Films of Jane Campion
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Level: Undergraduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Department: Communication
Course Number: NFLM 3045
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • Media Studies
  • Film & Video History, Theory & Criticism
  • Film
Explores the major works by New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director, Jane Campion. Students are expected to watch (and write about) one film each week outside of class: Sweetie (1989), An Angel at my Table (1990), The Piano (1993), Portrait of a Lady (1996), and the TV serial Top of the Lake (2013). Class readings will writings, and essays by film historians and scholars. This is one of three five-week courses on cinema auteurs and complement each other when taken sequentially.The New-Zealand born writer and director Jane Campion has been acclaimed for her original voice and daring since her first feature, “Sweetie,” appeared in 1989. She emerged as a major figure in international cinema with “The Piano” (1993).Throughout her career, she has continued to explore fraught social issues, including women’s sexuality, family dynamics, and national identity. She has presented these themes with a signature visual style that is fluid and often lushly romantic, yet rigorous in its use of perspective and framing. Her auteur’s voice is recognizable even as she modifies it to suit a wide range of settings, characters and time periods. This course will look at the importance and evolution of her career by focusing on four major works, which students will watch outside class and write about: the iconoclastic dark comedy “Sweetie”; her masterpiece of romanticism and cultural conflict, “The Piano” ; the literary adaptation “Portrait of a Lady” (1996), and her recent television miniseries, the psycho-sexual thriller “Top of the Lake” (2013). Readings will include essays by film historians and scholars. In-class lectures and discussion will include clips from other Campion works, including “An Angel at My Table,” “In the Cut” and “Bright Star.”
Course Open to: Degree Students