Madeline Howard

This summer, we were finally gifted with release of DC Comics’ Wonder Woman.  After years of producing superhero movies whose protagonists were predominantly male, the company decided to create a film featuring their most famous female powerhouse.  In what seems to be almost perfect timing given the results of a misogynist-leaning election, Wonder Woman has arrived to give us the dose of female ass-kicking that we’ve been waiting for.

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Even more iconic than the release of this film is the fact that behind the scenes, it was directed by a woman named Patty Jenkins.  After the film’s opening weekend, Jenkins broke the record for highest-grossing film by a female director with a profit of $103.1 million.  She was also the first woman to direct a major superhero movie in the United States.  Ultimately, Jenkins proved that the disproportionate amount of opportunities for women in film are not due to lack of talent, but rather major film companies’ unwillingness to take a chance on female directors.

But who is Patty Jenkins?  When thinking of major female directors she's definitely not the first one that comes to my mind.  Before signing her deal for Wonder Woman, she stuck to primarily smaller projects and television shows.  Prior to this summer, her other most popular release was Monster, a 2003 movie about serial killer Aileen Wuornos starring Charlize Theron.  Another one of Jenkins’ more notable works was an AMC television series called The Killing.  It followed two Seattle homicide detectives as they investigated murders in the area.  For the show, which was cancelled in 2012 but later picked up by Netflix, Jenkins was nominated for an Emmy award and won the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement for a Dramatic Series.

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Jenkins proved that the disproportionate amount of opportunities for women in film are not due to lack of talent, but rather major film companies’ unwillingness to take a chance on female directors.

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Jenkins has been approached for bigger projects in the past, such as the sequel to Thor, but never followed through with the work.  In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jenkins expressed that she felt a responsibility to only do work that helped women progress as opposed to setting them back.  ‘There have been things that crossed my path that seemed like troubled projects,’ she says.  ‘And I thought, if I take this, it’ll be a big disservice to women.  If they do it with a man, it will just be yet another mistake that the studio made.  But with me, it’s going to look like I dropped the ball, and it’s going to send a very bad message.’

The way Jenkins feels about positively representing females is relatable for a lot of bSmart women, especially those who work in male-dominated fields.  We think that when we experience failures, we're also reflecting negatively on the work of all women.  Of course, this perception isn't fair; when men make mistakes they're rarely credited to their gender as a whole.  However, we can all take the successes of Jenkins’ career and use them to build up our own confidence.  Greatness occurs when you take the time to work on what you believe in as opposed to simply what others think you should be doing.  This summer’s Wonder Woman is a success story that proves when you put women in charge, they can do extraordinary things.

 

Madeline is a student-athlete at New York University studying Journalism and English.  Given her school’s location in Manhattan, Madeline loves to explore the city and document her various adventures on her blog, CrookedViewpoint.com.  You can also find her wandering around  bookstores searching for her next read and sipping an iced coffee.  For a more holistic view of her creative and professional style, check out her portfolio website, MadelineHoward.com.

 

Comments (1)

  1. Meagan Hooper

Love your review and this profile! Thank you!

 

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