I absolutely think very few people see it that way. I mean, I think you do. But I think if you asked a studio executive, "Do you go to the movies to see yourself reflected back?" they'd say, "What are you smoking?"
Foner:First of all, have you ever heard a studio executive talk about women? Or about an actress who's getting to the point where they're not perfect?
I've not. What do they say?
Garcia: No, because they're not making movies with them.
Foner: They stop. And they say—in much cruder terms—"She's not hot anymore. We don't want to use her," for whatever reason. And have you noticed that there's a gap between women in the movies between 45 and 65? They can come back and be 65 again as somebody's grandmother. But they can't be this age in which male fantasy does not allow women to exist.
Well, I don't want to pick on Robert Redford, 'cause we're at Sundance, but there was a period in the '90s where every woman opposite him was 25 years his junior. I mean, it was like you could just—
Foner: What's the movie that Helen Hunt was in with—
Foner: No, no, no. Not now.
All: Jack Nicholson.
Foner:I remember the scene in which she's standing up at the window—
"As Good As It Gets."
Foner: —and her husband is up there, and he's down there calling to her. And I actually saw the movie in a theater—in which the mother and Helen are standing up there. And somebody yelled to the mother, "You go down. You're his age."
Hannah, we didn't get to talk about how you shot women. If there was an intentional idea in your mind about what you did and did not want to do in "A Teacher."
Fidell: Sure. I wanted to flip that male gaze around and I very intentionally did that, by objectifying the young boy. But the first film that I made was an experiment in the male gaze and creating a real female-centered film. And I wrote it and I directed it. And I had a female producer, a female DP. It was a female protagonist. And a female editor. And I wanted to explore how that shaped the film. It turned out that the film wasn't any good. Not because of that. Because it was my first film. But maybe it's just a fact that, for me at that time, and for a lot of the young women that I was working with, we just grew up on the male gaze so it was so hard for us to disassociate ourselves from that. But it gets to Michael Bay. He's one of my favorite directors. And I think "Bad Boys II" is in the top five greatest films ever made.
Garcia:I would love for you to have a little sit-down with him. I would love to see of you go toe to toe.
Dabis: I'm forgetting my own movie. I actually just realized a male gaze is actually in my film. The idea that these women in the Middle East are actually being stared at by men on the streets. That is something that is depicted throughout the movie. So that experience is something that we wanted—
But you're using it to make a political point.
Dabis: To make a point. Right.
You're not using it as, "This is the way I'm gonna shoot this film." It's intentional and it's saying, "Look how women are seen."