Yara Nardi via Reuters
CINEMA – Another victory for Jane Campion. This Sunday, January 9, the New Zealand filmmaker (Top of the Lake, Bright Star) broke new frontiers by winning the award for Best Director for her latest film at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, The Power of the Dog.
She was competing here against Kenneth Branagh (Belfast), Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Lost Daughter), Steven Spielberg (West Side Story) and Denis Villeneuve (Dune). The drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst, which was also voted Best Picture, was released on Netflix in December 2021.
Adapted from the eponymous novel by Thomas Savage (1967), its story is that of a ranch in Montana at the start of the 20th century, the largest in this American state. We follow the lives of their owners, two brothers, whose course of events will be turned upside down when the new wife of one of the two men arrives and her son, from a previous marriage.
Furious at this move, the brother-in-law begins to harass the newcomer and her child, creating a suffocating climate and an unbearable atmosphere in this place lost in the middle of deserted landscapes.
Change “that” masculinity
“It is the portrait of an era, and some women might be slightly frustrated by the character of Rose, but at that time many women did not have so much choice”, concedes AFP Jane Campion, who puts on stage for the first time a panel of male roles.
“The film is about toxic masculinity,” she told the Guardian. Trying to understand it and recognize it is the only way to change this masculinity. You can’t just oppose it, it would add fuel to the fire. You have to understand why these men are causing harm to others and to themselves. ”
Known in particular for her feminist outlook and her complex female characters, Jane Campion succeeds Chloé Zhao who, last year, won the title of best director at the Golden Globes for her feature film. Nomadland. They are, alongside Barbra Streisand with her film Yentl (1983), the only three women to have won the precious statuette.
A Palme d’Or which “changed a lot of things”
César for best foreign film, Oscar for best screenplay, Grand Jury Prize in Venice … Distinctions, Jane Campion has had some. One of them has also marked the history of cinema. It is the Palme d’Or. The 67-year-old director received it in 1993 for her adaptation of the Jane Mander novel, The Piano Lesson.
It was “like receiving a crown”, she breathed, in 2019, in the podcast The imprint of the Palme d’Or. She says “not to have realized right away [qu’elle] would wear it for so long and it would have an effect throughout [sa] career”. “Being the first distinguished woman has changed a lot of things”, notes the one who, in 2021, saw the French Julia Ducournau receive the same prestigious award, thanks to Titanium.
At the head of the jury of the Cannes Film Festival in 2014, Jane Campion had, from the first press conference, set the tone for her presidency. “Out of 1,800 films submitted to the jury, only 7% were directed by women”, she denounced, before adding in an interview with the Guardian that “men too often tend to trust each other”. According to her, “there would be a lot more stories in the world if women made more films”.
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Jane Campion continues to make film history at the Golden Globes