Claudia Weill’s directorial debut “Girlfriends” in has been scheduled to screen this month in some selected cinema house. Claudia’s career as a feature film director lasted only for two years, but she left a great impact in the industry with her work.
The films “Girlfriends” was made in 1978, which revolves around a Jewish photographer Susan Weinblatt, and her friend Anne Munroe in New York. The movie deals with how their friendship is impacted when Anne moves to start a family with her boyfriend.
The story of “Girlfriends” have had a great influence. Talking to The Guardian about her film and its influence, 74-year-old Weill said, “It’s only a joy, We all inspire each other… women’s friendships are a big subject.”
Weill told “I grew up in a family that expected me to get married and have children. I did that eventually, but it wasn’t the path I was on at all. Making documentaries was film school for me. I was learning to read behavior. Girlfriends deals with miniature moments that reveal something about who the person is.”
Talking about her rollercoaster journey in Hollywood, Claudia said, “I didn’t understand that an important part of being a director in Hollywood was political. How you manoeuvre to get what you want.”
Recalling one of her biggest battles, which was with the producer Ray Stark, Weill told, “If you say to somebody like Ray Stark, ‘I’m not sure if so and so is right for the part’, he’d immediately see you as an antagonist. As a female, you could never make them – and ‘them’ is universally male – feel threatened. Especially as a young sexy woman. I was 30 and most of the men I was dealing with were middle-aged, or older. They’d never seen a woman direct. There was an instinct to put me in my place.”
Claudia shared one of her experiences in the industry which she suffered as a woman. She stated that Stark once ran his hand up her back on set in the presence of case and crew, and said, “Claudia, you’re not wearing a bra today,” to which she remained silent. “If I was to say, ‘Fuck you, get your hand off my back’ in front of an entire cast and crew, most of them middle-aged men, what would it have served me? I would have become ‘that bitch’,” said Claudia.
After the incident, Claudia decided to quit the industry as she “didn’t want to have to go through that again,” and moved to theater and then television.