Jane Campion

BATD ON Sep 30, 2009 AT 1:51 pm

Jane Campion

Jane Campion

Jane Campion was born in New Zealand in 1954 to author and novelist Edith Campion and her husband Richard. As a young woman, she studied anthropology and painting in New Zealand and Australia, respectively. She then moved on to the Australian School of Film and Television. Campion has held her place in the film industry for nearly three decades, starting with a string of short films including Peel (1982) and Passionless Moments (1983). She co-wrote and directed Sweetie (1989), her first full-length feature, which brought home international awards. Over her career, she has been both a nominee for and winner of several dozen international film awards.

A still from Bright Star

A still from Bright Star

This highly artistic film maven is best known for her direction in The Piano, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay at the 1993 Oscars as well as the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Starring Holly Hunter (O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Raising Arizona), Sam Neill, and Harvey Keitel, this subtle film is packed with beautiful symbolism. Campion’s body of work could be characterized by certain themes, or even elements, like the presence of strong central female roles. At the same time, most of the magic of her work lies in the things unseen and things unsaid between the characters. This restrained approach allows us to take a dark look at desire, to see the tragic and poetic in romance and relationships.

With her new work, Bright Star, she recreates the sensual love affair between poet John Keats and (quite literally) the girl next door. Campion uses an intelligent perspective, beautiful natural images, and an emotional historic romance to capture our attention yet again. Ben Wishaw and Abbie Cornish star in this beautiful piece that will surely stun audiences.

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