A week ago, Bret Easton Ellis taught us all the reason why there isn't a long history of talented women behind the camera. It's not about society and gendered barriers. It's about biology. As part of a week-long discussion with the author, Movieline asked him about his thoughts on female directors. This wasn't because Mary Harron helmed the most successful adaptation for his work, but rather because of a Tweet he wrote after seeing Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank. That February 8 message stated: "Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank blew me away, easily the best movie since Inglourious Basterds. I've gotta stop saying 'Women can't direct.'"
While he professed to stop this strangely insane notion, three months later, Ellis was at it again with the interview. Though he loved Fish Tank and Floria Sigismondi's The Runaways, he wasn't "totally convinced" that women can direct, noting Arnold, Bigelow, and Sofia Coppola as the exceptions, and Mary Harron, "to a degree." He continued: "There's something about the medium of film itself that I think requires the male gaze." When asked what that "something" would be, Ellis responded: "We're watching, and we're aroused by looking, whereas I don't think women respond that way to films, just because of how they're built." (Hello, biological determinism!)