How’s it hanging? Okay, over at the Barnes Film Festival blog I’ve reviewed The Piano, which is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary. Recently, I was offered the blog editor role (much to one’s delight), so I’m self-promoting it big time to my loyal, moronic readers. Some support would be welcome, should you be so kind as to direct it my way. Oh, plus it’s a lovely film that proved a landmark occasion for female directors – yes!
Jane Campion directed what’s considered by film critics as her masterpiece. It launched in May 1993 and immediately pulled in a vast amount of critical acclaim. It’s about a mute Scotswoman called Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter) whose father has bought into an arranged marriage with a frontiersman (Sam Neill) in New Zealand.
He doesn’t take kindly to the piano she’s brought with her and insists there’s no room for it in his home. Eventually, local retired sailor Baines (Harvey Keitel) buys it from him – a distraught Ada decides to do whatever it takes in order to get her beloved instrument back.
It’s a haunting film with excellent performances, a beautiful soundtrack, and some spectacular set pieces (the image of a piano on the beach is particularly striking), but the film also broke impressive ground. A surprise box office smash hit, it scooped up many awards, including three Oscars, plus the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festical (Campion was the first, and still only, woman to achieve that).
Barnes Film Festival
Also, having risen to the position of Supreme Ruler (i.e. editor) of the Barnes Film Festival blog, we’re in the process of sourcing some new writers. If any passionate film buffs reading this would like to contribute once, or on a regular basis, feel free to get in touch via the About page. We encourage a progressive outlook with themes of first time directors, women in film, the environment, but also whatever the heck else you’d like to cover.
The festival runs annually in late September and this is its third year. There’s an international vibe to proceedings, this being London after all, but the focus is on students in the local area, with the University of Roehampton (where we went, years back) nearby. Heck, it’s an opportunity to celebrate, and support, upcoming filmmakers. Bien!