Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Australia, 1989. Arenafilm, New South Wales Film Corporation, Television Office. Story by Jane Campion, Screenplay by Gerard Lee, Jane Campion. Cinematography by Sally Bongers. Produced by John Maynard. Music by Martin Armiger. Production Design by Peter Harris. Costume Design by Amanda Lovejoy. Film Editing by Veronika Jenet. Podcast: My Criterions.
Two sisters, as different as night and day, battle it out for superior hold of the family in Jane Campion’s startling feature film debut. Karen Colston is level-headed, wise and respectable and finds love with Tom Lycos after she is told about him by a fortune teller. Her sister (Geneviève Lemon) is mentally disturbed, a child who never grew up and still does silly things to get her parents’ attention. When Lemon moves in with her during a bad patch, she sets off a chain of events that threaten to destroy Colston’s sanity. The story isn’t as interesting as Campion’s films would get later, but the unique visual style was there from the get-go.
The Criterion Collection: #356
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition
Toronto International Film Festival: 1989