Art Works Blog

Congratulations Kathryn Bigelow!

March 10, 2010
Washington, DC

In 1976 Kathryn Bigelow was a 26-year-old abstract painter with an interest in film. She applied for and won a grant for $2,000 from the Arts Endowment to make a short film, The Set-Up. The 17-minute film featured two men (one was a young Gary Busey) beating up on each other in an alley while semiotics professors discussed the violence in voice-over. An early version impressed Milos Forman who offered her a spot in Columbia?s MFA program in film criticism and Bigelow was on her way. Cut to Sunday?s Academy Awards celebration: Bigelow scored the Oscar for Best Director?a first for a female director-- with another film about addiction to violence. The Hurt Locker won five Academy Awards in addition to Bigelow?s, including the Oscar for Best Film.

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