition will be opening at White Columns. It’s all art! About cats! By folks like Matthew Barney (above), Ruth Root, Marilyn Minter, and others. There will be kitties for adoption at the gallery every weekend, and there is an accompanying zine featuring work by big time writers and some small-time ones like me.
Later that night Spectacle is hosting the first of two screenings to benefit the Sarah Jacobson Film Grant (the second one is June 30). I Was a Teenage Serial Killer and Mary Jane’s Not a Virgin Any More will be shown in their entirety both nights, as well as a selection of short films by Sarah. Each night will also have a Q and A with filmmakers who knew Sarah and past grant recipients, all aimed at encouraging women to make movies.