Top Ten Thursdays: Women In Movies That You May Not Know About

So as my blog may reflect, I am concerned with films that promote alternative narratives.  One of the most important of these narratives are those regarding women.  It is tragic that the voices of women do not occupy a larger place in cinematic history both on screen and behind the camera.  I am offering a list of my favorite movies involving women as the main character, or the films most prominent character.   However, instead of pushing the usual list of films that would undoubtedly include Alien, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Kill Bill, I am delivering a list of films that you may not have heard about until now.  They are all excellent and among some of my personal favorites.

10.) Damned If You Don't (1987)

Su Friedrich's experimental film is part rereading of Black Narcissus and part critique of Catholicism.  It is a film in the realm of its own that is well worth watching.

9.) Mother (2009)

A film about a mother defending her mentally challenged son from an accused murder, this South Korean masterpiece is a stellar thriller.

8.) Black Girl (1966)

Remember all those notable films which focus directly on the experiences of black women...I thought so.  Well her is one of the few examples, and it was released in 1966 no less.

7.) The Lady Eve (1941)

Barbara Stanwyck is spot-on as a lady con artist making Henry Fonda look like a fool.

6.) The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

A more sensuous movie does not exist, yet the movie has absolutely nothing to do with burgeoning sexuality...theoretically.

5.) Cleo from 5 to 7 (1961)

There have been a slew of cancer narratives since the release of this Agnes Varda film, yet none of them manage to touch the subject with such subtlety and transcendence.

4.) Perfect Blue (1998)

Few anime films deal with women in a positive manner and dismiss them as fodder for men.  Perfect Blue focuses on the tragedy that ensues from such ideologies.

3.) So Proudly We Hail! (1943)

American World War II propaganda films like Bataan and Casablanca are the reason this excellent film is overlooked, which is a shame because it is star-studded and spectacular.

2.) The Girlfriend Experience (2009)

Soderbergh's low fidelity film about a call girl, played by porn star Sasha Grey, is an excellent study in the paranoia of infidelity and the gritty realities of human sexuality.

1.) Viridiana (1961)

My favorite Bunuel film, Viridiana is a prolific realization of the problematic fetishization of nuns and the virginal woman.

Honorable Mention

The Blue Angel (1930)
A Nos Amours (1987)
Boarding Gate (2007)


  1. Finally saw Cleo from 5 to 7 a few weeks ago. A very good movie.

    1. Yeah, I had the pleasure of seeing the film in a theater. It certainly added to the enjoyability.