16C23.22192.1 Kathryn Ann 11 Bigelow
was born in San Carlos, California, 27 November 1951, the only child of
Gertude Kathryn (née Larson;
1917-1994), a librarian, and Ronald Elliot 10 Bigelow
(1915-1992), a paint factory manager. Her mother was of
Norwegian descent. Bigelow's early creative endeavors were as a student
of painting. She enrolled at San Francisco Art Institute in the fall of
1970 and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in December 1972. While
enrolled at SFAI, she was accepted into the Whitney Museum of American
Art's Independent Study scholarship program in New York City. Bigelow’s
early work benefited from her apprenticeships with Vito Acconi, Richard
Serra, and Lawrence Weiner.
Also in her early days in Manhattan, Bigelow teamed up with Philip Glass on a real-estate venture in which the pair personally renovated distressed apartments downtown then sold them for a profit.
Bigelow entered the graduate film program at Columbia University, where she studied theory and criticism and earned her master's degree. Her professors included Vito Acconci, Sylvère Lotringer and Susan Sontag, and she worked with the Art & Language collective and noted conceptualist Lawrence Weiner. She also taught at the California Institute of the Arts. While working with Art and Language, Bigelow began a short film, The Set-Up (1978), which found favor with director Milos Forman, then teaching at Columbia University, and which Bigelow later submitted as part of her MFA at Columbia.
Bigelow's short "The Set-Up," is a 20-minute deconstruction of violence in film. The film portrays "two men fighting each other as the semioticians Sylvère Lotringer and Marshall Blonsky deconstruct the images in voice-over." Bigelow asked her actors to actually beat and bludgeon each other throughout the film’s all-night shoot. Her first full-length feature was The Loveless (1982), a biker film which she co-directed with Monty Montgomery and featured Willem Dafoe in his first starring role. Next, she directed Near Dark (1987), which she co-scripted with Eric Red. In the same year, she directed a music video for the New Order song "Touched by the Hand of God"; the video is a spoof of glam metal imagery.
Bigelow’s subsequent trilogy of action films — Blue Steel, Point Break, and Strange Days — merged her philosophically minded manipulation of pace with the market demands of mainstream film-making. In the process, Bigelow became recognizable as both a Hollywood brand and an auteur. All three films rethink the conventions of action cinema while exploring gendered and racial politics.
Eric Red was also co-writer on Bigelow's 1990 film, Blue Steel. Blue Steel starred Jamie Lee Curtis as a rookie police officer who is stalked by a psychopathic killer, played by Ron Silver.
Bigelow followed Blue Steel with Point Break (1991), which starred Keanu Reeves as an FBI agent who poses as a surfer to catch the "Ex-Presidents", a team of surfing armed robbers led by Patrick Swayze who wear Reagan, Nixon, LBJ and Jimmy Carter masks when they hold up banks. Point Break (1991) was Kathryn Bigelow's most profitable 'studio' film, taking approximately $100 million at the American box-office during the year of its release, and yet it remains one of her least well-received films, both in terms of commercial reviews and academic analysis. This is perhaps due to the fact that it most successfully conforms to its action genre and abandons much of the stylistic substance and subtext of Bigelow's other work.
In 1993, she directed an episode of the TV series Wild Palms.
Bigelow's 1995 film Strange Days was written and produced by her ex-husband James Cameron. The film was a critical and commercial failure. Furthermore, many attributed the creative vision to James Cameron, diminishing Bigelow's influence on the film.
She directed episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street in 1997 and 1998.
Based on Anita Shreve's novel of the same name, Bigelow's 2000 film The Weight of Water is a portrait of two women trapped in suffocating relationships.
In 2002 she directed K-19: The Widowmaker, starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson, about a group of men aboard the Soviet Union's first nuclear powered submarine. The film tanked at the box office and was received with mixed reactions by critics, gaining an aggregate score of 58 on Metacritic.
Bigelow next directed The Hurt Locker, which was first shown at the Venice Film Festival in September 2008 and released in the US in June 2009. It qualified for the 2010 Oscars as it did not premiere in an Oscar-qualifying run in Los Angeles until mid-2009. Set in post-invasion Iraq, the film received "universal acclaim" (according to Metacritic) and a 97% "fresh" rating from the critics aggregated by Rotten Tomatoes. The film stars Jeremy Renner, Brian Geraghty and Anthony Mackie, with cameos by Guy Pearce, David Morse and Ralph Fiennes. She won the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (becoming the first woman to win the award) and also received a Golden Globe nomination for her direction. In 2010, she won the award for Best Director and The Hurt Locker won Best Picture at the 63rd British Academy Film Awards. She became the first woman to receive an Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker. She was the fourth woman in history to be nominated for the honor, and only the second American woman.
Bigelow's next film was Zero Dark Thirty, a dramatization of American efforts to find Osama bin Laden. Zero Dark Thirty was acclaimed by film critics but it has also attracted controversy and strong criticism for its allegedly pro-torture stance. Bigelow won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director for the film, making her the first woman to win the award twice. She had already won previously for directing The Hurt Locker. She also won the National Board of Review Award for Best Director for Zero Dark Thirty, making her the first woman to win that award.
