Sunday, March 7, 2010

FAVORITE OF THE WEEK: Kathryn Ann Bigelow - Writer, Director & First Woman To Win Oscar For Best Director 2010 Academy Awards.

Welcome to Up Close and Personal. Once a week, on a Sunday, a favorite author, journalist will be featured as ‘Favorite of the Week”. The article will give them more exposure and publicity about their work.

This week we choose Kathryn Ann Bigelow. She is a director, writer and producer whose directorial talents stem from a background as an artist. She has proved herself versatile with science fiction, action and horror, among other genres, on her pocket since making an impact with her solo directorial debut, in the 1987 cult vampire-Western hit film “Near Dark.” Ms. Bigelow co-penned with Eric Red, in which she took home a Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film Award and a Saturn nomination.

Ms. Bigelow is only the fourth woman in the history of the Motion Picture Academy, as well as the second American woman to be honored with a nomination. She became the first woman ever to win an Oscar for Best Director category.

Her film ventures includes, The Loveless, Born in Flames, she also continued to receive more attention with her 1995 action film “Strange Days,” which she won a Saturn Award as a director. Her film “The Weight of Water” captured another film award by the Sea International Film Festival and a San Sebastián International Film Festival nomination for her work in the movie

Ms. Bigelow’s other directorial credits are: Blue Steel, Point Break, K19: The Widowmaker and her latest film, The Hurt Locker, a film following the fortunes of a bomb disposal team in Iraq. The film has received 9 academy award nominations for an Oscar and won 6 Academy Awards of the night, at the 2010 Academy Awards including history maker for director by a woman.

She is known personally for her short-lived marriage to Academy Award-winning Canadian filmmaker, director James Cameron on August 17, 1989 but divorced in 1991, after having been together for only two years. They maintained to work together following their divorce in 1991. During the 2010 Academy Award, she competed against her ex-husband, James Cameron who directed Avatar, for the Best Director.

The Hurt Locker is the nominated film that had the lowest gross sales ($21,356,139) beats out Avatar, the nominated film that has had the largest success in the box office ($2,559,189,000).

Ms. Bigelow breaks into the boy's club of testosterone-filled action drama. It's hard to believe that she is only the fourth woman to even earn a nomination, following in the footsteps of Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties in 1975, Jane Campion for The Piano in 1993, and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003. It only took 82 years to get here. She's spent her entire career making "man" films, choosing to follow her own interests rather than the stereotypical roads well traveled.

She has served as member of jury in several film festivals, including the 1990 Sundance Film Festival, the 1998 Venice Film Festival and the 2003 the Venice Film Festival.

Ms. Bigelow was born on November 27, 1951, in San Carlos, California. She is the only child of the manager of a paint store and a librarian. She started her creative life as a painter in her teens. She developed an early interest in painting and took a formal study at the San Fransisco Art Institute.

She moved to New York City in early 1970’s. After two years, she won an esteemed scholarship to New York's Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 1972.

She got her work criticized by the likes such as Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Serra, and Susan Sontag. Bigelow got her first professional art job when she was hired as the assistant of conceptual artist Vito Acconci, during which time her duties included filming slogans to run behind Acconci's performance parts.

Later, in 1979, she received an MFA degree from Columbia University's Film School. Bigelow had her first taste of filmmaking with “Set-Up,” a 20-minute short she directed and produced in 1978 and was on her way pursuing a career as professional filmmaker.

After serving as script supervisor of the Cannes-premiered “Union City” (1980), directed by Marcus Reichert, Bigelow joined Monty Montgomery to write and direct “The Loveless” (1982), a dreamy biker film which became star Willem Dafoe's feature debut.

This project caught the attention of producer-writer-director Walter Hill, who offered her a development deal when she relocated to Los Angeles in 1983. That same year, she also could be seen acting in the Lizzie Borden film “Born in Flames,” in which she appeared as a newspaper editor. She also once modeled for a Gap advertisement.

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