Toxic masculinity and repressed homosexuality are central themes ofdog power‘, the movie that allowed a comeback Jane Campion (Wellington, 1954) to portray the direction twelve years later which the New Zealander defines as “post-Western” where “there is neither good nor bad”.
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons, and based on Thomas Savage’s novel It is based on complex psychological images and a hypnotic and mysterious novel.
Campion in New Zealand found the perfect scene to recreate this story, set in Montana, USA, at the beginning of the 20th century, a shot that was interrupted by the first wave of COVID-19, the director recalls in an interview with a group of journalists.. during the Venice Film Festival the past.
Jane Campion: The Interview
The plot revolves around Phil Burbank, a cowboy who runs a farm with his brother George. All goes well until George falls in love with Rose, a widowed woman who moves in with them on the farm where they are also visited by their son, the polite and enigmatic Peter (Cody Smith McPhee).
A question.- Isn’t it ironic that his return to the movies is a Netflix production?
Answer: I think so, but they were the only ones willing to pay the money.
s- How did you experience the shutdown of filming due to COVID-19?
A: At first I was so focused on photography that I didn’t know what was coming our way. After that everything was so fast, we stopped a day before the whole country was confined. The fact is that the station It allowed me to discover new freedom in this calm, but at the same time I had to deal with uncertaintyI’ve come to accept that the movie may never end.
s- Why did you choose this book?
NS. I fell in love with it, I’m a great reader but there aren’t many books that really drive me crazy… It is so nice to read a book innocently, without thinking that you are going to make a movie. But the truth is that weeks after I finished it, I kept thinking about him and the topics he deals with, the story radiates an energy that has attracted me so much.
s- The contrast between the massive landscapes and the oppressive atmosphere that drowns out the characters is astounding.
A: It’s a piece of camera, they’re like characters in a boat in the middle of the ocean. And although the landscape is very vast, they are isolated and lonely.
s- Rose’s character didn’t develop in the book, so why did she give her more weight?
R.- Christine gave this character a lot of depth and sweetness. It can be frustrating for many women to see how they behave, but she is a woman of her age. I didn’t have much choiceShe finds herself in a kind of trap between her husband and his brother. I wanted to highlight this.
s- How does this movie relate to your previous cinematography?
A: I suppose both “The Piano” (1993) and this movie talk about pent-up desire, but “The Piano” does it from a female sensuality point of view and that’s a masculine perspective, although that can’t be said as an elephant being a typical “alpha male”.
s- Regarding male images, were you interested in disrupting the clichés of what is often seen as strong and weak? No character as it seems.
NS. No judgment is possible, there is no good and bad, that is what motivates me, the joy of complexity. I think each viewer will draw his own conclusions.
s- This year, Julia Docornau became the second filmmaker to win the Palme d’Or in history. The first was you, nearly three decades ago. what do you think?
NS. – I’m happy, I’m very happy for Julia. I feel like things are going slow, it’s not exactly a tsunami…but since the #Metoo movement started, exciting things are happening in terms of equality and I hope they won’t come back.
s- #Metoo among other things brought the topic of toxic masculinity into the conversation, how do you think it could affect the movie’s reception?
s-. I don’t think about it much, this whole process is a very instinctive thing, part of the sensations, of feelings, logic is the last bulwark. Surely you can describe it better than I can.
s- Was Brokeback Mountain a reference to you?
A: Not directly because it’s a more recent and very different story, but author Annie Proulx was a reference, she did a very interesting study of Savage’s book and we had the opportunity to meet and talk to her. It was quite a master class.
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