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Entries in Kathryn Bigelow (12)

Tuesday
Nov272012

Curio: Big on Bigelow

Alexa here. Kathryn Bigelow turns 61 today (really?), and she is just all kinds of awesome, no? Determined and intelligent while blowing past all considerations of gender, she makes films with meticulous pace and atmosphere that always rise above the mass. Zero Dark Thirty, her latest, opens on December 19th but is already enjoying rave reviews.  I'm simultaneously glad she was the first woman to win a directing Oscar and appalled that it took that long for a woman to win one. 

To wish this most formidable lady a happy birthday I dredged up some celebrations of her two best-known films.

Posters by voagar, Felix Schlater, and bd designs.

Curio objects (not posters) celebrating Point Break (1991) are after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Oct132012

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Zero Dark Thirty"

Time and the finite nature of it is an essential ingredient in all suspense films. So I need to get myself on the clock when it comes to Zero Dark Thirty. I was shocked at how quickly we knew of its existence post Hurt Locker but then... it never seemed to come. It still feels like something off in the very distant future set in the very recent past. But it actually opens in 66 days. Tick tock.

Let's break down the trailer...

YES

  • At the very least it'll make an interesting comparison point to Showtime's "Homeland".
  • Jessica Chastain gets her first high profile lead role!
  • Joel Edgerton
  • That hot soldier with the glow stick
  • I've been with director Kathryn Bigelow since Near Dark and I'm not going anywhere. I tend to love her work. And even when I don't, it's interesting.
  • It looks far more beautiful, visually, than The Hurt Locker... which wasn't really going for beauty but there's so many frameable stills in the trailer and a rangier color palette. In short: I'm glad it's not Hurt Locker 2. As much as I love The Hurt Locker it requires no sequel.

    MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr032012

April Foolish Predictions: Best Picture

Every year in the first week of April we try to mentally project ourselves forward several months. This is not easy to do due to the pesky problem of films being so much different on screen than they are "on paper". Drama is Oscar's favorite category and the year has already produced two hit dramas in The Grey and The Hunger Games, one a surprise the other a bonafide phenomenon but they're both essentially genre movies so that's one strike against them. And they'll be old news when voting occurs. Strike two.

We're projecting forward anyway.

The Oscar race doesn't actually begin until summer's end anyway when media and pundit types (guilty!) get all respective about 'the year thus far'. At that point box office and critical heat will hopefully combine for one or two of the blockbusters or sleepers and give us our first real contenders. Fans who never forgave the Academy for leaving The Dark Knight out of the 2008 Best Picture field will surely hope that the magic strikes again for The Dark Knight Rises but I personally can't see it happening. It would have to surpass that film, I think, and even if it does it won't have the unrepeatable tragic connections that elevated the reception of the earlier film. Since I'm doubtful that that could possibly happen and don't particularly think Oscar should feel guilty about that omission (I'm much more pissed that WALL•E missed the list that year) I'd rather dream about an Oscar bid for a certain wild-haired princess. Can Pixar regain their "do no wrong" magic with Brave or did that era run out of gas [*cough Cars 2*] or will Merida strike a bullseye? Sorry to mix metaphors but archery is so hot this year (see also: The Avengers and The Hunger Games).

Late year curiousity and prediction battles after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul122011

20th Anniversary: POINT BREAK (1991)

By the time Point Break emerged in the summer of 1991 I was already a fan of Kathryn Bigelow having obsessed over Near Dark (1987) on VHS in, I think, 1990? I was not disappointed since Point Break has at least a couple of sequences in it that made good on Near Dark's terrifying bar massacre for the sheer "finger lickin' good" adrenaline that pumps through them. When I think of great action direction the foot chase sequence in Point Break always comes to mind if I don't get stuck in James Cameron oeuvre. With the recent rebirth of both Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and Cameron (Avatar) perhaps there is hope for action cinema still?

