EmptyIn an industry where female-driven films are called "chick flicks," it should come as no surprise that short shrift is also being given to female film critics.
In a study released over the summer, the San Diego State University-based Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film parsed movie reviews and criticism from the top 100 U.S. newspapers in 2007 and came up with some startling results.
A whopping 70% of reviewers of theatrical film releases were men, and each male critic wrote on average 14 reviews -- compared to only nine for the female reviewers. Of the papers that published original reviews, 47% had none written by female critics, staff writers or freelancers. Only 12% had none written by male contributors.
"This study really gave us another piece of the puzzle when it comes to talking about the nearly seamless dialogue that occurs among men about movies," notes Dr. Martha M. Lauzen, executive director of the Center. "Women reviewers do tend to write about women directors, or about films featuring female protagonists. Since they comprise only 30% of the reviewers, that means films featuring women are less likely to be reviewed -- putting those films at a disadvantage" in the marketplace.
If you're looking for a silver lining, there's a thin one: When women critics were published, their work was seen in newspapers with "marginally higher circulations," according to the study.