Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ways of telling a story

Kathryn Biglow won the best director's award at BAFTA. She was the first woman director to win the best director's award in the history of film and television award in Britain and there is a high probability of her winning an Oscar award coming in few weeks time.

So what is the big deal?

A. She is a woman director
B. She was narrating a story based on war
C. She won against her ex- husband James Cameroon, who has already been acclaimed for his contribution in Hollywood

I have not watched The Hurt Locker but I have watched Avatar.
I really did not find Avatar anything to speak about, except for its special effects.
But so did I think about Slum Dog Millionaire, which swept most of the awards in all academies. I really cannot say what is the criteria of winning an award?

What was the reason why Biglow won this award?
Is it because her telling had a 'feminine' emotional chord?
Would a male director would have told the same story differently?
or was it for the first time in history an ex- husband and wife were fighting for an award? A strange battle between man's creativity v/s woman's.

As I said I have not seen Biglow's creation and I would like to believe that her work is as good as any cinema that has been created by great director's in past.
And yet when a woman wins an acknowledgment for her work all these questions pop up. Why can we not take creation of work of any art for its face value? How does it matter who has told us the story?

I feel very confused when a woman's creation has been treated under separate categories. And yet I do not oppose the validity of such movements. I know the full intellectual need for such movements. I also know how history ignores those stories that interest woman's lives. I acknowledge if not for such categories many stories of the subaltern subjects would have never been known. And yet I feel hard pressed to justify my creative impulse as women centric.

I am in dilemma because very soon I will be seating among the scholars who will be presenting their views/papers on the gender related aesthetics. I am wondering how am I to justify my art practice... as a woman or as person who lived those moments in my life. I know nobody is interested in my life but they would certainly be interested in seeing 'woman' in me.

There are ways of telling the same story. Which one did Biglow choose?

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