Women in Film in USA Today – Susan Wloszczyna

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One of our main goals in writing these pieces was to refocus at least some of the attention this summer on other box office achievements besides the bazillions The Dark Knight is collecting. And on how the success of both “Sex and the City” and “Mamma Mia!” are considerable achievements given that much of their grosses were contributed by female moviegoers, proving we aren’t just a niche group.

Are “SATC” and “Mamma Mia!” Oscar-wiorthy classics of their types? No. I found the TV series and the live stage show much more gratifying experiences overall. However, what these films did do right was to include female talents involved in the oriiginal so that whatever special essence these franchises have would be duly captured in a new format. And they did. That women over 40 were shown to be fun, sexy and appealing was also a plus.

Looking ahead, there are many interesting films coming out in the next several months made by and showcasing women, despite some of the negativity in the press earlier this year about the lack of opportunity for females in the film biz.

I wanted to show that if you give female ticket buyers what they want they will go in droves. And it is important to have female talents behind the camera as decision makers, which was my impetous for the sidebar talking to women filmmakers of various ages and backgrounds and levels in their careers. Also, if Twilight fulfills its potential in December, that just might end the year with a very female driven film that could be our version of a comic book sensation.

These articles are not meant to be the last word. Hopefully they are a sign that something is indeed changing a bit. Please read them, then come back to comment.

Susan Wloszczyna

In her nearly 30 years at USA Today, Susan Wloszczyna interviewed everyone from Vincent Price and Shirley Temple to Julia Roberts and Will Smith. Her coverage specialties include animation, musicals, comedies and any film starring Hayley Mills, Sandy Dennis or hobbits. Her crowning career achievements so far, besides having Terence Stamp place his bare feet in her lap during an interview for The Limey, is convincing the paper to send her to New Zealand twice for set visits, once for The Return of the King and the other for The Chronicles of Narnia and King Kong, and getting to be a zombie extra and interview George Romero in makeup on the set for Land of the Dead. Though not impressive enough for Pulitzer consideration, she also can be blamed for coining the moniker "Frat Pack," often used to describe the comedy clique that includes Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell. Her positions have included Life section copy desk chief for four years and a film reviewer for 12 years. She is currently a contributor for the online awards site Gold Derby and is an Oscar expert for RogerEbert.com. Previously, she has been a freelance film reporter and critic, contributing regularly to RogerEbert.com, MPAA’s The Credits, the Washington Post, AARP The Magazine online and Indiewire as well as being a book reviewer for The Buffalo News. She previously worked as a feature editor at the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, N.Y. A Buffalo native, she earned her bachelor's degree in English at Canisius College and a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.