The New Beverly Is Celebrating Female-Directed Films in May (and Hopefully, You Know, Forever)

From Kathryn Bigelow blockbusters to rare 1930s gems

The Academy Awards may have trouble finding female directors to honor, but the New Beverly Cinema doesn’t seem to have that same problem. The Quentin Tarantino-backed palace of vintage films has packed the May schedule almost entirely with movies made by women.

On the docket are screenings of films by lauded directors like Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, Somewhere, The Virgin Suicides), Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark, Blue Steel, Strange Days), and Penny Marshall (Big). And, of course, they don’t forget the trailblazing Barbara Streisand (Yentl)But not every director in the showcase is a household name; seek out a double feature of retro martial arts flicks by Hong Kong actress-director Koa Pao-Shu or Claudia Weill’s 1978 quirky-girl-in-the-big-city indie Girlfriends.

Embedded within the program is a special mini-retrospective of films by early Hollywood pioneer Dorothy Arzner. Starting her career in 1919 working under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille, she quickly moved up the studio ranks, and directed her first feature on her own in 1927. She would go on to direct 19 features during the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s, positioning her among the leading directors of the era, regardless of gender. In May, the New Beverly will screen 11 of her classic films.

To the NewBev’s credit, they’re not making a super big deal about this slate of women-helmed films. It’s not a specific festival or pegged to a “women’s day” or other event. It’s just a schedule of films, the majority of which happen to not have been made by women–which is notable now, though hopefully that won’t always be the case.

Movies Directed by Women at the New Beverly in May 2019

Me and You and Everyone We Know
Director: Miranda July
May 1 at 7:30 pm; May 2 at 7:30 pm

Near Dark
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
May 3 at 7 pm

Jennifer’s Body
Director: Karyn Kusama
May 3 at 9:05 pm

Little Women
Director: Gillian Armstrong
May 4 at 2 pm

The Love Witch
Director: Anna Biller
May 4 at 11:59 pm; May 11 at 11:59 pm; May 18 at 11:59 pm; May 25 at 11:59 pm

The Wild Party
Director: Dorothy Arzner
May 5 at 6:30 pm

Working Girls
Director: Dorothy Arzner
May 5 at 8:15 pm

Real Genius
Director: Martha Coolidge
May 6 at 2 pm

Blue Steel
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
May 7 at 7:30 pm

Director: Jennifer Lynch
May 7 at 9:40 pm

Hollywood Vice Squad
Director: Penelope Spheeris
May 7 at 11:35 pm

Director: Claudia Weill
May 8 at 7:30 pm; May 9 at 7:30 pm

It’s My Turn
Director: Claudia Weill
May 8 at 9:30 pm; May 9 at 9:30 pm

Strange Days
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
May 10 at 6:30 pm; May 11 at 6:30 pm

Born in Flames
Director: Lizzie Borden
May 10 at 9:25; May 11 at 9:25 pm

Christopher Strong
Director: Dorothy Arzner
May 12 at 6:30 pm; May 13 at 7:30 pm

Anybody’s Woman
Director: Dorothy Arzner
May 12 at 8:20 pm; May 13 at 8:20 pm

Love & Basketball
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
May 13 at 2 p.m.

The Being
Director: Jackie Kong
May 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Blood Diner
Director: Jackie Kong
May 14 at 9:25 p.m.

Mikey & Nicky
Director: Elaine May
May 15 at 7:30 p.m.; May 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Between the Lines
Director: Joan Micklin Silver
May 15 at 10 p.m.; May 16 at 10 p.m.

Valley Girl
Director: Martha Coolidge
May 17 at 7 p.m.; May 18 at 7 p.m.

The Virgin Suicides
Director: Sofia Coppola
May 17 at 9:10 p.m.; May 18 at 9:10 p.m.

The Secret Garden
Director: Agnieszka Holland
May 18 at 2 p.m.; May 19 at 2 p.m.

Merrily We Go to Hell
Director: Dorothy Arzer
May 19 at 6:30 p.m.; May 20 at 7:30 p.m.

First Comes Courage
Director: Dorothy Arzer
May 19 at 8:25 p.m.; May 20 at 9:25 p.m.

Josie and the Pussycats
Director: Deborah Kaplan & Harry Elfont
May 20 at 2 p.m.

Johnny Dangerously
Director: Amy Heckerling
May 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Billy Madison
Director: Tamra Davis
May 21 at 9:30 p.m.

Director: Barbra Streisand
May 22 at 7:30 p.m.; May 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Crossing Delancy
Director: Joan Micklin Silver
May 22 at 10:15 p.m.; May 23 at 10:15 p.m.

Lost in Translation
Director: Sofia Coppola
May 24 at 7 p.m.; May 25 at 7 p.m.

Director: Sofia Coppola
May 24 at 9:10 p.m.; May 25 at 9:10 p.m.

Full Tilt Boogie
Director: Sarah Kelly
May 24 at 11:59 p.m.

Director: Penny Marshall
May 25 at 2 p.m.

Honor Among Lovers
Director: Dorothy Arzner
May 26 at 6:30 p.m.; May 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Craig’s Wife
Director: Dorothy Arzner
May 26 at 8:15 p.m.; May 27 at 9:15 p.m.

Sarah and Son
Director: Dorothy Arzner
May 26 at 9:45 p.m.; May 27 at 10:45 p.m.

Now and Then
Director: Lesli Linka Glatter
May 27 at 2 p.m.

Blood of the Dragon
Director: Kao Pao-Shu
May 28 at 7:30 p.m.

The Master Strikes
Director: Kao Pao-Shu
May 28 at 9:30 p.m.

Eve’s Bayou
Director: Kasi Lemmons
May 29 at 7:30 p.m.; May 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Daughters of the Dust
Director: Julie Dash
May 29 at 9:50 p.m.; May 30 at 9:50 p.m.

Dance Girl Dance
Director: Dorothy Arzner
May 31 at 7 p.m.

The Bride Wore Red
Director: Dorothy Arzner
May 31 at 9 p.m.

RELATED: A Brief History of What’s Now the New Beverly Cinema

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