Jane Campion Casts Gaze over Female-Directed Films

Jane Campion contributes to a Sight & Sound magazine special issue, which aims “to write women back into film history by championing 100 female-directed hidden gems that have been forgotten or unfairly overlooked.”

“Just because there are intolerable gender disparities in the cinema doesn’t mean there aren’t triumphs and treasures of female-made film art,” Isabel Stevens writes for the magazine. “Sadly the dominance of male-led movies extends to the conversation about cinema too, and so what is already deprecated further recedes from view.

“[The magazine’s] Female Gaze project aims to challenge official film history by writing female directors back into it.”

Campion makes her own recommendation, referring to French director Catherine Breillat’s 1976 debut film A Real Young Girl:

“‘I was really taken by [the film] as I had never seen anything so direct and honest about female sexuality … I think people felt affronted and shocked by the film [which was banned for 20 years in France and only released in 1999]. It’s so dearing for a debut.'”

Campion’s own film – the 1990 adaptation of Janet Frame’s autobiography An Angel at My Table – is cited by French director Claire Denis.

“‘This is not only a great film by a great director,’ Denis says, ‘of course, there could never be any doubt about that, but for the first time I felt here was a film that could only have been made by a woman, this woman. And not only as a filmmaker but woman as a whole, brave, brave as a human can be.

“‘This film changed my life as a woman, not simply as a filmmaker.

“‘Nobody had made images of girls and landscapes that beautiful before, with such a vibrating intuition for life. I will savour forever the closing image of Kerry Fox dancing the twist in the garden at night-time.'”

Original article by Isabel Stevens, Sight & Sound, October 2015.

Tags: An Angel At My Table  Catherine Breillat  Claire Denis  Jane Campion  Sight & Sound  

Dunedin Swimmer Erika Fairweather Wins in Doha

Dunedin Swimmer Erika Fairweather Wins in Doha

Erika Fairweather has won her maiden swimming world championship title with victory in the women’s 400m freestyle final in Doha. The 20-year-old from Dunedin is the first New Zealander to win…