256 Great Directors: Kathryn Bigelow

“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.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Arguably the most well known female director today.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: The Hurt Locker, with ZDT a very close second. Both astound.

What Did I Watch: Near Dark and Strange Days.

Where Does She Fit: Near Dark has a Tangerine Dream score, which pretty much guaranteed I’d love it if it was remotely competent. Thankfully, it’s more than that, a deliciously gritty and grimy take on the vampire and Western outlaw mythos, complete with cowboy boots being used as a murder weapon by Bill Paxton, delightfully unhinged and perfectly awful in his Southernness. The sun may be the worst thing to these vampires, but when it gives us something as inventive as the cops shooting holes in the house that unintentionally cause them to smoke and burn, it’s hard to complain about their misery, for it is our delight.


Strange Days, however, is fucking jawdropping and right on the same level as Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. I refuse to believe that James Cameron wrote the script, although the fact that Jay Cocks co-wrote it makes me think he has been far too underutilized throughout his screenwriting career. Still, I ultimately care about this because of the jaw-dropping direction, with a New Year’s Eve celebration that perfectly sums up the holiday and the chaos that could happen in a situation like this, a jaw-dropping setpiece that should have made this movie money, not lost it. It’s too cynical and intelligent about things that would come to the forefront in another ten years (Black Lives Matter, Internet bubbles, corruption and racism resulting in execution style murders), and Ralph Fiennes’ Lenny Nero is not your typical slob hero. No matter. Let us bask in this right now as something that is genuinely astounding even today. (Also: BASSETT.)


Most Valuable Asset: Choreography.
Most Excited For: Point Break.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Another one who should be on the all-time list. Preferably yesterday.

Coming Up Next: Argentina’s foremost director, Lucrecia Martel.


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