Jane Campion Returns to Film with Locally-Shot Western The Power of the Dog
The Power of the Dog marks a homecoming for Wellington-born Oscar winner Jane Campion – with a career-first twist, David Canfield reports for Vanity Fair.
Campion’s last feature was the 2009 romantic drama Bright Star; she took a long break from the feature world after that release, expressing disillusionment with an industry shift toward “mainstream” entertainment. “Film is complicated now,” Campion tells Canfield. “In a way, it’s not as daring as series-making.” (Her Emmy-winning TV show, Top of the Lake, marked her sole 2010s directing credit.)
The Power of the Dog, which was filmed in the South Island and stars A-listers Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst, premiered at the 78th annual Venice Film Festival.
“She’s remarkable,” Cumberbatch says of his director. “She’s got such a vision. She’s so specific in her art – and her art runs deep.”
Let’s pause to clarify an important detail, Canfield writes: Until The Power of the Dog, Campion, 67, had never made a movie with a male lead.
Reviewed in TIME magazine, Stephanie Zacharek writes:
“This is a movie as big as the open sky, but one where human emotions are still distinctly visible, as fine and sharp as a blade of grass.”
Original article by David Canfield, Vanity Fair, August 23, 2021.
Photo by Kirsty Griffin/Netflix.