The just-released New Beverly Cinema schedule for the month of May boasts the Los Angeles repertory theatre’s usual, wonderfully weird mix of screenings with a lineup which includes the 2009 horror movie, Jennifer’s Body, the 2001 musical comedy Josie and the Pussycats, and the 1995 Adam Sandler vehicle Billy Madison.
The connection between these three films? They were all directed by women (respectively, Karyn Kusama, Deborah Kaplan — who codirected Josie with Harry Elfont — and Tamra Davis). Indeed, the Quentin Tarantino-owned cinema is devoting much of the month to a low-key celebration of female filmmakers. Other movies being screened include Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark, Martha Coolidge’s Real Genius, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love & Basketball, Elaine May’s Mikey & Nicky, and Kasi Lemmons’ Eve’s Bayou.
A dispiriting 2018 survey of the top 250 feature films released in the U.S. revealed that only eight percent were directed by women. The good news? Patty Jenkins directed the 2017 superhero blockbuster Wonder Woman — her first film in 14 years — and is also overseeing the movie’s upcoming sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, while Anna Boden co-directed this year’s Captain Marvel with Ryan Fleck. Those who want to see new work from a female director can check out Penny Lane’s just-released documentary Hail Satan?, Roxanne Benjamin’s survival-thriller Body at Brighton Rock (out April 26), Chelsea Stardust’s horror movie All That We Destroy (premieres on Hulu, May 3), or Jenn Wexler’s slasher film The Ranger (debuts on the streaming service Shudder, May 9).
Watch the trailer for the Kusama-directed Jennifer’s Body above.