“I would love to see more women directors because they represent half of the population – and gave birth to the whole world. Without them writing and being directors, the rest of us are not going to know the whole story. – Jane Campion
In response to the protests last year that not a single female director was nominated for last year’s Palme d’Or, the Cannes Film Fest is bringing not one but two female filmmakers to prominent positions at the festival this year. You really can’t drop the ball if you are a female director – even where international cinema, far less male-centric than American cinema, is concerned.
Jane Campion heads the jury for the Cannes Film Festival this year. She has the distinction of being the only female to ever take home the Palme d’or. Campion is one of the most vivid and vital voices in film at all and simply does not get the attention she richly deserves. The last thing we saw from Campion was the exquisite series Top of the Lake, which starred mostly women, of course, and followed the story of a missing pregnant teen. Campion is a true visionary as a director, with a painterly eye – one who is not afraid to tell the naked truth about people. Her films tend to revolve around women – that includes their sexuality but not at the expense of the rest of who they are.
Campion’s only film to get near the vicinity of Oscar was The Piano. It is a masterpiece, to be sure. But her other films have been worth paying attention to – Sweetie, Holy Smoke, and Bright Star specifically.
Andrea Arnold has been appointed to head Critics Week. Arnold won the Jury Prize in 2006 and 2009. Critics Week is meant to focus on new and upcoming filmmakers and will run from May 15 through May 23, 2014. Arnold won the Oscar for Wasp, a short film, in 2003. She was recognized in Cannes for Fish Tank and Red Road.
Arnold is a British director, 52 years old. Jane Campion is from New Zealand and is 59 years old. As you can plainly see, world cinema has been more open to the female auteur than America will ever be. But hey, it’s a start.