Bigelow at the 2010 Academy Awards.
|Born||Kathryn Ann Bigelow
November 27, 1951
San Carlos, California, USA
|Spouse(s)||James Cameron (1989-1991)|
Kathryn Ann Bigelow (born November 27, 1951) is an American film director. Her best-known films are the horror film Near Dark (1987), cult action surfer/bank robbery picture Point Break (1991), the historical/mysterious film The Weight of Water (2002) and the war drama The Hurt Locker (2009). The Hurt Locker won the 2009 Academy Award for Best Picture, the BAFTA Award for Best Film, and it was nominated for the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Drama.
Bigelow, with The Hurt Locker, became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director and the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing. She also won the BAFTA Award for Best Direction.
Bigelow was born in San Carlos, California, United States, the only child of a paint factory manager and a librarian. Her 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 of 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 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.
Bigelow's first short film, The Set-Up (1978), is a 20-minute deconstruction of violence in film. The film portrays "two men (including Gary Busey) fighting each other as the semioticians Sylvère Lotringer and Marshall Blonsky deconstruct the images in voice-over." Her first full-length feature was The Loveless (1982), a biker movie 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 heavy metal imagery.
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. In 1993, she directed an episode of the TV series Wild Palms.
|“||I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about what my aptitude is, and I really think it's to explore and push the medium. It's not about breaking gender roles or genre traditions.||”|
—Kathryn Bigelow in 2009
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. The film is a departure in some ways for Bigelow in that it lacks the kinetic action and technical dazzle of her previous films.
In 2002 she directed K-19: The Widowmaker, starring Harrison Ford, about a group of men aboard the Soviet Union's first nuclear powered submarine. Despite an action-packed storyline, 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 "Top Critics" of 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 is the fourth woman in history to be nominated for the honor, and only the second American woman.
Bigelow was married to fellow director James Cameron from 1989 to 1991. She and Cameron were both nominated for Best Director at the 82nd Academy Awards, which Bigelow won. After their divorce, Bigelow and Cameron have retained an amicable relationship.
|1987||Near Dark||Director/Writer||Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film - Silver Raven
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Direction
|1995||Strange Days||Director||Saturn Award for Best Direction|
|2000||The Weight of Water||Director||Nominated — San Sebastián International Film Festival Golden Shell Award|
|2002||K-19: The Widowmaker||Director/Producer|
|2009||The Hurt Locker||Director/Producer||Academy Award for Best Director
Academy Award for Best Picture
AFI Dallas Film Festival - Dallas Star Award
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Director
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Woman Director
Austin Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Film
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for Best Direction
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Film
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Columbia University - "Andrew Sarris" Award
Denver Film Critics Society Award for Best Director
Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures
Hollywood Film Festival for Director of the Year
Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best Director
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Director
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
London Film Critics Circle Award for Director of the Year
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
New York Film Critics Online Award for Best Director
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Director
Producers Guild of America Award for Theatrical Motion Pictures
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Award for Outstanding Director of the Year
Satellite Award for Best Director
Seattle International Film Festival Golden Space Needle Award for Best Director
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Award for Best Director
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director
Venice Film Festival SIGNIS Grand Prize Award
Venice Film Festival Arca Cinemagiovani Award
Venice Film Festival Young Cinema Award
Venice Film Festival Human Rights Film Network Award
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Director