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CINE-DEBATE: Which Of These Actresses Is The Best Director?

Thanks to the fine folks over at Movieline, we were recently hipped to the latest installment of Glamour‘s continuing project in which they recruit big name actresses to direct their own short films. This new batch features big-screen heavy hitters Rachel Weisz, Jessica Biel, and Eva Mendes.

Go here to watch their films, and then be sure to let us know who you think wins the award for Best Director and why.

(Note: I haven’t watched them myself just yet, but I plan to give my own reaction in the comments section as well.)

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Michael Tully is an award-winning writer/director whose films have garnered widespread critical acclaim, his projects having premiered at some of the most renowned film festivals across the globe. He is also the former (and founding) editor of this site. In 2006, Michael's first feature, COCAINE ANGEL, chronicling a tragic week in the life of a young drug addict, world premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The film immediately solidified the director as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a reputation that was reinforced a year later when his follow-up feature, SILVER JEW, a documentary capturing the late David Berman's rare musical performances in Tel Aviv, world-premiered at SXSW and landed distribution with cult indie-music label Drag City. In 2011, Michael wrote, directed, and starred in his third feature, SEPTIEN, which debuted at the 27th annual Sundance Film Festival before being acquired by IFC Films' Sundance Selects banner. A few years later, in 2014, Michael returned to Sundance with the world premiere of his fourth feature, PING PONG SUMMER, an ‘80s set coming-of-age tale that was quickly picked up for theatrical distribution by Gravitas Ventures. In 2018, Michael wrote and directed the dread-inducing genre film DON'T LEAVE HOME, which has been described as "Get Out with Catholic guilt in the Irish countryside" (IndieWire). The film premiered at SXSW and was subsequently acquired by Cranked Up Films and Shudder.

  • gcgiles

    I’m going with the Hyundai commercial.
    Nawwwwwww! I like Rachel Weisz the best.
    Am I being tricked into watching these? Is this like admitting you would lick your balls if your head could reach? Are people from Brooklyn going to laugh when I participate?
    I like Rachel Weisz, because (spoiler alert) if I have to learn a little lesson about how I should offer a job to a guy who just a stuck a gun in my face, then I might as well be able to listen to Mo Tucker sing a song in the end.
    “Breathe in the perfume of the magic scepter.”
    Now that’s what I used to say while holding the lid brush from the rubber cement bottle under my nose, but the kids these days, they’re sniffing non-toxic Crayola markers.
    I thought Biel’s effort was a TURKEY. But at least Liam Neeson’s voice is no longer articulating the words of a messianic, digital lion.
    Eva Mendes is the most attractive director (now that’s really not the point, is it), and her film had maximum quirk. I like the whites of Christina Ricci’s eyes. They’re like two bowls of milk. But I would never call a cat Pussykiss, and I would never smoke pot for a bad back, because I have panic attacks whenever I get high.
    So, I thought I would get the ball rolling! Who’s going to return my serve?

    December 5, 2010
  • gcgiles

    Or was that a cover of “I’m Sticking with You”? Because, in my aural memory, the singer didn’t sound pitchy enough…

    December 5, 2010
  • gcgiles

    Nope. That was VU. Just talking to myself here.

    December 5, 2010
  • Tully

    Welcome back to the site, gcgiles! Now that I officially live on Tennis Court, I’m here to return your serve. First up, I have some bad news. The great HTN server meltdown of spring 2010 means that all of your previous comments are no longer with us. For that, I wholeheartedly apologize. I have been assured that this will never happen again.

    As for the Cine-Debate, not sure if I can debate you. I agree that I’d pick Rachel Weisz’s as the best, if a gun were pointed to my head (pun! intended!). Ms. Mendes (who I also would pick superficially if we were playing that silly playground game) might have gone a little too quirky for my taste. I guess I most disagree with you when it comes to Jessica Biel, who is definitely flirting with a shtickier realm, but I actually think she got great performances out of those little girls (which, if you’ve ever tried that directorial angle, isn’t the easiest thing to do). Based on that aspect alone, I’d give her skills a check in the positive column.

    All in all, I’d say these are nice efforts across the board and now that I’ve watched them, I don’t know if they’re the kind of thing that should be debated. How’s that for a nice, soft mid-court return to whichever stroke you prefer?

    December 9, 2010
  • gcgiles

    That is a soft return, although I agree that this is probably beyond debate. Whenever my fiancee tries to get me to stop singing “Sister Golden Hair” in a high nasal voice with dirty lyrics, I get some glimpse into how difficult it must be to direct children. Good to hear from you. Cheers…

    December 12, 2010
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