The Museum of Modern Art has picked Kathryn Bigelow to honor at its annual fund-raising Film Gala. (It’s MoMA’s recently-hatched version of the Met’s tony cash-cow, the Costume Institute Ball.) Apart from her shiny Oscars, of course, Best-Director Bigelow’s an unlikely candidate: The two previous winners, Baz Luhrmann and Tim Burton, were known for extremely elaborate visual designs. Bigelow’s known largely, before her Hurt Locker Oscar ascendance, at least, for pop-culture classic Point Break, on surfer/bank robbers, and Near Dark, which predated Eclipse’s sexy vampire.
The Modern, who has acquired the director’s archives for its collection, notes she has succeeded in “transforming the language of genre films,” which is what you say when somebody who early-on made good, stylish, genre films later wins an Oscar.
Maybe she was picked, just in small part, because she’s a woman? This would be a totally offensive question if the Museum, which has said recently it is attempting to correct past slights towards women artists, didn’t make such a point of her gender in their announcement.
For the annual Film Benefit, however the key question is always what celebs will come, and who will pay handsomely to see them? (Top ticket price is $75,000 for a table.) In the initial two years of the party/prize, guests included Johnny Depp, Hugh Jackman, Jessica Biel, Danny de Vito, Maggie Gyllenhaal and, of course, the Olsen twins, all swanning about MoMA director Glenn Lowry.
Expect some big names and serious schmoozing at the Nov. 10 dinner. Earlier this week, Bigelow, along with director Michael Moore, was elected to the Board of Governors that oversees the Oscars.