Like Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford, Kathryn Bigelow is a proper artist. If you look at a movie like “Vertigo,” “The Searchers” or Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker,” they all resist genre and the straitjacket of formula. Bigelow’s been doing that her entire career.
Bigelow understands character. She builds her movies around characters, and everything that’s manifested in their worlds is a reflection of their psychology. Not many directors work that way — from the inside out, rather than from the outside in. There’s a million different ways to represent a life or a moment or an action cinematically, and what I always expect from Kathryn is she’s going to start from the vulnerable, bleeding heart.
Always, in her movies, those jagged edges of the character have to enact themselves through violence, or through action. And that’s why I find it so ironic that Kathryn is known as a testosterone-pumping blockbuster action director, when I think her approach to the material is exactly the opposite of that.
I’ve always thought of her more as a poet and a painter, and as a sort of a sculptor of images, than as a filmmaker. — John Logan
(Logan won the Tony Award for “Red.” His feature writing credits include “Skyfall.”)