Expired, Then She Found Me, Smooth Talk

Holly Jones
Curator, San Diego Women’s Film Festival, sdwff.org

Expired, by Cecilia Miniucchi, is one of those under-the-radar movies that went to DVD before even reaching a San Diego theater. Luckily, this impressive directorial debut will have its theatrical premiere at the San Diego Women’s Film Festival on Saturday, October 5. Big names Samantha Morton and Jason Patric are the love-struck parking-meter attendants in this cringe-inducing romance.

Miniucchi keeps good company. She was trained by Lina Wertmüller. Wertmüller’s own film Seven Beauties earned her the honor of being first woman ever nominated for an Academy Award as Best Director.

For other female firsts, revisit The Piano for which director Jane Campion became the first woman to win the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Expired (USA), 2007, Blockbuster
Seven Beauties (Italy), 1976, Koch Lorber
The Piano (Australia), 1993, Lionsgate

Renee Herrell
Founder, San Diego Women’s Film Festival

I just saw Roman Holiday for the first time and loved it for its inspiring leading lady, Audrey Hepburn, and the thrill of a summer romance. It’s all summed up in the famous scene of her (complete with stylish new ’do) riding around Rome with Mr. Peck on the motor scooter.

I was excited to see Helen Hunt make her directing debut with Then She Found Me, adding one more woman filmmaker to Hollywood — one step forward! The movie is made in its last 30 seconds.

Like many other twenty-somethings, I’d been anticipating the feature film Sex and the City and the reunion of the fab four (finally!). I wasn’t the only one in the theater who welled up during the heart-wrenching moment when Sarah Jessica Parker streams down the middle of the street in her Vivienne Westwood wedding dress and beats Mr. Big with her bouquet.

Roman Holiday (USA), 1953, Paramount
Then She Found Me (USA), 2007, THINKFilm
Sex and the City (USA), 2008, New Line

Cathy de la Cruz
Filmmaker, MFA candidate UCSD, and staff member, San Diego Women’s Film Festival

Morvern Callar is a rare instance where the trailer does justice to the film: Samantha Morton shopping for groceries to a Velvet Underground song. Directed by Lynne Ramsay, it’s one of the few from recent years that I never tire of revisiting — impressive, since it features very little dialogue.

Vagabond, by Agnes Varda (known for her French New Wave classic, Cleo From 5 to 7, and the documentary The Gleaners and I), sits appropriately in the middle of her career. A fictionalized narrative told in documentary form, the film — like Morvern Callar — follows one very silent woman as she travels but doesn’t tell us much about herself.

Joyce Chopra’s Smooth Talk features a teenage Laura Dern stalked by a very scary Treat Williams. While the violence and sexuality are off-screen, talking through a screen door never looked so scary or felt so real.

Morvern Callar (England), 2002, Palm Pictures

Vagabond - Criterion Collection (France), 1986, Criterion

Smooth Talk (USA), 1986, MGM

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