Kathryn Bigelow is one of the most inspiring women of our time, being a female in a male dominated work force of directing movies. She not only took it on, she beat the odds and became the first woman ever to win an academy award for directing, and a war movie about 3 men to top it off. Here’s her 10 most inspiring facts and quotes that showcase her bold, confident and intuitive ways:
1.) Kathryn Bigelow is a writer, director, artist and producer who initially dabbled her toes in acting and modelling. She modelled for Gap and acted in a film called Born in Flames in 1983 along with a music video. She also joined in another venture where her and a partner bought, renovated and sold old apartments in Manhattan.
2.) Initially, as an only child, Kathryn was heavily inspired by her Father (paint factory manager) who always aspired to become a cartoonist. She claims that the fact he never got to fulfill his dreams really triggered her to accomplish hers.
3.) Was married to Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron who had inspired her significantly. She was also a big influence on her ex husband. The two worked on a few projects together during their relationship and even thereafter, however the projects they did did not live up. Ironically, her and her ex-husband were both nominated for an Oscar award during the same year for directing, going head to head with Hurt Locker vs. Avatar. Apparently, James had guided her well, because she won the academy award for directing Hurt Locker. He was a good sport about it and commented saying “I’m extremely proud of her Oscar,”.
4.) Kathryn Bigelow is a very ambitious woman who refuses to buy into the social stigmas of woman and directing:
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.
She strongly believes “There’s really no difference between what I do and what a male filmmaker might do. I mean we all try to make our days, we all try to give the best performances we can, we try to make our budget, we try to make the best movie we possibly can.”
5.) According to IMDB, Kathryn Bigelow explained her film Strange Days and how it had certain references to the Los Angeles riots, which she experienced first hand. She apparently was apart of the cleanup and claims it affected her tremendously. She also explained how she always wanted to dissect war, violence and more importantly the truth behind the matter. “And violence is a fact of our lives, a part of the social context in which we live.”
6.) Kathryn Bigelow was the first women to ever win an Oscar for Best Director and the Directors Guild of America award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement In Motion Pictures for Hurt Locker. She also won the Best Picture for Hurt Locker at the British Academy Film Awards.
7.) She was heavily critiqued by her teachers, Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg and Susan Sonta where she was required to create art and then wait for feedback, this served her well as she claims “Perhaps the only thing in my favor is that I am very tenacious. I don’t take ‘no’ very well.”
8.) Her first creative potential came when she began studying painting before she decided to go to an art and film school. “My movement from painting to film was a very conscious one. Whereas painting is a more rarefied art form, with a limited audience, I recognized film as this extraordinary social tool that could reach tremendous numbers of people,”. She attended of Whitney Museum of American Art and then earned a scholarship at the prestigious Colombia University to finish her Master’s degree. Eventually, she ended up teaching at Colombia and the California Institute of the Arts.
9.) She embraces exiting her comfort zones and enjoys facing fears, because it get’s her stimulated:
“I don’t want to be made pacified or made comfortable. I like stuff that gets your adrenaline going.”
“I can’t stand outside myself and be anybody else.”