By: Nazia Adnin
Kathryn Bigelow is the first and only female director to have won the “Academy Award for Best director” to date. “The Hurt Locker” had won her the prestigious award in 2010. She also has bagged so many prestigious awards over the years and directed Oscar nominated performances.
California girl Kathryn is the only child of the manager of a paint factory and a librarian. She was born on 27th November 1951 in San Carlos, California. Her creativity endeavors began as a student of painting in early days of school. Kathryn received her “Bachelor in Arts” from San Francisco Art Institute in 1972. Later, seasoned film maker earned a scholarship to study film at Columbia University School of art, graduating in 1979.
“I can't change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies”, with this goal and determination Kathryn started making films in early 80s. Kathryn’s films are reflection of her inner thoughts and she believes it as a great opportunity to comment on the world(through films) in which we live. Her first full length feature was “Loveless” which came out in 1982. Nero –dark (1987) was the next film which she co-scripted with Eric-Red. In 1987 Kathryn directed a music video for the “New Order” song “Touched by the hand of God”; the video is a satire of glam metal imagery.
Kathryn established herself as both Hollywood brand and auteur through her action trilogy –“Blue steel”, “Point Break “and “Strange Days.” The three films feature gendered and racial politics. “Point Break” was Kathryn’s most profitable studio film featuring Keanu Reeves as an FBI agent. She directed an episode of the TV series called “West Palms” in 1993.
Her success story continues with “Zero Dark thirty”, a dramatization of American efforts to find Osama bin Laden. Although, the movie was critically successful one but it had raised some controversies and criticism for its allegedly pro-torture stance. The film received numerous numbers of prestigious awards including “National Board of Review Award” for Best Director making her the first woman to win that award.
Kathryn’s film making techniques are very distinct. She very often uses slow motion in action scenes which enhances the experience of watching those scenes for audiences. Her classic slow motion shots give audience prolonged and more detailed look at the landscape and explosions. She uses non-diegetic sound to create suspense. Hand-held camera effects involve the audience very deeply with the story and characters. Kathryn uses that method very often in suspenseful and terrifying shots.