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25th April 2017
Free the bitch
Admittedly with a bias for stories about gritty, independent, head-strong, beautiful, witty females, 1.4 goes on a bender of watching the latest films, commercials and music videos directed by women for a two-part showcase series published also on Free The Bid. Here’s the first selection of our favourite current pieces, next six out soon

Agnès Varda

Miu Miu, Wild Tales

Ten years ago Agnes Varda had an exhibition at the Cartier Foundation of her specially-created photography, films, and installations which were so inventive, humane and funny we caught Eurostar back to Paris the following weekend to see it all over again. That’s when she was 78.

89 next month, Varda is still the best and just as sharply relevant as she was when she shot her first New Wave movie at 25 – just take a look at this enchanting Wild Tale for Miu Miu which she wrote and directed.

Agnes Varda is the Queen of storytelling about women and girls who like to live on their own terms. She’s so cool, I’m surprised Somesuch hasn’t signed her yet.

Eva Michon

Harrison, Right Hook

Production company: Wanda

Eva Michon is hot on nuanced narratives with great simple ideas that make you smile. Never girly, she’s particularly wonderful at creating that cruisey mood of being at one with the world – as, for instance, in her film Lollipop for fashion brand Rita Liefhebber or her latest music video for Toronto-based Harrison, Right Hook. The simple concept of synchronizing joggers’ pony tails swinging to the beat of Harrison’s tempo is mesmerizing. 

Crystal Moselle

H&M, Recycle

Production company: Somesuch

Crystal Moselle can do no wrong when it comes to making films. Even her ten years spent making “dancing mascara wand” commercials was to make sure she had some financial security to be able to make the kind of films she – and any other decent person – cares about. They’re always brilliantly crafted and edited.

If you saw her mega-mega-award winning documentary Wolfpack you will see that she’s a collaborator, a director who works alongside her unusual subjects to draw out their moving stories. No egos, no sentimentality, no cheap shots. This sensibility carries through to her scripted and commercial work such as for H&M and her latest series for,sponsored by Stella Artois. She visited Haiti, Kenya and Peru where she found charismatic characters to tell stories of how they cope with the horrendous local water situations. She digs and finds a warm human essence no matter how dire the circumstances.

Alma Har’el

Chanel N°5 L’Eau, JellyWolf

Production company: B-Reel

The way women portray women in films is different from the way men portray women. Women want more stories about real, complicated women not just objects of desire. And the champion of getting these new stories out there, Alma Har’el, practices what she preaches. Her longer format documentaries, Bombay Beach, and the mesmerizing LoveTrue are voyages into other realities whereas her shorter more surreal fictionalized work resonates on a more emotional level. Who can forget her stunning story of co-dependence for Sigur Ros’ Fjögur Píanó? And now there is JellyWolf for Chanel N°5 L’Eau, a magical trippy play on the subsconscious connections with scents which is perhaps the most original perfume film ever. A new way of telling a story, indeed.

Cloé Bailly

Talisco – Stay (Before the Picture Fades)

Production company: Caviar

She’s styley, smart, funny and she’s Parisian. Cloé Bailly’s work totally reflects her character too. Now signed with Caviar, she brings her own quirky, clever scripts to life in LA, London and Paris. She’s branded Poilâne Bread as a Monsieur Asshole, made technically tricksy films for Cannes Film Festival and witty narratives for Vogue US among others. In her latest work, for Jalisco’s track, Stay (Before the Picture Fades), she uses different styles of romantic farewell movie clichés to make her own crazy-wonderful video of failed goodbyes. We’ve all been part of that gang. Hilarious.

Jess Cope

Metallica, Here Comes Revenge

Production company: Partizan

Animator director Jess Cope’s latest video for Passenger, Beautiful Birds is certainly that – beautiful. But the film that totally blew our socks off was her fabulously sinister tale of revenge for Metallica. Thumpingly brilliant on every level, we love it when Jess goes to the dark side. Yin Yang, she was working on both videos at the same time.