How would you go about programming a weeklong retrospective of Kathryn Bigelow double features? We could put the vampire movie with the futuristic sci-fi movie, and then maybe the skydiving/bankrobber movie with the biker movie. Let's see... then we could put the war movie with the submarine movie, but then the time-switching murder story would have to go with the lady cop movie. Hmm. Let me start over...
Or rather, let me just take a minute to gush about one of my favorite directors, who just now seems to be getting the praise she has long deserved for her current movie The Hurt Locker. She began her career by attending the San Francisco Art Institute and studying painting, which slowly segued into film. Her bold, painterly images can be seen to this day, throughout all her work. She has taken a tough, genre approach to filmmaking, following in the footsteps of such ultra-masculine directors as Howard Hawks, Samuel Fuller and Don Siegel. But to her, she's not really doing anything unusual; she's just making the kinds of films she wants to make.
Unfortunately, few of her movies have ever shown any kind of financial success, so she's not exactly in good standing with the studio heads. She's strikingly beautiful in person, and also whip-smart, a combination that, in meetings, could work both for and against her. On the plus side, some of her films have generated passionate cult followings, including Near Dark, Strange Days and especially Point Break, which has a fervent fan club worthy of Rocky Horror.