Mini Movie Marathons

Mini Movie Marathon: Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow is an American film director who started her career in the late ’70s in television and then directed her first film Loveless in 1981. She often directs action films with her style of new action realism which is more grounded stories in reality with confined spaces of immediate undistorted action and violence. Bigelow was the first female director to win the Best Director award from the Academy Awards, Directors Guild of America and BAFTA for The Hurt Locker in 2008. And Saturn Award for Strange Days in 1995.

Near Dark (1987)

Near Dark is a different approach to the vampire romance movie. It’s a new wave, western, horror film that’s a cult classic. The characters are cool and the cinematography is beautiful. The story is about a young man meeting a mysterious young woman and falling head over heels for her. She turns out to be a vampire and turns him into one too. He transforms into a vampire by the next sunset. He joins up with her vampire family while life clashes with his old life and upbringing. This is one of my favourite Bill Paxton movies, too.

Severen is standing at the bar with a shot gun covered in blood wearing sunglasses, a leather jacket and a smile. With Caleb sitting in the background at the end of the bar looking on.
Screenshot of Near Dark (1987). Severen and Caleb in the bar.

Strange Days (1995)

A cyberpunk whodunit mystery that reflected on the racial turmoil of the mid-1990s. A down-on-his-luck junkie hooked on a device that connects people to other people’s happy memories discovers a murder video which marks him as a wanted man with the murderers and political corruption. The film is a new age film noir that explores themes of racism, abuse of power, voyeurism and assault. The story was inspired by the Lorena Bobbitt case and the 1992 LA Riots.

Lenny sitting in a the back sit of a car wearing the SQUID device with a face of horror.
Screenshot of Strange Days (1995). Lenny wearing a SQUID sees something horrific.

The Hurt Locker (2008)

An Iraq War Explosive Ordnance Disposal team is targeted by insurgents performing various disarming tasks in Baghdad, Iraq while showing the psychological stress of the job and combat. It was a small-budget film produced and directed by Kathryn Bigelow with a screenplay by Mark Boal, a freelance journalist with embedded access with the 2004 U.S. Army EOD in Iraq. The article “The Man in the Bomb Suit”, was first published in Playboy magazine in September 2005 where the phrase “the hurt locker” was potentially coined. The film is a gritty war thriller with the intention of the possibility of death for the three main characters.

Sergeant First Class William James running away from an explosion filled with smoke, dirt and fire in daylight.
Screenshot of The Hurt Locker (2008). Sergeant First Class William James running away from an explosion.

Detroit (2017)

Based on a true story of the police brutality in Detroit in the 1970s. The film has a similar feel to The Hurt Locker but is retrospective of a time of a riot in Detroit. This film is based on a true story that took place during the 1967 12th Street Riot and the Aligers Motel incident.

Two men standing in front of the camera. Man on the left looking down upset and listening to the man standing behind him looking down at him.
Screenshot of Detroit (2017). Officer Philip Krauss threatens Karl Greene with ink on his face.

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

This film is inspired by the true story of the manhunt for Osama bin Laden from the eyes of the fictional CIA intelligence analyst, Maya. This film has great acting and transitions from a story about the bureaucratic and army side of the story. The cast is very large with a lot of recognizable faces.

Woman sitting at a computer desk with two monitors and two keyboards with multiple video tapes in the background.
Screenshot of Zero Dark Thirty (2012). Maya looking through confidential security videos at the bureau.
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