Movies and Music for Women's History Month

Movies | Music

Discover movie and music suggestions by and about women creators.

 

Movies

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Star, a teenage girl with nothing to lose, joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits. Directed and co-written by Andrea Arnold.

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Peg Dahl is trying to get out of Buffalo and attend her dream school but can't afford it. She gets scammed and decides to flip the script and cheat the system like it did to her. Directed by Tanya Wexler.

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In the not-so-distant future, the free-spirited Badri family have escaped the toxic pollution and social unrest of Beirut by seeking refuge in an idyllic mountain home. Without warning, the government starts to build a garbage landfill right outside their fence, intruding on their domestic utopia and bringing the trash and corruption of a whole country to their doorstep. As the landfill rises, so does tension in the household, revealing a long-simmering division between those family members who wish to defend or abandon the mountain oasis they have built. Directed by Mounia Akl.

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Through Stonewall, the feminist movement, and the experimental cinema of the 1970s, lesbian filmmakers built visibility and transformed the social imagination. Filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Su Friedrich, Rose Troche, Cheryl Dunye, Yoruba Richen, Desiree Akhavan, Vicky Du, film critic B. Ruby Rich, Jenni Olson, and others share moving and often hilarious stories from their lives and discuss how they've expressed queer identity through film. Directed by Caroline Berler.

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A young woman is wooed and swept off her feet, only to realize a gothic conspiracy is stirring. Written by Blair Butler and directed by Jessica Thompson.

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An elderly man who can communicate with the dead uses the spirit of a young woman to take him back in time, hoping to prevent his mother's suffering from a terminal illness. Directed by Mattie Do.
 
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A 30-year-old writer spends a wild weekend in Palm Springs and wakes up to find she has magically transformed into her inner 70-year-old. Directed by Katie Astelton.

 

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Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. Screenplay written and directed by Chloé Zhao. Based on the book by Jessica Burder.

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Eight-year-old Nelly accompanies her parents to her mother’s childhood home following her beloved grandmother's death. As Nelly explores the house and nearby woods, she is immediately drawn to a neighbor her own age building a treehouse. Written and directed by Céline Sciamma.

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Everyone said Cassie was a promising young woman, until a mysterious event abruptly derailed her future. But nothing in Cassie's life is what it appears to be. She's wickedly smart, tantalizingly cunning, and she's living with a secret double life by night. Now, an unexpected encounter is about to give Cassie a chance to right the wrongs of the past in this thrilling and wildly entertaining story. Written and directed by Emerald Fennell.

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Sarah Obeng, a doctoral student at Columbia University, is weeks away from following her very married boyfriend to Ohio when her mother suddenly passes away. Her inheritance? King of Glory, a small Christian bookstore serving a Ghanaian immigrant community in the Bronx. Aided by an only-in-New York ensemble of Eastern European neighbors, opinionated aunties, and a no-nonsense ex-con employee, Sarah must face her new responsibilities while figuring out how to remain true to herself. Directed by Nana Mensah 

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Following a catastrophe on Earth, the planet is covered in a toxic fog. The crew in the space station must decide whether to risk their lives to get home and search for survivors, or stay safe in the station's algae symbiosis system. Directed by Magdalena Lauritsch.

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A near college graduate, Danielle, rushes to meet her neurotic parents at a shiva. Danielle's day takes an unexpected turn when she discovers her ex-girlfriend, her sugar daddy, his wife, and their crying baby are also in attendance. As the day unfolds, Danielle struggles to keep up different versions of herself, fend off pressures from her family and confront her insecurities without losing it. Written and directed by Emma Seligman.  

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Amanda and her daughter live a quiet life on an American farm, but when the remains of her alienated mother arrive from Korea, Amanda becomes haunted by the dread of turning into her own mother. Directed by Iris Shim.

 

Music

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Big Brother & the Holding Co.

Janis Joplin fronted Big Brother & the Holding Company from 1966-1968 before pursuing a solo career. She was a singular voice in rock music, with powerful mezzo-soprano vocals and a charismatic stage presence. Live at the Carousel Ballroom 1968 captures the group’s raw energy and showcases Jopin’s distinctive, emotional voice.  

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Corley, Maria

Maria Thompson Corley is a Juilliard-trained pianist, college professor, piano instructor, composer, arranger, and voice actor. Soulscapes 2 is her second album showcasing music by female composers. Composers include Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, Nkeiru Okoye, Betty Jackson King, Mary Lou Williams, Eleanor Alberga, Maria Thompson Corley, and many more.