Online searches for Point Break screencaps reveal yet again the dearth of movie images online from the early 90s (just before the internet took over, natch) so we can't marvel at Kathryn Bigelow's generous attention to Keanu Reeve's wetsuit ass or the way his wet bangs cling so perfectly to his forehead in slow motion as if entire action sequences were shot as frame-by-frame meticulously as any frozen fashion shoot meant to be blown up on billboards everywhere.

I asked Team Film Experience to share their most vivid memories of the one arguable classic in the pretty-FBI-agent-meets-new-age-bankrobbing-surfer-guru genre. Shut up! It is so a genre.

Kurt (Cinema de Gym): Collectively, my most vivid memory of Point Break is definitely the skydiving scenes. In my teens, I went through a phase where I was totally obsessed with extreme sports and extreme sports movies, perhaps because extreme sports don't exactly require the same hand-to-eye coordination of regular sports, which I extremely lacked. Point Break was one of my big, masculine extreme sports movies, along with Airborne and Drop Zone, the Wesley Snipes skydiving movie. I totally had it my head that I would skydive as soon as humanly possible, especially since my dad had done it back in the day. My thoughts have since...changed. Now I can't imagine just jumping out of an airplane. Maybe if I magically ended up in Point Break 2...

Editor's Note: If we get 150 new subscribers today (see sidebar for TFE's budget to 'dream a little bigger darling') Nathaniel will personally foot the bill to convince Kurt to skydive and share the video for your viewing pleasure. Kurt is very handsome so wouldn't you love to see him terrified and screaming in the clouds as he plummets to possible death?!? If we reach 300 paid subscribers this week (the goal) Nathaniel, whose father has also sky-dived and who is also terrified at the thought of leaping from a plane, will do it with him. Editor's Note Pt 2: The Film Experience accepts no responsibility if anyone dies while trying this.

Craig (Take Three): What I remember most is Kathryn Bigelow showing 99% of her action-filmmaker peers of the time exactly how action cinema is done 100% of the time. 

Michael (Unsung Heroes): All my strongest memories of Point Break involve Nick Frost's anguished Keanu interpretation in the movie Hot Fuzz, so methinks I may be due for a refresher viewing of Bigelow's surf/heist opus.

JA from My New Plaid Pants: I've been meaning to revisit it but I was never a big Point Break fan as a kid. Even back then surfer talk set my nerves on edge. But the first thing I think of is that post-coitus shot of Keanu and Lori Petty in bed where she's about a hundred thousand percent butcher than he is. He looked like a pretty porcelain doll and she was this motorcycle mama that was just gonna pick him up and smash him on the floor.

Ha! I love that image, too. Whatever happened to Lori Petty? Ah well. At least she'll always have the early 90s see also: A League of Their Own and Tank Girl.

P.S. Team TFE is looking for a couple of new members to gear up for Oscar season. If you consider yourself a fine writer who is able to get interesting fun points across in short bloggy doses (no current blog is necessary if you have samples), understand TFE's voice (i.e. you "get" and enjoy the site) and live in a major market (and can thus get to screenings or festivals), contact Nathaniel at film experience (at) gmail (dot) com. 

 

 

Thursday
Mar032011

Oscar Gown Clearance Sale!

All dresses must go!! Low low prices !!!

Today is the official last day of Oscar 2010 posting (but for the mandatory podcast on Sunday) so to wrap things up, some random comments and some fashion highs and lows and why we HATE the ubiquitous fashion term "on trend" even when Tim Gunn says it.

But let's start with INDECISION: Sharon Stone, Jennifer Hudson, Marisa Tomei, Mila Kunis... should we love or hate these looks. Help.

Crazy Lady. Weight Watchers Success Story. "Sex Angel" and Dangerous Mila

Mila is giving the evil (smoky) eye in this photo. Who or what is she so pissed about? When the reporters asked JHud what color her dress was we wanted to shout out "If that's red I wanna know what's orange" but she answered tangerine orange which seems correct.

Unbest and Best after the jump. We already covered the nominees (SUPPORTING and LEAD) so they're not included.

Click to read more ...

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