Kathryn Bigelow at the DGA
Last night I went to the DGA program honoring Kathryn Bigelow for her achievements as a director. I went with my friend Sister Rose Pacatte, who writes a popular blog on cinema and spirituality.
She was a VIP guest, having been on the first jury to make an award to The Hurt Locker, Bigelow’s break-through multi-Oscar-winning film. The Ecumenical Jury at the Venice Film Festival was the first to launch the critical acclaim that would carry the film to an historic win for Bigelow as Best Director at the DGA and the Oscars.
The reception was lovely and the program was heart-felt and was a wonderful tribute to an amazing woman. But I couldn’t help remembering a Women in Hollywood article I had read the week before. It recounts the rather dismal reality in the aftermath to Bigelow’s stunning achievement.
Let’s look at the last couple of winners:
Danny Boyle – 2008 winner – is back in the running with 127 Hours ($18 Million budget) and is also the artistic director for the London Olympics opening ceremony.
Joel and Ethan Coen – 2007 winner – are back in the running this year with True Grit ($35 Million budget).
Martin Scorcese – 2006 winner – released Shutter Island this year ($100 Million Budget).
There are two women still in the major discussions for possible Oscar nods — Debra Granik and Lisa Cholodenko. Though it would be another huge deal if another woman gets a nomination for best director this year, the truth is that women directors still have little commercial power. As LA Times said: “nearly all of the beloved indy female directors are unemployable at major studios…”
Okay– So am I incredibly small minded for not just enjoying the evening? But the truth is all this wonderful director could line up after her win was an HBO movie.
As far as my search revealed her next film (at a low $10 million dollar budget) may or may not be financed a year after taking home the Oscar. Reports are conflicting.