If there’s one thing I don’t like about Twitter, it’s how it’s given people an easy platform to say stupid things that they should have just kept to themselves. Case in point: Author Bret Easton Ellis tweeted that “Kathryn Bigelow would be considered a mildly interesting filmmaker if she was a man but since she’s a very hot woman she’s really overrated.” And the follow-up: “Kathryn Bigelow: Strange Days, K-19 The Widowmaker, Blue Steel, The Hurt Locker. Are we talking about visionary filmmaking or just OK junk?”
Ahhh, I see what’s happening here. Ellis is framing his sexism against Bigelow, the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Directing (because obviously there’s no other explanation for a women achieving success in a male-dominated field than her sleeping around or mesmerizing guys with her boobs or something) as some ass-backwards defense of the integrity of the Oscars.
I agree with him that Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker isn’t visionary. But the Oscars are rarely about honoring visionary films. More often they honor quality films (The Hurt Locker) or Oscar bait films (The King’s Speech) or films that had millions of dollars spent on marketing them for awards season (The Artist). Most of the films that win best picture aren’t “visionary.” Coincidentally, most of the films that win best picture? All of them but The Hurt Locker, in fact? Directed by men.
Yet it’s Bigelow who draws Ellis’ ire. He sees an award-winning director whose films he doesn’t like, and instead of thinking “Well, OK, people must see something in her I do not, or they have different values when it comes to what movies they like” and moving on, he jumps to “Her success must be a result of preferential treatment because she’s a woman!”
It’s insulting. It’s painfully stupid. Also, Ellis? Bigelow’s new film, Zero Dark Thirty, was just named the year’s best by the New York Film Critics Circle. The latest film you’ve written, The Canyon, stars Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen. So any further statements of yours criticizing her skills as a moviemaker will be discounted by me. Just FYI.
(via: The Hollywood Reporter)