ShoWest honoree: Kathryn Bigelow

Triumph Award for Outstanding Direction

Kathryn Bigelow is a deviant, at least, artistically speaking.

The nearly 6-foot-tall director -- arguably the only woman helming major action films in Hollywood -- has long believed that any work becomes personal "when it deviates from the norm," and Bigelow's movies, such as 1991's "Point Break," 1995's "Strange Days" and 2002's "K19: The Widowmaker," could all be considered experiments in deviation.

That might explain why she has developed a cult following that has little connection with her relatively disappointing boxoffice -- a following significant enough that there's only one copy of "The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow: Hollywood Transgressor," left in stock on Amazon.

So why has Bigelow, the daughter of a factory paint manager and a gifted painter in her own right, made only two features in almost a decade? The answer has to be that Hollywood still resists deviants-from-the-norm, especially women. Maybe this will change with her new Iraq War drama, Summit Entertainment's "The Hurt Locker," a suspense drama about bomb squad technicians, due June 26.

Bigelow immersed herself in the subject and even went to Kuwait to spend time with real-life technicians there. She also learned all about the 80-pound, steel-plated armor they wear -- virtually a character in its own right in her picture -- though she admits she never tried it on. That's something she may regret as she continues battling with Hollywood.
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