Friday, August 20, 2010

Jane Campion

Jane Campion is an extraordinary auteur who has only made a handful of films (nine to be exact since 1984). But each film she makes is exceptional. Campion deserving owns the distinctions as one of only four female directors nominated for the Academy Awards and the only female director to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes.

Of Campion's nine films, I have seen two: The Piano and Bright Star, her latest work.

The Piano is Campion's masterpiece for which she was nominated for the Academy Awards and won the Palme d'Or. It is a must-see film setting in New Zealand, during the period when the country became a part of the British Empire. This is an interesting setting rarely seen on film. But what is most enjoyable about this dark, haunting film is the acting by Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin and their journey and adaptation to a foreign country. Their fear of the unknown, unwillingness to adapt, and the love story are so powerful on screen.

What I really want to write about with this post is Bright Star, however. I finally viewed it last week after having heard so much buzz about it last October while I was in London. It premiered in the UK at the London Film Festival.

As opposed to The Piano, Bright Star is airy, light, and dreamy. The cinematography is so beautiful to look at. I really really recommend it for its visual aesthetics. I had to keep taking screenshots of the film. While Bright Star is not as powerful or unique as The Piano, it is such an exquisite and delicate film about the universe of love, from its sprouting to its growth, to its pain, and its, unfortunate, end.

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