Publication Year: 2013
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 kill Osama Bin Laden.She is one of Hollywood's 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 Bigelow's interviews ever published, Peter Keough's 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.
Published by: University Press of Mississippi
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Title Page, Copyright
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Despite the millions of viewers and all the hoopla, the Academy Awards rarely amount to much of cultural significance. Not so the 82nd annual Though there were ten nominees for Best Picture, the first time more than five had competed since 1944, the contests had come down to only two films and two directors, who, adding to the drama, were also for-...
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...1951 Born in San Carlos, California, on November 27, daughter of a 1970 Enrolls in the San Francisco Art Institute. Graduates in 1972.1972 Accepted into the Independent Study Program at the Whitney tual artist Lawrence Weiner and the British collaborative Art & 1974–79 Collaborates on Lawrence Weiner videos, including Done To, ...
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Nicholas Ray: The Last Interview
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From Cinematographe magazine, May 1979. Reprinted by permission of the authors.Nicholas Ray: You know, I hate watching Johnny Guitar on television. But I really appreciate what Andrew Sarris wrote in the Village Voice: “With Johnny Guitar Nick Ray reaches the absolute criteria of the auteur Question: What did you think when you went to Europe and noticed ...
A Visit with the Master of Melodrama: Douglas Sirk
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Originally published in Interview, July 1982, 50–52. Reprinted by permission of On the terrace of the Sirk home overlooking Lake Lugano, situated against the base of the Alps in Lugano, Switzerland, Hilde Sirk (beautiful and gracious former stage actress in Germany), Mathias Brunner (Swiss film exhibitor and friend of the Sirks), Kathryn Bigelow (American film direc-...
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From the Chicago Tribune, October 11, 1987. Reprinted by permission of the Chicago It’s not that Kathryn Bigelow believes in vampires. Not exactly. And even though she has just directed an erotic vampire thriller, Bigelow says that’s not really the reason she’s wearing a gold cross around her neck “Well,” the thirty-five-year-old director of Near Dark admits, “I did ...
Black-Leather Director in a Business World
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From the Los Angeles Times Calendar, October 9, 1988, 28. Reprinted by permission Shots rang out along the dim paths into Central Park, reminding in-trepid strollers and joggers of the danger that lay deep within the huge, And then, a reassuring shout from within the park: “Cut! Print!”Kathryn Bigelow, sinewy and dark-haired, stood in long shadows ...
Happiness Is a Warm Gun
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From Premiere, April 1990, 45–46, 52. Reprinted by permission of Phoebe Hoban.In a narrow cul-de-sac near Wall Street, a woman cop is fighting for her life. Jamie Lee Curtis, arm and hand bloodied, collapses against a car. Ron Silver’s gun is aimed at her. It’s the final showdown of a long, gory battle. Curtis, bleeding profusely from her ear and arm, gun clenched ...
Dark by Design
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Originally published in Interview, August 1989, 84, 85, 168. Reprinted by permission Writer-director Kathryn Bigelow makes tough, violent movies. Her first feature, The Loveless (1983), in which a motorcycle gang faces off against small-town rednecks, starred Willem Dafoe and rockabilly star Robert Gordon. Four years later she gained a small cult following with her sec-...
Blue Steel: Kathryn Bigelow in Action
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From American Film, September 1989. Reprinted by permission of Nancy Mills.Kathryn Bigelow gave up film to be a director and has given her films the distinctive style that she once put on canvas. “I was an abstract expres-sionist,” Bigelow says. “My paintings definitely reflected a sense of light, The Loveless, which introduced Willem Dafoe to film audiences, was ...
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From GQ, October 1989, 162, 168–69. Reprinted by permission of Kenneth Turan, film Speed may kill, but action, filmed action, is the real drug. Like many nar-cotics, it is a special taste, and one that is a little suspect in some circles. Film should enlighten and uplift the race, the spoilsports say. And if all that high-mindedness brings with it more than its fair share of snores, ...
