Jane Campion is one of the most exciting and dynamic filmmakers to emerge from Australia. Her films are visually sumptuous whether in black and white or colour, as well as complex, ambiguous and often funny. Narratives never turn out as expected, and characters behave in ways that that thwart societal stereotypes.
The Piano, her Palme d'Or and Oscar-winning feature, is listed in the U.S. National Society of Film Critics' list of '100 Essential Films' of all time, alongside Citizen Kane, The Godfather and Casablanca.
Campion was born in Wellington in 1954, daughter of theatrical doyens Richard and Edith Campion. She studied anthropology at Victoria University, then painting, before beginning studies in film at the Australian School of Film, Radio and Television.
Her short film Peel (1982), a study of domestic discipline produced while still a student, took the prize for best short film at the 1986 Cannes festival. She followed this with her first feature, Sweetie (1989), another tale of the suburban grotesque.
An Angel at My Table (1990) was originally produced as a television mini-series. The story was divided into sections echoing the three-part autobiography (To the Is-Land, An Angel at My Table and The Envoy from Mirror City) of author Janet Frame.
As a feature film, An Angel at my Table won numerous awards including the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. It established Jane Campion as a director to watch and launched the career of lead actor, Kerry Fox.
Campion's next feature, The Piano (1993), reached cult status. A brooding drama about 19th century colonists in the emotional scenery of the New Zealand forest and coastline, The Piano received Academy Awards for performances by Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin, as well as for Campion's screenplay. Campion became the first woman director to win the Palme d'Or for Best Feature.
She subsequently directed Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich in an adaptation of Henry James' A Portrait of a Lady and later collaborated with her filmmaker sister Anna on Holy Smoke, starring Harvey Keitel and Kate Winslet.
Her depiction of strong female lead characters rebelling against stereotypical roles has attracted singular praise, particularly from feminist film critics, as have her story telling techniques: original and striking visual compositions, non-linear editing style and a narrative emphasis on open-ended meaning.
Campion revels in ambiguity and playing with what is unseen or unsaid, and her romance is romance with a rotten apple. In the Cut (2003) is a darkly erotic exploration of the relationship between a hardened cop (Mark Ruffalo) and a withdrawn writing professor (Meg Ryan). It polarised reception, with the LA Times wondering whether it "may be the most imperfect great movie of the year ... unquestionably the most ambitious and important film to come along in months ...".
In 2009 Bright Star, Campion's story of poet John Keats' romance with his young neighbour Fanny Brawne debuted at Cannes to positive critical reviews, with The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw giving it four stars and finding it one of the best of her career. Bradshaw wrote that this "heartfelt film has a nobility of its own; it draws you irresistibly into its world".
Today Campion enjoys an established reputation as a strong director who brings a specific female voice to commercially successful films.
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Jane Campion is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Jane Campion for your event is . Jane Campion generally travels from Australia and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Jane Campion for an upcoming event.
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