Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

It has been six years since Jane Campion directed her last feature film, and seven years before that since her last period drama. But you’d never be able to tell from her new Bright Star, a magnificent love story which finds the writer-director in peak condition, making what will doubtlessly be hailed as her best […]

After the befuddlement and irritation that greeted The Portrait of a Lady and Holy Smoke, 2003 saw Jane Campion receiving her worst reviews yet for In the Cut, a serial killer thriller adapted from the 1995 novel by Susanna Moore, who co-wrote the screenplay with Campion. The plot was too contrived and confused, we were […]

When I dove headlong into the films of Jane Campion just a few weeks ago (a few weeks! surely it’s been longer than that?), I knew very little about what was going to happen to me. One of the few things I did know was that her two most recent films were generally, perhaps even […]

After completing The Piano, Jane Campion was at what you might call a bit of a crossroads. The story goes that she’d been wanting to make that film for virtually her entire career; and it took her hardly any time to earn the clout to make it just the way she wanted. The result was […]

Last week, I said of An Angel at My Table, it was “a brilliant work by a woman who was by now in full command of her powers.” Ha ha! How very young and naïve I was last week! I mean, I still think An Angel at My Table is a pretty moving, powerful motion […]

A moment, if I may, of personal reflection. I do director-a-thons a lot. Not on the blog, obviously; but in setting up the ol’ Netflix queue I tend to stack the same director’s work in bunches, chronologically – I find this makes for a generally more satisfying intellectual experience, laying the development in a certain […]

Making full use of the doors that the 1986 Cannes Film Festival had opened for her, Jane Campion produced her first theatrical feature in 1989, and managed at the same time to create her first full-fledged, no-doubt-about-it, stone-cold masterpiece. Titled Sweetie, it’s a confounding, undefinable, frequently unpleasant and wholly brilliant look at a woman whose […]

It is sometimes the case that when a promising filmmaker, having directed a much-heralded short film or two, is given the keys to a feature-length project, the results could be politely described as “hackwork”, and unpolitely as “whoredom”. Neither of these words apply whatsoever to Jane Campion, who followed up her highly successful run of […]

Here we are, as promised: the first in a month-long examination of the films of Jane Campion, arguably the most prominent female filmmaker currently working, as well as one of the chief artistic ambassadors from the countries of Australia and New Zealand, although which of those she is more readily aligned with is a matter […]