Hailed as one of the preeminent stylists of contemporary Hollywood filmmaking, Kathryn Bigelow was often too easily pigeonholed as a female director with a flair for traditionally masculine movies. After making an unusual entrance to cinema by way of the art world, Bigelow put her distinctive stamp on standard genre films like the Western-twinged vampire flick, "Near Dark" (1987) and the feminist-themed cop thriller, "Blue Steel" (1990). With the financial success of the surfer bank heist picture, "Point Break" (1991), Bigelow enjoyed newfound status as a mainstream director with a rather artistic bent. Following a brief marriage and creative collaboration with fellow director James Cameron, she directed one of her most challenging films, the futuristic "Strange Days" (1995), which failed to catch on at the box office, but nonetheless displayed how successfully a filmmaker could marry art with narrative. Despite the financial disaster that was "K-12: The Widowmaker" (2002), Bigelow continued to churn out an impressive body of work, including the Oscar-winning war drama "The Hurt Locker" (2009) and "Zero Dark Thirty" (2012), both of which honed in on her fascination with the meaning of violence that was once thought to be the exclusive domain of male directors.