Movie Salon: The Nature of Love in three films by Jane Campion

After all our exploration of the burnt to a crisp territories of loss and violence, of the cynical, desperate and trapped self endings so masterly expressed in the Male Narrative, I am more than ready to pack for our journey toward a Narrative Otherways. 

With that adventure in mind the destination of our next Salon has been set on the Nature of Love.  I know, I know. This is such an ongoing large as to be beyond definition’s containment, so… 

At least to begin and not be paralyzed by the beginning, we’ll start with a trinity of films by Jane Campion, courageous storyteller of love:  that groping, some blinded energetic exchange, oft compulsive human reach of us each, vaguely or targeted, in the direction of one another. 

We will cross considerable territory with Campion beginning with The Piano from 1993, moving to Holy Smoke of 1999, and then taking in her most recently produced Bright Star, 2009. 

As we have three films to chew and mull, and as there’s the swirl and demands of the upcoming, no that’s come upon us already, holidays, it’s been decided this Salon on the Nature of Love will stretch from now through January.  I’ll post my thoughts as they gel during this period and you, as always, are welcome to read, watch, comment at any time.

The reason for my tardiness here is the recent death of my beloved father.  The focus I need in order to do these writings has eluded me in my grief.  I’ve stumbled round its dark topography wondering if my being as a writer might leave me now, might go with him from this earth.  He was, you see, a most fine companion on my cultural and philosophical wanderings; even on my wildest adventures he never abandoned me, never disparaged my ideas.  To the end he was a man of ideas with an infinite interest in all of life and I was given courage and much definition by being his treasured, thinking daughter.  

And now that I am no longer a daughter I only hope to keep thinking.  To stand in honor, at the very least, of his bright intelligence.  

New in the Pages

You’ll find some growth on a favorite branch of our Family Tree of Stories: Reasons to Keep the Faith

And in case you’re wondering what lies ahead, on the branch of Upcoming Parlor Attractions  I’ve done a bit of speculating on where all this might be leading us.

  1. Annie, I am deeply sorry for the loss of your father. Perhaps the illusion is that he is gone. The love you express as you write of him is so solid!

  2. Annie,

    Sorry about your Pop. I know you will miss him dearly. I am excited about this trinity of films. Let’s not forget we will watch Bright Star as a group at the Central Cinema on February 1st! Looking forward to it!

    • Luanne Brown
    • November 30th, 2010

    Annie, I’m so sorry to hear of your father’s death. I remember from our discussions–is it really over a decade ago?–how much he influenced your courageous intellectual and emotionl explorations.

    You’ve inspired me to view Campion’s latest work.

    Thanks for asking questions. Makes me want to continue my own search for the answers.

  3. Hi Annie,

    Just now got to reading your post here and am very sorry to hear of the loss of your father. Of course, he will always be a part of you and in you he will always live. How wonderful that you had such a rich intellectual life together.

    “The Piano” may be my favorite movie ever and I enjoyed “Bright Star” though not as much. Thank God we women may now take a much more public role in life! I will have to check out “Holy Smoke” soon and look forward to reading and/or sharing in the discussion.


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