Story: Creative and intellectual expatriates

Aussie expatriates: Jane Campion

Film-maker Jane Campion was interviewed on television arts show The edge in 1993. As well as discussing her current projects, she reflected on how her New Zealand upbringing helped form her artistic vision. Campion was born in Wellington in 1954 and studied anthropology and painting before leaving for the Australian School of Film, Radio and Television in the early 1980s. Her short films screened at the Cannes Film Festival that decade and one, Peel (1982), won the Palme d'Or prize for best short film in 1986. Her first feature film was Sweetie (1989), which, like much of her subsequent work, garnered both praise and criticism. She then adapted writer Janet Frame's three-part autobiography as An angel at my table (1990) to great acclaim. Her next feature film, The piano (1993), a brooding anti-romance set in colonial New Zealand, received rave reviews and was a box office hit. Actors Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin won Oscars for their performances, as did Campion for the screenplay. She was the first woman to win the coveted Palme d'Or for best feature. Further films – A portrait of a lady (1996), Holy smoke (1999) and In the cut (2003) – polarised critics and viewers; but Bright star (2009), about the relationship between English Romantic poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, was hailed as the best film of her career. In 2013 a television mini-series, Top of the lake, brought Campion back to New Zealand for filming, and it was nominated for three Emmy awards. That year Campion received a New Zealand Arts Foundation Laureate Award and, at Cannes, was awarded the Carosse d'Or for innovation, courage and independent-mindedness in film-making.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Creative and intellectual expatriates - Expatriation to other countries', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/interactive/44356/aussie-expatriates-jane-campion (accessed 23 July 2019)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 22 Oct 2014