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"A Gracious Tenacity"

Kathryn Bigelow's Actors Warn: Watch Your Kidneys

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Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, and Jodie Foster   
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From 1991's Point Break to last year's Best Picture winner, The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow has blended adrenaline and artistry as well as any film director over the last few decades. MoMA is the latest institution to take notice; the museum honored Bigelow (a former painter) last night at its third annual film benefit, which also looked forward to the retrospective of her work this coming June.

On her way in, performance artist Marina Abramovic was happy to insert herself among Bigelow's many admirers. "I don't believe in female art or male art—I just believe in good art and bad art," she said. "I think she actually took this male part [of herself] to do blockbusters, which is fantastic, because it's so hard. You have to operate with an enormous amount of cool, and you really have to understand how infrastructure works and be at the top of everything, and she is. That's what is fascinating."

Bigelow, who wore YSL, declined to discuss her latest film project, but succinctly explained the trick to getting things done on set and off. "My own personal answer would be a kind of gracious tenacity," she said. Hurt Locker actor Anthony Mackie good-naturedly offered a more concrete description: "not-so-subtle nudges in the kidneys."

Before dinner and an acoustic performance by Canadian indie rockers Metric, Jodie Foster gave a thoughtful summing-up of Bigelow's oeuvre. "What I see, strangely, is a real question about male connection—what do men do, what brings them together," she said. "These are questions that Kathryn Bigelow is fascinated with. That may change—she may make a movie about women some day!"

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