Nomadism, experential and cross-media practices are recurring issues in contemporary cinema. This course is designed to investigate them through the analysis of the filmwork of Jane Campion, the world-class New Zealand woman filmmaker, screenwriter and producer, who directed, among her others, the highly acclaimed, award-winning feature The Piano (Palme d'Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival – so far the first and only Palme d’Or awarded to a woman filmmaker). Campion’s œuvre, consisting of short movies, features, and tv series, is imbued with her multifaceted formative background, spanning from anthropology through fine arts and cinema studies; her films are strongly inspired by novelists and poets (Janet Frame, Henry James, Susanna Moore, John Keats, to mention a few). This variety of sources is combined in Campion’s movies in a remarkable original way, and both her style and privileged themes (from her female protagonists’ identity serching to gender inequality) celebrate diversity as a precious and essential value. Thus, her antropological approach towards human behaviour, and her rigorous focusing on female subjectivity make her aesthetic view «not reconciled», non-compliant with dominant, mainstream cinema.
Moreover, Jane Campion’s film practice enables an innovative interrelationship between cinema and other espressive forms (literature, fine art, theatre, music, photography, television), under the light of its profound self-reflexive quality. Lectures will investigate her complete film production (short movies, features, and tv series), and other possibile audiovisual materials, in the frame of its cultural-historical context of realization; the analysis and discussion in class will benefit from international film criticism and theory.
This course aims to develop an informed understanding of Campion cinematic practice, through the study of stylistic-formal and thematic motifs of her movies, as well as through the scrutiny of critical and theoretical arguments by prominent authors and scholars. During the course additional materials to allow for more in-depth studies may be referenced.