Kathryn Bigelow’s Disturbing Vision
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From the Toronto Globe and Mail, March 30, 1990. Reprinted by permission of Gerald “I keep saying I should go into psychoanalysis to see why I am attracted to showing violence,” says Kathryn Bigelow. She is the director of Near Dark, a blood-soaked 1987 vampire movie, and now, Blue Steel, a volatile cop movie featuring a pistol-packing police officer (Jamie Lee Curtis) af-...
James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow
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From American Film, July 1991, 42–46. © 1991 American Film Institute. Reprinted by James Cameron, self-described “king of the sequel” has built his career on the intelligent action-adventure flick. After supporting himself as a truck driver while writing screenplays, he landed in the industry with a job at Roger Corman’s New World Pictures as a miniature-set builder and ...
From Style to Steel
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From City Limits, November 29–December 6, 1990, 26. Reprinted by permission of In 1982, London clubs were almost entirely patronized by people who had dumped their New Romantic sash cords for the frisson of torn jeans and a perfect flattop. When it came to music, those hedonists were all soul fans, but in looks they plumped for the downhome classicism of ...
Hollywood’s Macho Woman
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From the Guardian, November 21, 1991, 27. Copyright Guardian News & Media Ltd Kathryn Bigelow has been asked this particular question a lot. No mat-ter how delicately you phrase it, how much you skirt around the issue, it comes down to the same thing: why does she make the kind of movie she makes? As the sole woman director regularly working in the traditionally ...
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From Cinema Papers, January 1992, 32–34. Reprinted by permission of Ana Maria Born in 1951 and raised in San Francisco, Bigelow was trained in the arts; first in the San Francisco Art Institute and then at the Whitney Museum in New York. She found herself bored with what she called the “elitist limitations” of traditional visual arts, so with a group of other avant-...
Momentum and Design: Kathryn Bigelow Interviewed
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From Film Comment 31, no. 5 (September 1995): 46–50. Reprinted by permission of “Everything’s already been done,” someone observes early in the fever dream of noir dread, yearning desire, and euphoric millennial convul-sion that is Strange Days. It’s New Year’s Eve 1999, and in Kathryn Bi-gelow’s alternately brooding and pulverizing new film, Entertainment ...
Kathryn Bigelow: Vicarious Thrills
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From Index on Censorship, November 1995, 41–45. Reprinted by permission of Sheila Kathryn Bigelow’s second feature was reviewed by the trade magazine Variety as “undoubtedly the most hard-edged, violent actioner by an American woman,” but she must have long since smashed her own re-cord. That film—Near Dark, a “vampire western”—had cannibalism, ...
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From Artforum, November 1995. © Artforum. Reprinted by permission of Artforum A painter who enrolled in the Whitney Program before migrating to Columbia Film School, Kathryn Bigelow is something of an anomaly in Planet Hollywood. Combining an affinity for the frenetic rhythms of the thriller with a taste for subversive genre-bending that recalls her ...
Strange Days Probes Import of Vicarious Living
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Reprinted with permission from the November 20, 1995, issue of the Christian Science Monitor. © 1995 The Christian Science Monitor (www.CSMonitor.com).“I think it’s about time a movie coming out of the studio system had some content,” says Kathryn Bigelow about Strange Days, her latest film. “I know it’s disturbing. I know it’s provocative. But it’s about something. ...
Happy New Millennium
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From Film Review (London), April 1996, 22–24. Reprinted by permission of Tall, dark, and beautiful, Kathryn Bigelow looks more like a Hollywood actress than a film director. And she looks nothing like the other creators Nor is the forty-three-year-old painter-turned-director known for do-ing the expected. What other woman ever made films about bikers (The ...
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From Premiere (USA) 15, no. 12 (August 2002): 62–65, 88. Reprinted by permission of Kathryn Bigelow is whipping up a storm. The stunning, six-feet-tall di-rector is on a barge lashed to a dock in the maritime village of Chester, Nova Scotia, shooting the climactic scene of The Weight of Water. At her call of action, huge wind and rain machines whir to life. Orange Zodiac ...
