Jane Campion

Jane Campion

Highest Rated: 100% Two Friends (1996)

Lowest Rated: 32% In the Cut (2003)

Birthday: Apr 30, 1954

Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Rising to prominence in the 1990s, New Zealand director Jane Campion is known as one of the contemporary cinema's most distinctive personalities. Her feature films, though varied in quality, have been united by their compelling depictions of the lives of women who are in some way outside of society's mainstream. Campion's films explore what makes these women different, and the repercussions of their refusal -- or inability -- to conform. Thanks to this subject matter, Campion has often been labeled a feminist director, a label that, while not inaccurate, fails to fully capture the dilemmas of her characters and the depth of her work. Born in Waikenae, New Zealand, on April 30, 1954, Campion was the product of a theatrical family. Her mother, Edith Campion is an actress and writer, while her father, Richard, is a theatre and opera director. Educated at Wellington's Victoria University, where she earned a B.A. in structural arts, Campion went on to study fine arts at London's Chelsea School of Arts. Her interest in filmmaking led her to begin making short films in the late 1970s; one of these, Tissues, led to her acceptance into the Australian Film and Television School in 1981. After earning her degree in direction, she took a job with the Australian Women's Film Unit. Campion began directing short films in the early 1980s. Her short films garnered a fair amount of acclaim and were widely screened on the international film festival circuit. One of these shorts, Peel, won the Palme d'Or for Best Short Film at the 1986 Cannes Festival.Campion made her feature directorial debut in 1985 with Two Friends, which was made for Australian television. The film, told in reverse narrative that allows its protagonists to grow younger as the story progresses, depicted the connection between a pair of teenagers and the changes they experience in their friendship. Campion followed it up four years later with Sweetie, her first theatrical feature. A very, very black comedy about the strained relationship between an overweight, fairly insane young woman, her meek, skinny sister and the rest of her family, the film received a markedly love-it-or-hate-it response.In contrast, Campion's subsequent effort, An Angel at My Table (1990), earned an incredibly enthusiastic response, one that heralded her breakthrough as a director. Taken from a three-part miniseries made for New Zealand television, the film tells the story of renowned New Zealand writer Janet Frame, who endured years of institutionalization after being falsely diagnosed with schizophrenia. Rather than going for easy cliches about the triumph of genius over adversity, Campion chose a simple -- but never simplistic -- approach to her material, using unsentimental honesty to blend comedy, tragedy, naturalism, and surrealism. Her resulting portrait of a woman's intellectual evolution won great acclaim and a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.With The Piano (1993), Campion traded intellectual evolution for sexual and erotic development. A beautifully told, deceptively simple story, it had as its protagonist Ada (Holly Hunter), a willfully mute Scottish widow who travels with her nine-year-old daughter (Anna Paquin) to New Zealand, where she enters into an arranged marriage with a taciturn, emotionally distant farmer (Sam Neill). Her subsequent affair with her neighbor (Harvey Keitel), which is carried out under the guise of piano lessons, was depicted with scorching yet understated passion, and ably underscored Ada's own multifaceted emotional and erotic development. One of the year's most celebrated films, The Piano put Campion at the forefront of contemporary cinema. It earned a score of international awards, including the Cannes Festival's Palme d'Or, the French César for Best Foreign Film, a number of Australian Film Institute Awards, and Oscars for Hunter and Paquin's performances as well as Campion's original screenplay.Campion followed The Piano with a 1996 adaptation of He

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet They Executive Producer 2017
80% The Story Of Film: An Odyssey Actor 2011
83% Bright Star Screenwriter Director Producer $4.4M 2009
No Score Yet 8 Director 2009
No Score Yet Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient Actor 2008
83% Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story Executive Producer 2006
32% In the Cut Director $4.8M 2003
45% Holy Smoke Director Screenwriter 2000
64% Soft Fruit Executive Producer 1999
No Score Yet Short 2: Dreams Director 1997
45% The Portrait of a Lady Director Screenwriter 1996
100% Two Friends Director 1996
92% The Piano Director Screenwriter 1993
94% An Angel at My Table Director 1990
88% Sweetie Director Screenwriter 1989


83% Top of the Lake
Producer Executive Producer Creator Screenwriter Director 2017


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