director Julie Bertuccelli celebrates her colleague
ARTE – WEDNESDAY MARCH 8 AT 11:15 P.M. – DOCUMENTARY
There is in Jane Campion a mixture of strength and seriousness that are constantly brightened up by a gentleness, a fantasy and a lightness of being. This is what director Julie Bertuccelli was able to capture, in a long-term portrait (ninety-nine minutes) of her New Zealand colleague, for a long time the only woman to have won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival (for The Piano Lessonin 1993).
At the beginning of Jane Campion. The cinema woman, she is seen seated facing the press, surrounded by many other recipients of the supreme award – all of them men. Asked about this situation, she replied: “Femininity seems to me to be a very strong, central dimension of humanity. We are goddesses, we are beautiful, intuitive, protective. Much of the media discourse and our view of the world is dictated by men who have no idea what women think. »
All this said with a calm as great as a smile, which is not even carnivorous, which seems to bother even more the people around, many of whom are looking at the carpet or the blue line of the Croisette. On the stage of the Oscars, which had then rewarded only Kathryn Bigelow (in 2010, for Minesweepers), Jane Campion will be more acidic when asked to talk about the history of the women who competed for the Oscar for best director. “It’s a very short story, even a haiku: five nominations, one winner! »
Then to calculate, by counting for a long time on his ten fingers, the results of the male side: “350 nominations, 70 Oscars”. Since then, the Oscars have rewarded Chloe Zhaoin 2021 (best film for nomadlandBest Director), before Jane Campion won that of the best achievement for The Power of the Dogin 2022. In 2021, Julia Ducournau won the Palme d’Or at Cannes with Titanium.
A unique freedom
During the documentary, we also hear Jane Campion recall the crass misogyny of the technicians on the sets of her debut, but this is not the main point of Julie Bertuccelli’s point. Because it is above all a question of cinema: from the very beginnings of the New Zealander in short films with a tone of singular freedom (including Peelproduced in 1982 and rewarded in 1986, at Cannes, with a Palme d’or for short films), up to his most recent opus, The Power of the Dog (2021).
Without forgetting the wonderful television series Top of the Lakewhose two seasons (2013 and 2017) constitute two great films – each in six parts (Jane Campion prefers to speak of“a novel whose episodes would be chapters”) – who will have occupied it between BrightStar (2009) and The Power of the Dog.
Julie Bertuccelli’s documentary, with its finely woven and remarkably fluid editing, makes you want to see a filmography that is, after all, sparse
Julie Bertuccelli’s film, with its finely braided editing and remarkable fluidity, circulates between interviews granted at all periods of Jane Campion’s career, generous film excerpts and the making of of the set. And the whole thing makes you want to review a filmography that is altogether scarce.
For example portrait of a woman (1996), which Arte broadcasts on Wednesday March 8 at 8:55 p.m., a great classic costume film, almost in the vein of a James Ivory, was it not for the cruel precision of Jane Campion’s gaze on Nicole Kidman, John Malkovich and the astonishing Martin Donovan, in fatal pain. The film lacks the incomparable grace of BrightStar, but he shines above the fray.
Jane Campion. The film woman, documentary by Julie Bertuccelli (Fr., 2022, 99 min). Available on demand at Arte.tv until May 16.