Backstage: Luke Blackall

Diablo Cody says directing films is incompatible with motherhood

Juno writer says leaving her family would be irresponsible

There has been much hand-wringing in Hollywood about the lack of leading female film directors (in public, at least). Now Diablo Cody, an Oscar-winning screenwriter and first-time director, has suggested that one of the problems is because the all-consuming nature of directing is incompatible with raising children.

Cody, who wrote Juno and Young Adult, has just directed Paradise, which features Octavia Spencer and Russell Brand. The demands of filming and raising a young family was, she says, "the toughest balancing act I've ever had to pull off."

"It's hard for me to talk about this because I don't want that to be the case that we don't have that many female directors for that reason," she told US radio station KCRW.

"Because, you know, the directing years tend to coincide with the child-rearing years in a lot of cases."

She points out that Sofia Coppola, one of the most prominent female directors working today, has chosen to make smaller-scale films shot in Los Angeles as opposed to longer shoots since she became a mother. And that traditional parent roles make it easier for men to ply their trade.

"I do know male directors with kids and when they direct a project they just fly off and spend a few months on location and wife and kids come and visit on the weekend," she adds. "I imagine that's a very luxurious situation."

Cody says she won't be sitting in the director's chair anymore, saying that she didn't enjoy the process and that it would be "irresponsible" of her to do that to her family.

New drama for Calendar Girls director

Director Nigel Cole and screenwriter Tim Firth – the team behind Calendar Girls – are reuniting for a new film, Daylight Robbery, about a group of pensioners who hatch a plan to rob a bank.

The title of the film, made by British firm Exclusive Media, seems sadly apt for Cole, given the recent family news he communicated to his followers on Twitter.

"So my father died 2 years ago," he writes. "His 2nd wife inherited his estate with an agreement that when she died the remainder go to both families. Well you've guessed it. She died and left it all to her sons and nothing to us. How is that legally possible? How could she do that?"

A family drama for another film, perhaps?

Curzon workers revolt over poor pay and conditions

Stirrings of aspiring revolutionaries are being felt at Curzon cinemas, the art-house chain with screens across London (and one in Cheshire).

Tickets can be more expensive than your multiplexes, but often come with more comfort, better films and fewer popcorn-chuckers. But it appears that the ticket-rippers are in revolt.

A group calling itself the Curzon Workers Party is campaigning for the rights of employees to earn the London living wage, join the Bectu union and for more concessionary ticket prices. At the time of going to print, it needed 900 more signatories in order to reach its target of 5,000. A statement from Curzon pointed out that "last month we increased our hourly pay rates in London venues by 5.7 per cent, significantly ahead of minimum wage rates".

Rock stars and their train sets

Lemmy joins the club of rock stars who like train sets. The Motörhead singer's bandmate Phil Green reveals the hobby in an interview with theartsdesk.com when discussing Lemmy's new house in Los Angeles. "His old flat was a mess in 1990 when he moved in. Imagine what it's like now. He put a train set up in there last year." Rod Stewart is the only other rock star and toy train enthusiast we know of, but as he also lives in LA, maybe they show each other their sets from time to time.

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