Award-winning singer and songwriter Nathalie King has such a powerful way of getting right to the heart of what makes us human through her raw and honest songwriting.
Creating captivating stories through music and film, King recently self-directed the music video for her latest single “Suckr for Love,” which has been garnering attention from a variety of film festivals. The video draws inspiration from the work of female German artist Lotte Reiniger, a pioneer in the film industry, and serves as a persuasive reminder that, in an industry so dominated by men (the entertainment industry), the idea of women as innovators and storytellers should not be tossed by the wayside and the perspective they share through their art is, in fact, valuable.
Today Nathalie continues our Women’s History Month celebration with an essay on the critical role of women in the world and the importance of their participation in the entertainment industry and following their dreams. Check out her thoughts below.
“The Forgotten Realm of the Female Energy”
By Nathalie King
It's 2019 and refreshing but also shocking to see that for the first time since the Academy Awards have existed a female director won an Oscar for Best Animated Short. Domee Shi, winning director for the short film 'Bao,' is also the first woman to direct a Pixar short film. I was happy but I was also thinking to myself, it's about time and why did it take so long in the first place?
We are accustomed to seeing (white) women being represented in Hollywood but most of them in a starring role and not so much behind the camera. In fact, TimesUPNow, an organization that insists on safe, fair and dignified work for women of all kinds, talked at Sundance about how in 1,200 top grossing movies from 2007-2018 only 4% were female directors. And the numbers are even worse for female film composers. Off the top of your head, can you name me a woman that directed or wrote a soundtrack for a Hollywood blockbuster? The same issue is seen in the music industry with women barely making the 1/3 mark of female artists in top charts. I am seeing TED talks, such as this one here, and movements and organizations trying to raise awareness and implement regulations to balance a fair gender representation in companies and all industries and that is good! Better forward than backward. Though if you think about how many thousands of years humans have been living on Earth and throughout history we are only now implementing changes?! Seems to me a re-ocurring issue of oppression of women and minority groups.
Another personal interest of mine is the Fibonacci sequence, which is a mathematical formulae by Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci to understand how nature and life works. Let's have a look at this excerpt from +Plus Magazine before I make my point:
“Fibonacci sequence does occur in real populations. Honeybees provide an example. In a colony of honeybees there is one special female called the queen. The other females are worker bees who, unlike the queen bee, produce no eggs. The male bees do no work and are called drone bees. Males are produced by the queen's unfertilised eggs, so male bees only have a mother but no father. All the females are produced when the queen has mated with a male and so have two parents. Females usually end up as worker bees but some are fed with a special substance called royal jelly which makes them grow into queens ready to go off to start a new colony when the bees form a swarm and leave their home (a hive) in search of a place to build a new nest. So female bees have two parents, a male and a female whereas male bees have just one parent, a female.”
Alright, so this is just an example with a bee colony, though remember biology class? Females have an XX chromosome, while males have an XY chromosome, meaning there is a female piece in each male. According to the Fibonacci sequence, women have been at the beginning of creation, or are in some sort closer to a creator, designer or God, if I may suggest so. Maybe there is a subliminal reason why women have been kept under men's control or oppressed. These examples are in no way meant to offend anyone or condescend, they are merely investigations into the current situation we are in.
Coming back to present times I want to highlight my decision to direct and animate my latest music video “Suckr for Love,” which is gaining attention at several film festivals so far. During my studies in film school, one of the many visually pleasing film styles to me have always been silhouettes and black and white looks. I dug deeper and found out that before my beloved animator Walt Disney, in 1919 a German female artist named Lotte Reiniger released her first out of a total of 48 hand-animated shorts and an animated feature film! During the Second World War she and her husband moved to England were she continued her animation work. Only a few people remember her work to this day and I wonder if it has to do with the fact that she is a woman or was living in Europe rather than in America. It's a shame that she has not gained more world wide recognition. Therefore, as an homage to her work and commemorating the first female animator I decided to finally produce that same animation look that always fascinated me from Lotte's work and turn it into my own story about a girl who wanders through today's society and encounters heart aches in a superficial world. Another reason to take on this four month long project was to prove to myself that I have skills and that I can exercise this big task on my own and to the full potential of my imagination. Throughout my life I have received comments from men how I “was not just a pretty face.” Gee thanks! Did they mean they were surprised that my brain is actually functioning? So here goes another project that I have mastered and am now sharing with the world.
I can only encourage every artist, and focusing on women, to not let stereotypes define your actions and thoughts. Create from your ideas, and make sure to be loud and proud about your work! This is just the beginning and there seems to be hope for equality.
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