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Creator / Jane Campion

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Dame Elizabeth Jane Campion DNZM (born 30 April 1954) is a New Zealand filmmaker.

Campion is best known for her 1993 film The Piano, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and made her the second woman to be nominated for Best Director, and the first to win the Palme d'Or. Her work tends to focus on complex women and themes of gender dynamics, with an added emphasis on stories set in Australia and her native New Zealand.

In addition to her film career, Campion also co-created, co-wrote, and co-directed the mystery drama series Top of the Lake and its follow-up, Top of the Lake: China Girl, the first season of which received five Emmy Award nominations including Outstanding Miniseries or Movie and Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special.

She also comes from an family of established creatives in the Australia/New Zealand scene. Her parents were Richard Campion, a theatre director, and Edith Campion, an actress. Her daughter, Alice Englert, is an actress best known for appearing in the lead role of Beautiful Creatures, based on the Caster Chronicles series of young adult novels.

In 2022, she became the third woman to win the Best Director Oscar for The Power of the Dog.


Selected filmography:

Selected television:


Tropes and trivia about her works:

  • Central Theme: Campion's work tends to be about outsiders, "people who fall off the frontier of our society." Other recurrent themes include female desire, deconstructions of masculinity, and mental illness.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The audio commentary for Sweetie is great.
  • Female Gaze:
    "I wanted to bring my interests and concerns into the cinema. Psychologically, women are forced to look at the world through menís eyes. I wanted to put the other point of view: what it felt like to be a woman expressing yourself, being free, doing your human stuff in what is a pretty patriarchal society.Ē
  • Period Piece: An Angel at My Table starts in Depression-era New Zealand. The Piano is set in the mid-nineteenth century. The Portrait of a Lady is set in the eighteenth century. Bright Star is set in 1818. The Power of the Dog is set in Montana in 1925.
  • Production Posse: Has worked multiple times with Nicole Kidman (The Portrait of a Lady, Top of the Lake: China Girl), Kerry Fox (An Angel at My Table, Bright Star), Harvey Keitel (The Piano, Holy Smoke!), and Holly Hunter (The Piano, Top of the Lake: China Girl). Has also worked multiple times with cinematographers Stuart Dryburgh and Dion Beebe.
  • Scenery Porn: Works tend to show stunning landscapes of the outdoors.
  • Shown Their Work: Is known for preparing her films rigorously.

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