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March 8th, 2010 at 9:04 am

The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow: Hollywood Transgressor

Kathryn BigelowWhile discussion of Kathryn Bigelow’s work is sure to grow following last night’s win at the Oscars, currently one of the few books to give serious consideration to her films is The Cinema of of Kathryn Bigelow, edited by Deborah Jermyn and Sean Redmond.

Though published in 2003, it includes discussion of all her films with the exception of The Hurt Locker. Interestingly, the book came out during a period when Bigelow’s career was at somewhat of a low ebb following the less-than-stellar box office reception to The Weight of Water and K19: The Widowmaker and the critically acclaimed Strange Days.

Essays in the book consider Kathryn Bigelow as an auteur who challenges Hollywood commercial conventions to create her own distinct films. Individual contributors also discuss her treatment of gender, her toying with genre conventions, her relationship with James Cameron, and her status of maverick female director in a male-dominated Hollywood.

Essays include: “‘Momentum and Design: Interview with Kathryn Bigelow,” Gavin Smith; “‘Suck … Don’t Suck’: Framing Ideology in Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark,” Stephen Jay Schneider; “All That Is Male Melts into Air: Bigelow on the Edge of Point Break, Sean Redmond; “Straight from the Cerebral Cortex: Vision and Affect in Strange Days, Steven Shaviro; “The Strange Days of Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron,” Christina Lane; “Rescuing Strange Days: Fan Reaction to a Critical and Commercial Failure,” Will Brooker; and others.

And just for fun, here is the preview to Bigelow’s Point Break:

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