When KATHRYN BIGELOW (born 1951), who started as a painter, transitioned into directing, she was first noticed for her 1987 cult horror film Near Dark. She went on to direct the now classic surfer/bank robber tale Point Break, my own favorite Strange Days (a cyberpunk fantasy starring Angela Bassett and Ralph Fiennes; Bigelow’s visual aesthetic is especially striking here), The Weight of Water, K-19: The Widowmaker, and The Hurt Locker, which beat out Avatar (directed by her ex-husband James Cameron) at the Oscars. Hurt Locker was very good — which is not always a prerequisite for Oscar-winners. Bigelow cast an (almost) unknown in the lead role; and the movie gained momentum not thanks to an expensive publicity campaign but via word of mouth and good reviews. Part of my excitement when Bigelow won Best Director was because she was the first woman to do so. But Hurt Locker deserved to win, too. I will see any film that she makes.
On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Bruce Lee.
READ MORE about members of the Boomer generation (1944-53).