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K-19: The Widowmaker

Screening on Film
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow .
US, 2002, 35mm, color, 138 min.
Liam Neeson, Harrison Ford, Peter Sarsgaard.
Print source: Swank

Bigelow’s tense thriller retells the frightening and little known story of the K-19, a Soviet nuclear submarine launched at the height of the Cold War by a disastrous first voyage. While a clear anti-war thread runs throughout the film, K-19 is primarily concerned with the tense drama of men trapped in a deadly crisis and the ways in which disaster begets heroes and cowards alike. Unfairly dismissed during its initial release as her most conventional film, K-19 finds Bigelow bringing new energy and inventiveness into the submarine film, one of the most literally and metaphorically confined male-oriented action genres, through kinetic camerawork and the orchestration of extreme close-ups that find new expressive potential in the vessel’s close quarters.

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Kathryn Bigelow –
Filmmaking at the Dark Edge of Exhilaration

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