Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

The Golden Globe Awards are this Sunday, and I’m excited, especially for one nominee. The buzz is all over director Kathryn Bigelow and “The Hurt Locker,” an action film about a bomb-defusing squad in Baghdad.

Bigelow and Boal on set

“The Hurt Locker” director Kathryn Bigelow (center) on set in Jordan. Photo by Jonathan Olley


Last summer, Bigelow talked to Kurt about her transition from young painter to action filmmaker (“Point Break,” “Strange Days”):

But Bigelow’s nomination is particularly shocking to me: she is only the fourth woman to be nominated for Best Director in the 67-year history of the award.

Yentl” garnered Barbra Streisand the first Best Director nomination for a woman at the 1984 awards. And she won. She broke the barrier, and the floodgates were supposed to be opened for female creative minds to rush through. But 26 years later, she is still the only woman to have won the award. That flood of female filmmakers in Hollywood is still just a trickle.  New York Times film critic, Manohla Dargis recently wrote about the disappointing trends in women film directors in Hollywood. And she gave a surprisingly candid (to put it mildly) follow-up interview with Jezebel.

(The Academy Awards fare even worse on the gender issue. In its 81-years of the Oscars, not only has no woman ever won a golden statue for Directing – only three of the 400 nominations were female.)

So even if Bigelow takes home a Golden Globe this weekend, will anything change? Or in another twenty years, will articles be written applauding the third woman to win?

– Jess Jiang

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If you don’t know anyone who’s served in the military, Veteran’s Day is a holiday that’s easy to disregard; even if you have the day off, for the most part, business continues as usual. We decided instead to take a moment to look back at some of the stories we’ve aired on Studio 360 that came from soldiers themselves.  Below, a sampling of our favorites.  Listening to these voices could be a nice way to pay tribute, and, maybe, help us get to know some vets a little bit better.


Songwriter Jess Klein and Sgt. Matt Lowy

“The Soldier and the Folksinger”

When we hear about the music listened to by troops in Iraq, it’s usually heavy metal or rap. Marine Sergeant Matt Lowy’s tastes are a bit different: Frank Sinatra, Cat Stevens — and the singer-songwriter Jess Klein. Not long ago, Lowy contacted Klein over the internet, and an unlikely friendship formed.


“Aha Moment: Born to Run”

When our listener Tom Long first heard the song “Born to Run” in the summer of 1976, he realized he was just like a character in a Bruce Springsteen song: living a life of quiet desperation in a dead-end job.  So, Tom tells Kurt, he joined the army.


"Birkholz, 353 Days in Iraq, 205 Days in Afghanistan" by Suzanne Opton


In 2006, billboards appeared along a highway near Syracuse, New York, just over an hour’s drive from Fort Drum Army Base.  Each billboard showed a close-up of a young man’s head on a plain dark surface.  In this story, we hear from Suzanne Opton, the photographer, as well as one of the soldiers she photographed.


“Black 47”

National Guard Captain Padraic Lilly related to Black 47’s music instantly. When bandleader Larry Kirwan started hearing from soldiers like Lilly, their experiences fed a new batch of songs about the Iraq war. But Black 47’s anti-war message doesn’t sit well with all of its fans.


Black Watch

“Black Watch”

Last year, Kurt talked with Gregory Burke about his play, Black Watch.  It’s about a regiment of Scottish soldiers known as Black Watch that was sent to fight in the Iraq War in 2004.  They were deployed to a region known as the “Triangle of Death.”  Burke tells Kurt how he created the play from his interviews with real soldiers.


What did you think of these segments? If you’re a vet, is there a movie, song or book that you strongly connected with during or after your experience in the military? Let us know – leave us a comment.  And thanks for sharing your stories.

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I got outed on the elevator the other day. A co-worker spotted knitting needles in my bag.

I rarely have a chance to knit these days, and compensate by indulging in the next best thing: looking at weird knitted art online.

Listening to this week’s show, I remembered an odd, thought-provoking site that can add to Jeremy Deller’s “Conversations about Iraq .” Artist Dave Cole has a series entitled “Kevlar Baby Clothes”, which features exactly that: baby clothes created from bullet-proof vests discarded from the war in Iraq.

 courtesy of judi rotenberg gallery

David Cole, Kevlar Baby Line

Cole’s work often juxtaposes the harsh realities of our world against the sentiments of childhood: a hand-knit, porcelain baby blanket (made from an “Extreme Temperature Refractory Ceramic Textile”); a teddy bear knit with fiber glass; an AK-47 that appears to be made from bubble gum. But something about the Kevlar onesie put a lump in my throat. I am knitting for a little man who will be here this January. I can only hope he’ll have to look up what Kevlar and suicide bombs mean when he grows up.

Dave Cole Kevlar Snowsuit, 2008

Dave Cole Kevlar Snowsuit, 2008

– Susie Karlowski

(You might also want to see Cole knit a HUGE American flag here.)

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