JANE CAMPION: INTERVIEWS
Edited by Virginia Wright Wexman
University Press of Mississippi
$45.00, cloth, ISBN 1-57806-082-6
$18.00, paper, ISBN 1-57806-083-4
Book News for Immediate Release
New Zealand director Campion often leaves interviews to the actors
Surely the director who brought to life such unusual and compelling
women characters as Ada in THE PIANO and Isabel Archer in THE PORTRAIT
OF A LADY would delight in interviews.
But New Zealand director Jane Campion dislikes personal publicity.
"It's all right for actors," Campion says. "They have to promote their
images. But I'm just a maker of products."
In her new book, JANE CAMPION: INTERVIEWS (University Press of
Mississippi, $45 cloth, $18 paper), editor Virginia Wright Wexman says
that's why interviews with Campion in English language film journals are
From Australian and American newspapers, from French, German, and
Australian film journals, Wexman has gathered 37 interviews spanning
Campion's career. JANE CAMPION: INTERVIEWS is the first book in which
the director speaks at length about her working methods and her
"Most of Campion's interviews have been held in hotel rooms," Wexman
says. "In most of these sessions Campion has impressed her questioners
as open and unaffected; one or two, however, have found her shy."
Interviewer Carrie Rickey describes Campion as "robust, broad-boned,
and radiantly horsey." Other correspondents and critics are struck by
the director's sense of humor especially in discussing her extraordinary
"I can't work well if I get too serious," Campion says. "I don't want
to be a child emotionally or in terms of responsibility, but I do think
that playfulness can be very liberating."
Campion won an Academy Award for Best Original Screen Play in 1993, and
was the first woman director to receive the Palm d'Or at Cannes.
In each interview, Campion strikes at the heart of what matters to her
as an artist. She says, "I'm finding myself less and less interested in
what you can do with shots and things .... I'm more after what sorts of
sensations and feelings and subtleties you can get through your story
and can bring out through performances ...."
Virginia Wright Wexman, a professor of English and Associate Vice
Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois, Chicago,
is the author of CREATING THE COUPLE, ROMAN POLANSKI, and LETTER FROM AN
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