Katheryn Bigelow became the first woman to ever win the Oscar for best director last night for her amazing work with THE HURT LOCKER (2009). I’ve enjoyed all of the success she and this wonderful movie has experienced this entire awards season because I loved it before anyone else did. I mean, they had me at hello with their incredible trailer that featured the breathtaking super slow motion explosion.
Much was made of Bigelow and Cameron’s marriage which was only 2 years from 1989 to 1991. In that time, she made Blue Steel and Point Break and he made The Abyss (1989) and Terminator 2L Judgement Day (1991). They actually collaborated on Strange Days in 1995 as she directed and he wrote and produced it. He had just released True Lies (1994) at the time and more than likely had begun working on his next project known as Titanic (1997).
I remember Blue Steel (1990) which was a cop thriller directed by Bigelow starring Jamie Lee Curtis who dates a killer played by Ron Silver. While the story wasn’t that great, what did impress me at the time was the director’s style. I liked the look of her movie for some reason. Yes, perhaps it was a tad too dark sometimes but there were many cool scenes and excellent camera work.
Katheryn was still married to Cameron when she made Blue Steel and her next one which was called Point Blank (1991) starring Kiannu Reeves as an FBI agent that chased Patrick Swayze and his band of robbers who wore masks of former Presidents. Once again, not an Oscar worthy movie but it was a fun ride with superior direction.
Strange Days (1995) was an excellent Y2K sci-fi thriller that Bigelow directed and her ex-husband James Cameron wrote and produced. Even though their marriage was done years early (1991), then still worked together on this exciting project. Obviously, Cameron could have very easily directed it himself but he chose Katherine to take the helm. This is clear evidence that their breakup was amicable as they both insist it was.
By the way, I remember how original this idea was at the time. It was long before the panic of Y2K and midnight on December 31, 1999 loomed over the horizon. As we all know, nothing Earth-shattering took place on January 1, 2000 but still, no one can deny the excitement in the air around that time.
Strange Days had a stellar cast too with Ralph Fienes in the lead and Angela Bassett and many others. Some of the technological concepts in the movie even became a reality.
Useless trivia: Jamie Lee Curtis starred in Katherine’s Blue Steel in 1990 and then James Cameron’s True Lies in 1994.
I was wondering how much influence each had on the other during their brief time together. Naturally, they shared all of their deepest thoughts and secrets about filmmaking. I have to believe that they did make a significant impact on one another’s creative lives as well as personal lives.
Also, I’m thinking about Cameron’s The Abyss (1989) which he wrote and filmed during the period of time that he was falling in love with Katherine and ultimately married her. There’s a scene in this much underrated movie that really touched me. It was so breath-taking, literally. The man lead (Ed Harris) has to give mouth to mouth to the woman he loves (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) after she willingly risked her life for their cause. It was a powerful and extremely romantic scene. I wonder if Cameron was thinking of his new bride to be at the time, Katherine Bigelow, when he wrote that scene and movie. I guess we shall never know.