Saturday 24 March 2018

CINEMA REBORN - Jane Campion's first feature length film, the remarkable 2 FRIENDS (Australia, 1986)

In August 2002 Jan Chapman gave the annual Longford Lyell Lecture, organised by ScreenSound Australia, at the Chauvel Cinema, Paddington (NSW, Australia) and among her remarks was this section devoted to encountering Jane Campion.

2 Friends
Jane’s unusual aesthetic and amusement in revealing details of people’s behaviour not generally observed did not immediately appeal to everyone and she has often recalled that at film school in Australia she was advised that some of her short films were not worth finishing. She also recalls that of those that did enjoy her work none took up the opportunity which I did to give her a job – but I applaud the fact that the ABC drama department had the budget and the policy to enable tele-features like Helen Garner’s Two Friends to be made at the time. Jane was a rebellious and independent spirit for a bureaucratic organisation like the ABC and not easily intimidated by male camera operators who warned her that she should be careful “not to cross the line”.

“When the film was completed a scout for the Cannes Film Festival, Pierre Rissient, whose visit was assisted by the Australian Film Commission, encouraged the selection of Jane’s three short films, Peel (1982), Passionless Moments (1983), and A Girl’s Own Story (1984) along with Two Friends, into the Un Certain Regard section at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.

2 Friends screens at CINEMA REBORN on Sunday 6 May at 12.45pm. The screening will be introduced by the film's producer Jan Chapman. More extensive notes on the film can be found on the CINEMA REBORN website

Subscription tickets to CINEMA REBORN are $85 which admits to all films. Subscriptions may be purchased via Eventbrite

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