Direct from the Gut
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From the Toronto Star, September 9, 2000. Reprinted by permission of Torstar Sexism may be rampant in Hollywood, with female directors all but shut out of the boys’ club of moviemaking, but it isn’t bothering Kathryn The striking six-footer who directed tonight’s Roy Thomson Hall fes-tival gala presentation The Weight of Water, her seventh film, says her ...
K-19: The Widowmaker: A Film by Kathryn Bigelow
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From DGA Magazine 27, no. 2 (July 2002): 24–32. Permission to reprint courtesy of In 1961, at the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union was eager to display its ability to launch nuclear missiles within striking distance of the United States. With arms-race tensions at fever pitch, the Soviets be-lieved it essential to demonstrate to American intelligence that they had ...
Her Underwater Canvas
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From the Los Angeles Times Calendar, July 14, 2002, 5, 75. Reprinted by permission of One of Kathryn Bigelow’s teachers in art school instructed his students That seemingly contradictory bit of advice remained lodged some-where in a corner of her mind, and when she began directing movies, Bigelow discovered what her weakness was. “Withstanding pressure,” ...
K-19: The Widowmaker: Harrison Ford and Kathryn Bigelow Interview
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From Hollywood.com, July 19, 2002. Reprinted by permission of Hollywood.com Inc.“I don’t play heroes,” insists Harrison Ford. It’s a rather remarkable state-ment from an actor who’s portrayed more than his share of iconic big-screen good guys, from cocky interplanetary rogue Han Solo to intrepid adventurer Indiana Jones to crisis-wrangling CIA analyst Jack Ryan. ...
“I Like to Be Strong”
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From the Guardian, October 21, 2002. Copyright Guardian News & Media Ltd 2002. In 1997 James Cameron made Titanic, a film about the real-life disastrous maiden voyage of a state-of-the-art ocean liner across the north Atlantic. Five years later, Kathryn Bigelow has got the same sinking feeling as her former husband. She has made K-19: The Widowmaker, a film about the ...
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From Filmmaker Magazine, Spring 2009. Reprinted by permission of Filmmaker Leading up to the Oscars on March 7, we will be highlighting the nomi-nated films that have appeared in the magazine or on the Website in the last year. Nick Dawson interviewed The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bi-gelow for our Spring 2009 issue. The Hurt Locker is nominated for Best ...
An Interview with Hurt Locker’s Kathryn Bigelow
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From the Everett Herald, July 10, 2009. Interview conducted May 29. Reprinted by Kathryn Bigelow held the local premiere of her new film The Hurt Locker at the Seattle International Film Festival in May. Bigelow has a reputa-tion as a director of male-oriented cult films such as Point Break and Near Dark but hasn’t made a feature since the financially disappointing K-19....
Interview: Kathryn Bigelow
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Originally appeared at AVClub.com, June 24, 2009. Used by permission of Onion, Inc.Drawn into filmmaking after earlier creative endeavors as a painter—first at the San Francisco Art Institute, and later as a fellow at the Whitney Museum—director Kathryn Bigelow made her feature debut with the 1982 biker movie The Loveless, but her real breakthrough was 1987’s Near ...
Kathryn Bigelow to Movieline: “I Thrive on Production. I Don’t Know if I Thrive in Normal Life.”
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From Movieline, June 25, 2009. Reprinted by permission of Movieline and Kyle It’s long been taken for granted that Kathryn Bigelow is Hollywood’s best female action director—and that’s a reputation she firmed up before tomorrow’s release of The Hurt Locker, her best film so far. The Iraq War bomb squad thriller is a shot of adrenaline for not just the audience, but ...
Interview with Kathryn Bigelow
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...“There’s a price for that kind of heroism,” Kathryn Bigelow says of The Hurt Locker’s lead character, an ingenious Army grunt who stares bombs in the face for his daily bread and who slowly comes to appreciate the im-mense toll that such death-defying work takes on the psyche. Depictions of men under nerve-melting pressure are frequent in Bigelow’s famously ...
