Mark Cousins, the documentarian and film buff extraordinaire behind The Story of Film and The Eyes of Orson Welles returns this month with a mammoth, 14-hour essayistic dedication to female filmmakers. Women Make Film is divided into 40 chapters and features the work of 183 different directors. The comprehensive chapter titles range from technical (“Staging”, “Editing”) to esoteric (“The Meaning of Life”, “Gear Change”). Narration comes from an all-star cast that includes Jane Fonda, Tilda Swinton and Thandie Newton.
Anybody familiar with Cousins’ work will know to expect poetic tangents, incisive links and references to films that range from mainstream, to art house, through to the thrillingly obscure. Kathryn Bigelow, Donna Deitch, Agnès Varda, Vĕra Chytilová and Maren Ade are just a few of the filmmakers to earn a mention in the programme notes.
Women Make Film is available to watch on BFI Player with a subscription.