I love Jane Campion's new movie.
As usual, in Jane Campion films, it features a willful heroine, whose self-determination is her most dangerous asset. I love the way the film paints her secret world - the garden behind her apartment, all of her wind chimes and scraps of paper; the world of her imagination, her poetry, and her fascination with words. I love the way Frannie lives alone, and is consumed by her projects. I love Jane Campion's honesty and fearlessness - the way her films are just a little too close to the bone all the time. I love her essential optimism, despite vividly drawn misgivings and difficult navigations, about relationships between men and women; the way her women are never mere victims, and the men are never purely villanous. In her films, even if it's messy, where there's truth in those relationships, they are truly transformative, and that's why Jane Campion's feminism is the best kind.
I've always been a little obsessive, and while it's embarrassing, I must confess to having seen the film three times. I'm not above admitting that I found it sexy, and that draws me; but what I love most is the emotion - the relationship between Frannie and Molloy - how much she wants him, and how that's all she really fears. I like her relationship with her sister, too. The thriller aspect of it doesn't exactly work, but it doesn't matter, because it's only a backdrop for those relationships. It only creates the tension that allows us to see them. Maybe that's a flaw, but the heart of the movie is so truthful, and works so well, that I can't really be bothered about the fact that it never feels like Molloy's really the killer, except to Frannie. It's as if the movie is wearing a thriller costume, but its really another thing altogether.
Mostly, that movie makes me feel how much I'm not working. How far from my projects I am now, and makes me want to get back to them. It makes me want to be alone. I like it when, at the end of the movie, Detective Rodriguez asks her "don't all women want love... you want it so bad it hurts." I read an interview with Jane Campion where she said that she thought women postponed their lives, waiting for love - always putting their lives in a future that would be bound up by love. I think that's true. It's hard to be alone, and I'm like all women, I suppose; but I want to be alone, too. Something that's strange is that I want to be alone more. That's a new development.