It certainly isn’t news that most films are made by men. Women have been working for the chance to be directors for a very long time. Half the Picture, a documentary by Amy Adrion, speaks with some of the women directors who have found success about the hurdles that they have faced. Among those interviewed are Ava DuVernay, Penelope Spheeris, Miranda July, and Catherine Hardwick. Advancement in many areas of life has been a struggle for women, but it has been even harder in Hollywood. The issue is important not only because of the justice issue involved, but because the world also needs to see the diverse vision that cannot be fully seen in films made almost exclusively by white straight males. Half the Picture will play in theaters beginning in June.
In Touched, by Canadian director Karl R. Hearne, a reclusive landlord believes something has happened to a young tenant. He soon has visions and conversations with the childhood version of the tenant. There are parallels between the girl’s history and the landlord’s childhood. Is this search really about trying to discover his own demons that he has locked away within his psyche all these years? Is there some salvation or comfort that the little girl can provide him? Can he set her free from the chains that hold her in this place? An interesting psychological thriller, although its pace never seems to pick up enough to fully create a sense of suspense.