Create a 2 pages page paper that discusses in what ways does kathryn bigelow undermine the conventions of action cinema use point break as your example and be sure to incorporate the discussions of critics that were assigned to read. Kathryn Bigelow and her role in the conventions of action cinema Kathryn Bigelow’s films have always had a controversial criticism due to the subject matter of her films. Point Break which Bigelow directed in 1991, is still considered one of the best Filmography work from Hollywood. Point Break not only established itself as an unconventional action film, but it managed to merge the culture of surfing into brutal action drama. Point Break features Keanu Reeve’s as an FBI agent chasing after a group of Criminals who are surfers and at the same wear masks as they rob banks. The most captivating scenes from Point Break are those that feature surfing sequences. The scenes which include skydiving are greatly done to make one wonder how Bigelow managed to shoot these scenes at the time (Benson-Allott 3).
Point Break is considered an unconventional film due to the pair of actors that Bigelow employed. During the 80’s and the early 90’s, action film were considered to employ more male masculine actors. The likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Segul, Claude Van Damme, Sylvester Stallone, and Chuck Norris. The action film genre was characterized by huge and masculine figures during this period. The likes of Jet Li and Tom Cruise were lighter, smooth, faster action figures. In Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swazey, Bigelow managed to use Point Break in the transformation of Hollywood’s action film from masculine figures to smooth, intelligent crime busters (Benson-Allot 4).
Sean Redmond, makes three claims about Katherine Bigelow and Point Black that shows her an unconventional approach to action film. While most critics look at Bigelow’s approach to film as Political, genetically transgressive and feminist, Point Break did not reflect the radical approaches of ideology that Bigelow employed in The Hurt Locker (2009) and the most recent Zero Dark Thirty (2012). In Point Break, Raymond sees Bigelow as founding a new subculture of FBI in action film. Raymond insists that Bigelow showed her political ideology in Point Break. Although the scripts of the movie already existed before Bigelow became the director, it was hard to imagine that the likes of Keanu Reeves and Swazey would make the set (Redmond 4).
Redmond sees Bigelow as a radical because in Point Break, the film does not follow the political order which valued lifestyle and counter-culture values. The subculture of thieves who are surfers, led by Bodhi is exalted in the work. The FBI ethos are abandoned by the main character, John Utah, when he is undercover. He is drawn into the life style of this surfer criminal gang. Redmond furthermore sees the transgressive nature of Bigelow in Point Break. He argues that there is a homoerotic relationship between Utah and Bodhi. The other people in the film according to Redmond, display androgynous behavior including Tyler. This characterization is consistent with the idea of hybrid, male-female characterization (Redmond12).
The third major point of Raymond’s argument is that Bigelow in Point Break manages to transcode the conventions of Action film. He cites the undercover cop scenario where a young cop who is barely into FBI joins a criminal gang in order to fight crime but only ends up betraying the FBI code. This he sees as being unconventional to many action films where young law officers are always going after the blood of the criminals. According to Raymond, Bigelow shows the FBI mainstream culture is special but unpleasant to Utah. Instead of being attracted to his mainstream culture of FBI, Utah becomes attracted to this subculture of thieving surfers (Redmond 13).
Redmond, Sean “All That is male Melts into Air: Bigelow at the Edge of Point Break.” The Cinema of Kathryn Bigelow, 2003
Benson-Allott, Caetlin “Undoing Violence: Politics, Genrte, and Duration in Kathryn Bigelow’s Cinema,” Film Quarterly, 64/2, Winter 2010, 33.
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