PROFILE
Name:
Kathryn Bigelow
Birth Date:
November 27, 1951
Birth Place:
San Carlos, California, USA
Nationality:
American
Famous for:
Director of 'Near Dark' (1987)
BIOGRAPHY
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Near Dark

Background:

“If there's specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can't change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies. It's irrelevant who or what directed a movie. The important thing is that you either respond to it or you don't. There should be more women directing. I think there's just not the awareness that it's really possible. It is.” Kathryn Bigelow

An American film director, writer and producer whose directorial talents stem from her background as an artist, Kathryn Bigelow made an impact with her solo directorial debut, the cult hit “Near Dark” (1987), from which she took home a Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film Award and a Saturn nomination. Bigelow continued to receive attention with the 1995 action flick “Strange Days,” which won the director a Saturn Award. The movie, however, was a bomb at the box office. Following a five year hiatus from moviemaking, during which time she ventured into TV, Bigelow made a comeback with the thriller “The Weight of Water” (2000) and netted a Film by the Sea International Film Festival Award and a San Sebastián International Film Festival nomination for her work on the movie. Other directorial credits include “Blue Steel” (1990), “K-19: The Widowmaker” (2002) and “The Hurt Locker” (2008).

Apart from her respected career as a filmmaker, The tall, good looking Bigelow is known for her short-lived marriage to Academy Award winning director James Cameron (together from 1989 to 1991). Bigelow has served as a member of the jury in several film festivals, including the 1990 Sundance Film Festival, the 1998 Venice Film Festival and the 2003 the Venice Film Festival.


Cameron's Ex

Childhood and Family:

Kathryn Ann Bigelow was born on November 27, 1951, in San Carlos, California. She was the only child of the manager of a paint store and a librarian. Katheryn developed an early interest in painting and studied at the San Francisco Art Institute. After two years, she won an esteemed scholarship to New York's Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 1972. In 1979, she received a MFA degree from Columbia University's Film School.

On August 17, 1989, Kathryn married Canadian filmmaker James Cameron (born on August 16, 1954). They divorced in 1991 after having been together only two years.


The Weight of Water

Career:

Kathryn Bigelow began her creative life as a painter in her teenaged years. After studying in San Francisco, she moved to New York City in the early 1970s to enter the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Bigelow received her first professional art job when she was hired as the assistant of conceptual artist Vito Acconci.

As a graduate student of Columbia's film program, Bigelow had her first taste of filmmaking with “Set-Up,” a 20-minute short she directed and produced in 1978. After completing her studies in 1979, she served as a script supervisor of the Cannes premiered “Union City” (1980), directed by Marcus Reichert. Bigelow then joined Monty Montgomery to write and direct “The Loveless” (1982), a dreamy biker film that became star Willem Dafoe's feature debut. The project caught the attention of producer-writer-director Walter Hill, who offered Bigelow a development deal when she relocated to Los Angeles in 1983. That same year, she was also seen acting in the Lizzie Borden film “Born in Flames,” in which she appeared as a newspaper editor.

Eventually, Bigelow made her solo directorial debut with the horror film “Near Dark” (1987), which she co-wrote with Eric Red. “Near Dark” earned the director a Silver Raven at the 1988 Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film and a Saturn nomination for Best Director. She was reunited with Eric Red for her next feature, “Blue Steel” (1990). The drama starred Jamie Lee Curtis and was nominated for a Best Film at Mystfest. The following year, she embarked on a partnership with her then-husband, producer-writer-director James Cameron, for “Point Break,” in which Cameron served as an executive producer. The movie starred Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze and Gary Busey.

Following the moderate success of “Point Break,” Bigelow received some good reviews in 1995 for “Strange Days,” which was co-scripted by Cameron and Jay Cocks. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett and Juliette Lewis, the movie was shown in such film festivals as the 1995 Venice Film Festival and the New York Film Festival and won Bigelow a 1996 Best Director Saturn Award. Nevertheless, it was a box office flop. In between “Point Break” and “Strange Days,” she made her TV directing debut by helming the second hour of the sci-fi miniseries “Wild Palms” (1993), which starred James Belushi and Dana Delany.

In 1996, Bigelow contributed to the script of the Eric Red directed thriller “Undertow,” which was produced and broadcasted on Showtime. She returned to the director's chair during the 1998-1999 season when she was ask to helm three episodes of the critically acclaimed NBC series “Homicide: Life on the Street.” She, however, did not revisit the feature film realm until 2000 when she directed Sarah Polley, Catherine McCormack, Sean Penn, Josh Lucas and Elizabeth Hurley in the psychological thriller “The Weight of Water,” which was based on a novel by Anita Shreve. Premiering at Toronto Film Festival, the project earned Bigelow rave reviews and a Film and Literature Award at the 2001 Film by the Sea International Film Festival.

Next, Bigelow directed “K-19: The Widowmaker” (2002), a drama about a Russian submarine ambushed at the bottom of the ocean. Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson starred as Alexei Vostrikov and Mikhail Polenin, respectively, in the movie. Although the film was not a big box office success, Bigelow received a good reception for her direction. Two years later, she could be seen directing the “Karen Sisco” episode of “He Was a Friend of Mine” (2004). She later directed a short film called “Mission Zero” (2007), featuring Uma Thurman.

Bigelow’s next project was “The Hurt Locker” (2008), a dramatic movie set during the Iraq war that was written by former Playboy journalist Mark Boal. It starred Brian Geraghty, Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie and featured Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes in cameos. Bigelow also served as a producer on the film. She is currently working on a pilot, which is set to be released in 2011, titled “The Miraculous Year.”


Awards:

  • Film by the Sea International Film Festival: Film and Literature Award, “The Weight of Water,” 2001

  • Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films: Saturn Award, Best Director, “Strange Days,” 1996

  • Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film: Silver Raven, “Near Dark,” 1988

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