Mark Boal, a freelance journalist, spent considerable time with a bomb disposal squad in Iraq. Then he and his business partner Kathryn Bigelow made a film. You've probably heard about it. Multi-oscar winning film, The Hurt Locker is the Independent filmmakers dream. No guff, no cheese, no holds barred, this is a moving, riveting journey into the lives of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal crew. A job where a good or bad day at work translates literally as alive or dead-and-blown-into-little-bits.
Oscars can often be a load of nonsense with awards seemingly gifted out on the basis of head nods, winks and elbow nudges to the 'right' people in the right place at the right time. A bumpy series of awards decisions have eroded the Academy's public respect - or, as Janet Maslin of the New York Times once said, they are "..an organization capable of deeming Kevin Costner a better director than Martin Scorsese." However, this year's awards have a feeling of redemption about them. Boal and Bigelow both won oscars for writing and directing this film and they are well deserved.
To put things into perspective, I just sat through Greenzone. I stayed until the end. It's not bad (review coming...) - But it's not filmmaking. The Hurt Locker is head and shoulders, and even a bit of neck, above anything the hollywood studios could ever pump out with their cookie cutters and one-liners and Tim Bevans and Jerry Bruckheimers. It raises the bar on subtlety and depth and sets out a new standard of quality for independent writing and directing without pushing agendas and messages.
Really, the oscars say it all. Watch this film. It's an experience to remember.