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Franklin, Aretha

Released in 1967, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You was Franklin’s first album for Atlantic Records, following her departure from Columbia Records. On her Atlantic debut she is backed by the "The Swampers," the illustrious backing band that was the subject of the 2013 documentary film, Muscle Shoals. The album kicks off with what became Franklin’s signature song, Respect, on which she sings and plays piano. Franklin's sisters, Erma and Carolyn, provide backing vocals. It became her first top 10 album in the United States and is a landmark in soul music. 

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Jepsen, Carly Rae

Dedicated is the fourth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter, Carly Rae Jepsen. It’s “forward-thinking,” polished,  electro, dance pop, inspired by the sounds of the 80s and 90s, as well as elements of house music, disco, and 70s R&B. Dedicated exemplifies Jepsen’s ability to create finely crafted, charismatic, and unique pop songs. 

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La Luz

La Luz plays laidback, 60s-inspired, dreamy, garage rock, with surf and psychedelic overtones. Originally from Seattle, their current base of Los Angeles is the perfect backdrop for their reverb-heavy, aloof sound. Floating Features is their third studio album and features Shana Cleveland (lead vocals/ guitar), Alice Sandahl (keyboards), Lena Simon (bass), and Marian Li Pino (drums). 

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Massi, Souad

Franco-Algerian singer-songwriter and guitarist Souad Massi began her musical career fronting the heavy rock band Atakor, but their political subject matter caused controversy in her homeland. After relocating to Paris, she embarked on a successful solo career. She fuses traditional North African music with Western influences, such as American folk and country music, rock, bossa nova, calypso, and poetic singer/songwriters like Leonard Cohen. Sequana is her tenth studio album.

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Mitski

The catchy, 1980s pop-inspired synths, piano, and electric drums contrast with the brooding, melancholic lyrical themes on Mitski Miyawaki’s fourth album. Most songs build slowly and have an atmospheric, cinematic quality, expressing isolation and ennui, lamenting failed relationships and oppressive societal conventions. It’s complex and thoughtful in its immediacy and entices repeated listening.

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Monáe, Janelle

Janelle Monáe is a retro-futuristic American singer, rapper, songwriter, arranger, producer, actor, and author. On the Grammy-nominated album Dirty Computer they fuse soul, funk, hip-hop, R&B, new wave, pop, and other genres into conceptual, entertaining art. Featuring appearances by Brian Wilson, Zoë Kravitz, Grimes, and Pharrell Williams. It was chosen as the best album of the year by the Associated Press, New York Times, and NPR.

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Ronstadt, Linda

Mas canciones is genre-crossing singer Linda Ronstadt’s second Spanish language album, originally released in 1991. It features interpretations of some of her favorite songs from her childhood. In an interview she said, "The reason I did it is selfish…I had started to make a record in English, but I didn't like it and put it away. I found myself sleeping and dreaming in Spanish, and these songs were driving me crazy. I kept waking up in the middle of the night thinking that the musicians who know this music are old, and if they go I won't have anybody to help me do it. I didn't dare put it off another minute." Mas Canciones won a Grammy Award for Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album.

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Simone, Nina

Originally released in 1967, Nina Simone Sings the Blues features her on lead vocals and piano, accompanied by minimal instrumentation; two guitars, bass, drums and occasional harmonica, saxophone, and organ. This gives the feeling of listening to the songs live in a small club setting. A truly classic recording, featuring “My Man's Gone Now" (from Porgy & Bess),  "Backlash Blues" (a civil rights song with lyrics by poet Langston Hughes), “The House of the Rising Sun,” and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl.” 

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Spektor, Regina

Moscow-born singer-songwriter Regina Spektor creates deceptively simple piano-based pop songs with great depth, insight, and emotion. On her eighth album, she addresses toxic men, the state of the world, God, mysticism, heartache, and home with her signature strong melodies, elegant arrangements, and offbeat phrasing.

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Swift, Taylor

evermore (stylized in all lowercase) is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, released less than five months after her Grammy-winning album Folklore. Swift regards them as sister albums, being similar in theme and style. She recorded both albums with collaborator Aaron Dessner, founding member of the rock band the National. Evermore features fingerpicked guitars, piano, strings, and sparse percussion with impressionist storytelling and mythmaking, blending fact and fiction to examine the human condition. 

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Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

Thao Nguyen blends pop, rock, hip-hop, and other styles on her latest album. Temple is informed by her first visit to Vietnam in 2017, accompanied by her mother, who hadn’t been back since fleeing the Vietnam War. On Temple Nguyen explores the sometimes conflicting cultures and attitudes that shaped her family, her music, and herself.