One of the many visual elements that helps secure Bigelow's style as an auteur is her use of slow motion. Slow motion is a recurring technique in Bigelow’s storytelling, often most successful where it is the most experimentally employed, where it can help the spectator participate in a collective meditation on action and affect.
In the early 1980s, Bigelow modeled for a Gap advertisement. Her acting credits include Lizzie Borden's 1983 film Born in Flames as a feminist newspaper editor, and as the leader of a cowgirl gang in the 1988 music video of Martini Ranch's "Reach", which was directed by her ex-husband, James Cameron.
Bigelow was married to fellow director James Cameron from 1989 to 1991. She and Cameron were both nominated for Best Director at the 2010 82nd Academy Awards, which Bigelow won.
1.^ "Bigelow, Kathryn". Current Biography Yearbook 2010. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2010. pp. 38–42. ISBN 9780824211134.
2.^ "‘Hurt Locker’ wins best picture, director". Today.msnbc.msn.com. 2010-03-08. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/35752337/. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
3.^ "First woman to win top Guild’s award". Gulf Times. 2010-01-31. http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/printArticle.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=340344&version=1&template_id=43&parent_id=19. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
4.^ Reuters (2010-02-21). "Kathryn Bigelow wins best director BAFTA for 'Hurt Locker' over James Cameron's 'Avatar'". New York: NY Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/movies/2010/02/21/2010-02-21_kathryn_bigelow_wins_best_director_bafta_for_hurt_locker_over_james_camerons_ava.html. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
5.^ Roberts, Soraya (2010-01-16). "Critic's Choice Awards 2010: Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep kiss; Kathryn Bigelow is Best Director". New York: NY Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/2010/01/15/2010-01-15_critics_choice_awards_2010_kathryn_bigelow_makes_history_as_first_female_to_win_.html. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
6.^ Stone, Oliver (April 29, 2010), "Kathryn Bigelow", TIME, The 2010 TIME 100, http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1984685_1984940_1985539,00.html, retrieved May 7, 2010
7.^ "Kathryn Bigelow Biography". yahoo.com. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800091098/bio. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
8.^ azcentral.com ("Cookies must be enabled to view articles on azcentral.com"), 2009/07/08.
9.^ a b "Kathryn Bigelow: Road Warrior" – an interview published June 2009 in Newsweek magazine
10.^ a b c d e f Benson-Allott, Caetlin. "Undoing Violence: Politics, Genre, and Duration in Kathryn Bigelow's Cinema" (preview/paywall), Film Quarterly 64.2 (Winter 2010), pp. 33–43. University of California Press; link via JSTOR. "Abstract: Kathryn Bigelow's eight feature films all seek a balance between progressive representations of gender and race and the demands of commercial filmmaking. Close attention to the filmmaker's experiments with duration and camera technology reveals her interest in reworking Hollywood conventions to critique conventionally masculinist genres."
11.^ a b Filkins, Dexter (December 17, 2012). "Bin Laden, The Movie". The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2012/12/17/121217ta_talk_filkins. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
12.^ a b Dargis, Manohla, "Action!", New York Times, June 18, 2009. Access date: June 27, 2009.
13.^ Rapold, Nicolas, "Interview: Kathryn Bigelow Goes Where the Action Is", Village Voice, June 23, 2009. Access date: June 27, 2009.
14.^ "Kathryn Bigelow – Filmmaking at the Dark Edge of Exhilaration", Harvard Film Archive, July 1, 2009. Access date: December 17, 2009.
15.^ Perry, Michelle P., "Kathryn Bigelow discusses role of 'seductive violence' in her films", The Tech (MIT), March 16, 1990. An interview with the star (Jamie Lee Curtis) and writer-director (Bigelow) of Blue Steel.
16.^ Jermyn, Deborah, and Sean Redmond. "Chapter Six – All That Is Male Melts into Air: Bigelow on the Edge of Point Break." The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow: Hollywood Transgressor. London: Wallflower, 2003. 106-07. Print.
17.^ The Hurt Locker at Metacritic
18.^ "The Hurt Locker (2009)". Rott>en Tomatoes. 2009-12-15. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/hurt_locker. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
19.^ Roberts, Soraya (2010-02-22). "Prince William becomes President at 2010 BAFTA awards; Kathryn Bigelow wins best director". New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2010/02/22/2010-02-22_prince_william_reigns_at_starstudded_2010_bafta_awards_kathryn_bigelow_wins_best.html. Retrieved 2010-02-23.
20.^ Weaver, Matthew (2010-03-08). "Kathryn Bigelow makes history as first woman to win best director Oscar". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/mar/08/kathryn-bigelow-oscars-best-director. Retrieved 2010-03-08.
21.^ "Zero Dark Thirty". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/movie/zero-dark-thirty. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
22.^ Child, Ben (2013-01-09). "Zero Dark Thirty premiere sparks anti-torture protest". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/jan/09/zero-dark-thirty-premiere-protest. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
23.^ Polo, Susana, "Kathryn Bigelow Wins New York Film Critics Circle Award Twice; Makes History", The Mary Sue, December 4th, 2012.
24.^ "NBR Awards name 'Zero Dark Thirty' best film", boston.com, 2012/12/05.
(Wikipedia sources and text)
Box 13 Chazy Lake