Bret Easton Ellis: Women Can't Direct

Female directors lack 'male gaze,' author says

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 20, 2010 2:30 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Bret Easton Ellis is likely to find himself scratched from a few Christmas card lists over a MovieLine interview in which he insists women aren't made to be good movie directors. "There’s something about the medium of film itself that I think requires the male gaze," said the American Psycho author. "We’re watching, and we’re aroused by looking, whereas I don’t think women respond that way to films, just because of how they’re built."

The "best art is made under not an indifference to, but a neutrality toward the kind of emotionalism that I think can be a trap for women directors," he said. Ellis, bigheartedly, admitted that female directors had made two of his favorite movies this year, Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank and Floria Sigismondi's The Runaways.

American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis.
"American Psycho" author Bret Easton Ellis.   (AP Photo,Courtesy of Ian Gittler,File)
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Is there a reason that there isn’t a female Hitchcock or a female Scorsese or a female Spielberg? I don’t know. I think it’s a medium that really is built for the male gaze and for a male sensibility. - Bret Easton Ellis

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