Big Bang Theory: Kathryn Bigelow Breaks out with The Hurt Locker
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From the Boston Phoenix, July 10, 2009. Interview conducted July 2. © 2009 by the Okay, so Kathryn Bigelow might be the only major filmmaker to have modeled for The Gap. And now, at fifty-seven, she could very well do so again. Though everyone makes a point of Bigelow’s gender and height and good looks, what’s germane is that even if she was short and had ...
An Interview with Kathryn Bigelow
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From the Boston Phoenix website, July 4, 2009. Transcript of the full interview condensed in “Big Bang Theory” in two parts. © 2009 by the Boston Phoenix. Happy Fourth of July, all. On this holiday celebrated with fireworks per-haps it is appropriate to talk about those heroes who put their lives on the line to prevent things from exploding. Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt ...
A Discussion with Kathryn Bigelow at the Harvard Film Archive
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Discussion held July 2, 2009. Part of the retrospective “Kathryn Bigelow—Filmmaking at the Dark Edge of Exhilaration.” Printed by permission of the Harvard Film Archive.David Pendleton: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name’s Dave Pendleton. I’m the programmer here at the Harvard Film Archive, and tonight—I love my job as few other nights—I’m very happy to wel-...
A Maverick Female Director Explores Men Who Dare Death
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From the Philadelphia Inquirer, July 9, 2009. Reprinted courtesy of the Philadelphia Slim as lightning, Kathryn Bigelow makes movies charged with adrena-line and electricity, action thrillers like Blue Steel and Point Break. The six-footer with the radiant presence of a Redgrave and the steel nerves of a high-wire artist is drawn to stories about daredevils addicted to the rush....
The Hurt Locker Interview: Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal
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From Little White Lies, September 1, 2009, reposted March 10, 2010. Reprinted by The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow’s war film centered around a three-man U.S. Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, swept the Academy Awards in 2010. The movie collected six Oscars from nine nominations, including Best Director for Bigelow, Best Original Screenplay for its writer, Mark ...
Shoot Shoot, Bang Bang
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From the Columbia Magazine, Winter 2009–10. Reprinted by permission of the “She’s acting out desires. She represents what people want to see, and it’s upsetting, because they don’t exactly know what to do with it.”Baghdad, 2004. An explosive ordnance robot rolls along a dusty city street toward a pile of white burlap sacks. Soldiers, American, leap from ...
Kathryn Bigelow’s 2010 Oscar Acceptance Speech
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March 7, 2010. Reprinted by permission of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and “This really is . . . There’s no other way to describe it, it’s the moment of a lifetime. First of all, this is so extraordinary to be in the company of such powerful, my fellow nominees, such powerful filmmakers who have inspired me and I have admired for, some of whom, for decades. ...
Introduction and Q&A for Museum of Modern Art Retrospective
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Introduction and Q&A at a screening of Set-Up and The Loveless for her Museum of Modern Art retrospective “Crafting Genre: Kathryn Bigelow,” June 1, 2011. Printed by Kathryn Bigelow: I’m honored to be here in this extraordinary mu-seum, and I’m not sure it’s deserved, but I’m enjoying it! Again, it’s such an honor; my head is spinning. So tonight, you’re going to see Set-Up and ...
Press Conference for Zero Dark Thirty
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December 4, 2012; New York City. Participants were Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, and Kyle Chandler. Reported by Peter Keough; transcribed and edited by Brett Michel. Printed by permission of Peter Keough and Sony Publicist: Hey everybody! Thank you. We are at the Zero Dark Thirty press conference with Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chas-...
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Hedges, Chris. War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning. New York: Anchor Books, Jermyn, Deborah, and Sean Redmond, eds. The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow, Hol-Lane, Christina. Feminist Hollywood: From Born in Flames to Point Break. Detroit, Prince, Stephen, ed. American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations. New Shreve, Anita. The Weight of Water. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1997....
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Conversations with Filmmakers Series