‘Clueless’ Was Amy Heckerling’s Masterpiece. Is She Done With It? As If.

Silverstone said that “Vamps” showed what heart there is in Heckerling. “These characters are really interested in fashion and clothing and looking a certain way in ‘Clueless’ and in ‘Vamps,’” she said, “but they also are really battling with deep things — you know they’re trying to be good people. They’re deeper questions that are put in a really sweet, silly, fun setting.” “Vamps” went straight to video.

You can think of Heckerling as being less in demand than she should be simply because she’s a woman, and you’d be sort of right. But it’s hard to know what held Heckerling back from a more prolific career because she’s so singular in both her tastes and her temperament, and because she had success so early on. “Amy predates the problem even,” Crowe said. What he means is that Heckerling was being hired before anyone was really even asking why women don’t get hired, so how do you apply these questions to her? Heckerling was hired, so wasn’t the game hers to lose?

But there are other ways to be sexist than simply not hiring a woman. Heckerling’s movies got dismantled at the edges: The studio wouldn’t fund a soundtrack. It would release the movie into a tiny amount of theaters, and then you don’t get hired again because your last opening flopped because it opened in a tiny amount of theaters. Distribution deals would fall apart.

To all this, Heckerling said: “I mean, I don’t know, maybe they just don’t like me. You go, well, maybe if I had been more brilliant and thought of better solutions, it would have come out great, or maybe if I, you know, was, like, more of a schmoozer and knew how to work with people? But I don’t, and I depend on other people to do that, and I’m not a wheeler-dealer. I’m, like, a middle of the night scratching on paper person, and so I feel like it’s my fault.”

So according to her, maybe if she had been a better director, or something, she would have been hired more. Or maybe, as Charlie Rose told her: “I talk about you as one of the mainstream top-line female directors.” Or, according to Bob Thomas, writing about “European Vacation” for The Associated Press in 1984: “Amy Heckerling seemed miscast as director of the $17 million comedy … She is slender to the point of being slight, and she seemed lost amid the cluster of technicians around the camera. But when she commanded ‘Action!’ and ‘Cut!’ there was no doubt who was in charge.” Or, according to Roger Ebert, after seeing “Fast Times:” “If this movie had been directed by a man, I’d call it sexist. It was directed by a woman, Amy Heckerling — and it’s sexist all the same. It clunks to a halt now and then for some heartfelt, badly handled material about pregnancy and abortion.” I could have filled this entire article with a list of these things.

Sexism in Hollywood doesn’t always mean not being hired; it doesn’t always mean that you were sexually harassed. Sometimes sexism is a plethora of compliments that make your brilliance a constant exception. Sometimes sexism is taking someone who has self-doubt, like many creative people do, and yielding to it, instead of propping her up. Sometimes sexism is taking the extremely relatable content of a person’s soul and not being able to figure out why it would be worth the trouble to release it — not taking seriously the women who would find comfort and release in a movie that so clearly understood their complicated emotions. You do this enough times, the self-doubt turns out to have been a prophecy. There Heckerling was, making movies about her experience as a very particular and very regular kind of woman: A woman who had been scorned, a woman raising a child, a woman who would stay up all night if only you’d let her. But things would go wrong, as they often do in moviemaking, and in her case there would be no executive or producer who would rescue her project.

But Heckerling? All she can ask is, “What did I do wrong?” All she can think is that if she were better, she’d be working more.

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/05/theater/clueless-the-musical-amy-heckerling.html

‘Clueless’ Was Amy Heckerling’s Masterpiece. Is She Done With It? As If.
Like, Not Brutally Tragic
Golden Globe Nominations, Ireland Abortion, Trump Golf Club: Broadsheet December 7