128 Great Directors: Jane Campion

“I think that the romantic impulse is in all of us and that sometimes we live it for a short time, but it’s not part of a sensible way of living. It’s a heroic path and it generally ends dangerously. I treasure it in the sense that I believe it’s a path of great courage. It can also be the path of the foolhardy and the compulsive.”

What Got This Director Here?
: The Piano.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Her short film Peel.

What Did I Watch: The Piano.

Where Does She Fit: The Piano really is something revolutionary as a portrait of female desires and portrayals. The pageant, the piano performances, and the silence all form a braid that renders Ada McGrath, stunningly rendered by Holly Hunter, as strangely poignant a character as I can imagine, willingly keeping herself quiet and closed off yet with choices that range from bad to worse. Is there happiness to be found in the life of a woman in this time period? Seems unlikely, but you never know. Every shot is a stunner, and you can feel the grit of the sand and the squelch of the mud as the camera travels through the waters.


Most Valuable Asset: Tactile sensation.
Most Excited For: Sweetie.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes, definitely.

Coming Up Next: Thailand’s foremost, Apichatpong Weerasethakul.


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