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Jane Campion on Television, Women and Being ‘Untameable’

Jane Campion on Television, Women and Being 'Untameable'

In a new interview with The Telegraph, Jane Campion talks at length about Top of the Lake–her excellent miniseries which just premiered in the UK starring Elisabeth Moss as a detective looking into the disappearance of a young pregnant girl.

While Campion is mostly know for films she also has previously directed television.  An Angel At My Table (1990) aired first as a three part miniseries in New Zealand. She is now again looking to television for her future and clearly enjoyed her experience of making Top of the Lake.

Television is the new frontier. Film is conservative. I’m sick of it.

That’s a pretty loud statement from the only female Cannes Palme d’Or winner and one of the only four women nominated for best director.  

With Top of the Lake, Campion explores topics that are thriving on television and floundering in films.  The mini series has a female lead and is full of rich, complex and female cast members who are not young including Holly Hunter’s character, GJ, who leads a tribe of older women who live in a commune like setting. Campion mentions that she loves these women because they live outside the margins of society.

That’s what I love about them, they’re untameable, they don’t work with logic and they just do their thing.

Campion also discusses her interest in what some would consider “women’s stories.”

When I was a kid, the reason I liked kids stories was because there were kids in them and you could experience the world through their problems. So
similarly I’m interested in the world from a female point of view because I am a woman.

Top of the Lake is now airing in the UK on BBC2. You can also catch the series on Netflix. 

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