ISBN-10: 0872868680
ISBN-13: 9780872868687
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 11/22/2022
Dimensions: 8.40" L, 5.50" W, 0.70" H

Published by City Lights

Lady Director: Adventures in Hollywood, Television and Beyond


Price: $12.57


An intimate account of a seminal filmmaker’s development-as a creator and as a woman–both in art and in life.

“Joyce Chopra, what a gift of an extraordinary filmmaker you are, and one of our great pioneers who forged a very difficult path. And for female filmmakers everywhere, we are so blessed to have you as a storyteller to forge the way to make it easier for others.”–Laura Dern, actor

Hailed by the New Yorker as “a crucial forebear of generations,” award-winning director Joyce Chopra came of age in the 1950s, prior to the dawn of feminism, and long before the #MeToo movement. As a young woman, it seemed impossible that she might one day realize her dream of becoming a film director–she couldn’t name a single woman in that role. But with her desire fueled by a stay in Paris during the heady beginnings of the French New Wave, she was determined to find a way.

Chopra got her start making documentary films with the legendary D.A. Pennebaker. From her ground-breaking autobiographical short, Joyce at 34 (which was acquired for NY MoMA’S permanent collection), to her rousingly successful first feature, Smooth Talk (winner of the Best Director and Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 1985), to a series of increasingly cruel moves by Hollywood producers unwilling to accept a woman in the director’s role, Chopra’s career trajectory was never easy or straightforward.

In this engaging, candid memoir, Chopra describes how she learned to navigate the deeply embedded sexism of the film industry, helping to pave the way for a generation of women filmmakers who would come after her. She shares stories of her bruising encounters with Harvey Weinstein and Sydney Pollack, her experience directing Diane Keaton, Treat Williams, and a host of other actors, as well as her deep friendships with Gene Wilder, Arthur Miller, and Laura Dern.

Along with the successes and failures of her career, she provides an intimate view of a woman’s struggle to balance the responsibilities and rewards of motherhood and marriage with a steadfast commitment to personal creative achievement. During a career spanning six decades, Joyce Chopra has worked through monumental shifts in her craft and in the culture at large, and the span of her life story offers a view into the implacable momentum of the push for all womens’ liberation.

“Joyce Chopra has written a devastatingly frank, candid, and unsparing memoir of her life as a film director–a ‘woman director’ in a field notoriously dominated by men. The reader is astonished on her behalf, at times infuriated, moved to laughter, and then to tears. Lady Director: Adventures in Hollywood, Television, and Beyond is one of its kind–highly recommended.” —Joyce Carol Oates, author of “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”

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Praise for Joyce Chopra's Lady Director:

"Her autobiography traces the evolving role of women directors in Hollywood by drawing extensively on her own five decades in film and television. . . the insights she offers into the profession are rare . . . Chopra writes in a prose style that is both unflinching and unsentimental."-Annie Berke, The Washington Post

"Joyce Chopra was the Ava DuVernay, the Kathryn Bigelow and the Sofia Coppola of her day. . . . In her new memoir, Chopra looks back on all that's happened in her extraordinary career, sharing stories about Hollywood producers who were unwilling to work with a woman director . . ."–Raechal Shewfelt, Yahoo's IT LIST

"Chopra's efforts paved the way for the likes of Jane Campion, Sarah Polley, Ava DuVernay and others. It was never easy. But love rarely is." – Chris Vognar, San Francisco Chronicle

"After more than 50 years in the business, Chopra is reclaiming that eye-rolling moniker for her first memoir, Lady Director, Adventures in Hollywood, Television and Beyond, an insightful, emotional, and often quite dishy rollercoaster ride through her life and career."–Kate Erbland, IndieWire

"Simply stated, no personal, professional, community, college, or university film school's Cinematic History collection can be considered complete or comprehensive without including Lady Director: Adventures in Hollywood, Television and Beyond by Joyce Chopra."–Midwest Book Review

"Joyce Chopra paved the way for future female filmmakers, and this book illuminates how ahead of her time she has always been. Her honesty is refreshing as she lets readers into her life, detailing her relationships, friendships, personal triumphs and devastating tragedies. Here is a woman who has nothing to lose, who is ready to tell her story, from her perspective, in her own words, with no holding back. I only wish I'd had this book to read when I was a shy teenage girl, to give me extra confidence as I dreamed of my own career in film."–Alicia Malone, TCM host and author of Girls on Film: Lessons From a Life of Watching Women in Movies

"Lady Director is not just a fascinating memoir, but an entertaining, inspiring and occasionally outrage-inducing report from the frontlines of filmmaking. An absolute must-read for anyone interested in the history of American cinema."–Elizabeth Weitzman, film critic and author of Renegade Women in Film & TV

"In her roller coaster of a memoir, Chopra shares what it was like to be one of the first female directors in Los Angeles. Recalling remarkable experiences of sexism, the effort of balancing a career with the pressures of motherhood, friendships with Hollywood legends, and the ways filmmaking has changed over the past 60 years, this memoir sheds light on the continuing fight for women's rights."–ALTA Magazine

"It's exhilarating to travel alongside her as so many well-known figures cross her path; in every phase of her adult life, Joyce Chopra has been there, in the thick of things, at the center of key movements and moments."–Bridgett M Davis, LIBER: A Feminist Review

"Award-winning film director Chopra's memoir pulls no punches. . . She candidly describes navigating sexism and abuse in the film industry; her start as a documentarian; her groundbreaking autobiographical short Joyce at 34; winning Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival for her first feature film, Smooth Talk; and her constant battles with Hollywood producers who refused to work with a woman
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ISBN-10: 0872868680
ISBN-13: 9780872868687
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publish Date: 11/22/2022
Dimensions: 8.40" L, 5.50" W, 0.70" H
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