Chantal Akerman: Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)
Maite Alberdi: The Mole Agent (2020)
Sophia Nahli Allison: A Love Song for Latasha (2019)
Haifaa al-Mansour: The Perfect Candidate (2019), Wadjda (2012)
Kaouther Ben Hania: The Man Who Sold His Skin (2020)
Garrett Bradley: Time (2020)
Janicza Bravo: Zola (2020)
Niki Caro: Mulan (2020), Whale Rider (2002)
Sofia Coppla: Lost in Translation (2003), On the Rocks (2020)
Nia DaCosta: Candyman (2021), Little Woods (2018)
Julie Dash: Daughters of the Dust (1991), Illusions (1982)
Claire Denis: Beau Travail (1999)
Cheryl Dunye: The Watermelon Woman (1996)
Heidi Ewing: I Carry You With Me (2020), Jesus Camp (2006)
Mona Fastvold: The World to Come (2020)

My, how time has been a strange beast these past eighteen months or so. It seems like it’s still March 2020, doesn’t it, as we continue to navigate this neverending pandemic, and the professional and personal changes it has wrought? The idea for CineWomen still feels like that — an idea. And yet, here I am, filing my twelfth monthly column, coming up on a year of watching and writing about films by women.

Inspired by the #52FilmsByWomen and #FemaleFilmmakerFriday pledges/hashtags, I’d hoped that by this time this project would have produced a list of fifty-two films by women —…

Photo credit: Annlee Ellingson

Kindly indulge one more count.

564 days.

That’s how long it had been since I’d seen a film in a theater during the coronavirus crisis with my favorite movie buddy — i.e., my husband, Jeff.

The last movie we saw together was Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on December 19, 2019, at Regal Atlantic Station in Atlanta.

The first one we saw was F9: The Fast Saga on July 5, 2021, at AMC Parkway Pointe in Atlanta.

We’d actually gone to a movie theater together right before cinemas closed during the pandemic but, not knowing it’d be our last…

Photo credit: Annlee Ellingson

492 days.

Yes, I counted again — this time how long it’d been since I’d attended a movie screening during the pandemic.

Turns out the last press event I attended before movie theaters closed for more than a year — all the way back in February 2020 — was for the last film I reviewed: Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.

My first one back: Zola, at the Wilshire Screening Room, a personal favorite since it’s ten minutes away by car — I can even walk there when I have the time and energy. With…

Photo credit: Annlee Ellingson

443 days.

That’s how long it had been since I’d seen a movie in a theater during the pandemic.

The last film I saw was Emma. on March 11, 2020, at the Regal Edwards Santa Maria.

The first one I saw was Cruella — starring a couple of Emmas — on Friday at the AMC Century City.

I didn’t actively choose Emma. as the last movie I’d see before movie theaters shut down for more than a year. It was apropos, though, given I was already noodling ideas then for a column dedicated to films directed by women.

I did…

For the first time in the history of the Academy Awards, two women have been nominated for best director: Chloé Zhao for Nomandland and Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman.

Only five women have ever been nominated in the category, and only one has won: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. That was more than a decade ago, back in 2010.

The other women who’ve gotten the nod are Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties in 1977, Jane Campion for The Piano in 1994, Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2004, and Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird in 2018.


I started CineWomen with a film by a man: Women Make Film from director Mark Cousins. That fourteen-part exploration of filmmaking has now arrived on Criterion Channel in a package that includes a selection of movies highlighted in the series. What better way for cineastes to celebrate Women’s History Month than to dive into this masterclass.

Meanwhile, I caught up in March with Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, a 2018 documentary by Pamela B. …

What was the last movie you saw in a theater?

Mine was Emma. on March 11 at the Regal Edwards Santa Maria. By that weekend, cinemas across the country closed to help tamp down the virus.

My companion was my mom — also the last person besides my husband with whom I’ve socialized in person in nearly a year.

I suspect that my last cinema experience looked much like moviegoing does today: our party was one of two in the entire auditorium, though we weren’t wearing masks yet.

The studios have adapted: Universal immediately began moving its titles to digital…

Ten months into the coronavirus crisis, Hollywood seems to be settling into the reality of what movie releases look like for the foreseeable future. This month’s CineWomen titles Promising Young Woman, One Night in Miami, and Herself all saw the inside of at least one movie theater in December before moving online this month.

Cinemas are still closed in Los Angeles, though, so I’m covering them now, from the venue in which I’m still watching movies: my living room or, if the television is occupied by Zelda, on my laptop.

It’s the venue from which I expect to be watching…

Photo credit: Annlee Ellingson

In a meadow in the wine country of Southern California. At a farm in Hudson Valley in New York. On the beach on the Big Island of Hawaii.

These are the locales where some of my girlfriends have gotten married — or hoped to, before the coronavirus intervened.

One of these very women has traveled even farther afield to attend her friends’ nuptials — to an island off the coast of Washington state, to Alaska, to Italy.

Destination weddings sound so romantic, don’t they?

Sure, the venue that the couple booked sight unseen may not meet their expectations set by…

Annlee Ellingson

Writer. Reader. Film critic. Moviegoer. Traveler. Hiker. Cook. Besotted aunt to Logan, Titus, and Bodhi. Based in Los Angeles. Socials: @annleee (she/her/hers)

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