Director Firmly Back in the Game
As Jane Campion returns to the Riviera chairing the jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the Palm d’Or-winning filmmaker tells the Guardian’s Andrew Pulver about surviving as a woman director.
Campion was the first woman to win the top prize at Cannes and only the second ever to be nominated for the best director Oscar. So it comes as a surprise that her latest gig, as president of the festival jury, isn’t another act of pioneering gender breakthrough.
As the festival gears up for its 67th edition, Campion appears stoical about what she calls an “experiment in socialism”, the shepherding of an eight-strong group – including fellow directors Sofia Coppola and Nicolas Winding Refn – around the Cannes competition films. “My job is to make sure everyone’s voice gets heard,” she says.
“My sense is that Cannes is very interested in new voices in cinema, never mind where it comes from or the sex of it. It’s to do with who funds films in the first place.”
Buoyed even further by the success of her TV series Top of the Lake, featuring Holly Hunter with a very Campionesque wall of long, iron-grey hair, this much-missed director is now firmly back in the game.
Now over two decades old, The Piano is also enjoying a brief flurry of attention and critical care, with a restored print and Blu-ray release on the way. And it’s possible to sense that, with feminism in the cultural ether once again, the film might find its proper place in the pantheon.
Original article by Andrew Pulver, The Guardian, May 12, 2014.