I think it is fairly safe to say that Kathryn Bigelow is the most successful female director alive and perhaps second or equivalent to Lois Weber in the 1920’s. There are not many female directors who are well known to mainstream audiences, which is problematic, as Kathryn Bigelow proves, women can deliver critic and audience pleasing blockbuster action with the best of them.
Kathryn Bigelow bucks gender trends by working and excelling in the genres most often thought of as macho, masculine, and testosterone driven, action and war films. In a way she doesn’t just prove that women can make these kinds of movies, she also disproves the idea that raw masculinity is the core of action cinema. Excitement is universally understandable, and violence is a very versatile symbol.
Women in film has been quite a hot topic this year and perhaps because of that, or perhaps because of the recent Point Break Remake, or perhaps because Strange Days is set on new years, I can think of no better director with which to ring in the new year.