With her gripping film The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow (b. 1951) made history in 2010 by becoming the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director. Since then she has also filmed history with her latest movie, which is about the mission to killMoreWith her gripping film The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow (b. 1951) made history in 2010 by becoming the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Director. Since then she has also filmed history with her latest movie, which is about the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden. She is one of Hollywoods brightest stars, but her roots go back four decades to the very non-Hollywood, avant-garde art world of New York City in the 1970s.
Her first feature The Loveless (1982) reflected those academic origins, but subsequent films such as the vampire-Western Near Dark (1987), the female vigilante movie Blue Steel (1989), and the surfer crime thriller Point Break (1991) demonstrated her determination to apply her aesthetic sensibilities to popular, genre filmmaking.
The first volume of Bigelows interviews ever published, Peter Keoughs collection covers her early success with Near Dark, the frustrations and disappointments she endured with films such as Strange Days (1995) and K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), and her triumph with The Hurt Locker. In conversations ranging from the casual to the analytical, Bigelow explains how her evolving ambitions and aesthetics sprang from her earliest aspirations to be a painter and conceptual artist in New York in the 1970s and then expanded to embrace Hollywood filmmaking when she was exposed to renowned directors such as John Ford, Howard Hawks, Don Siegel, Sam Peckinpah, and George Roy Hill.
Peter Keough, Boston, Massaschusetts, is film editor at the Boston Phoenix. He is the editor of Flesh and Blood: The National Society of Film Critics on Sex, Violence, and Censorship and has published in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, and Sight & Sound.