September 20, 2005
- Runtime: 158 minutes
- NTSC (Canada and USA)
Jane Campion's second feature, based on the life of New Zealand novelist Janet Frame, is one of the more successful and inventive autobiographies ever to be filmed. By exploring the fascinating details of Frame's quiet yet unusual life, we learn what contributes to the make-up of a great writer.
Frame, born into a large, poor family, was interested in books and writing even as a child. She endured the death of a favored older sister and grew up to be painfully shy and socially awkward. In her adult years, Frame had a nervous breakdown and was wrongly diagnosed as a schizophrenic. She spent eight years confined to a mental hospital, writing -- labor that ultimately saved her from undergoing a lobotomy when a doctor learned she won a literary prize for a book of short stories.
Afterwards, she did enjoy some amount of fame and financial comfort, while still retaining her eccentricity and her unique relationship with the world.
The stormy life of one of New Zealand's most celebrated authors, Janet Frame. Shot on location, the film won eight awards including a Special Jury Prize. A detailed portrait of a woman determined to find her unique voice as a writer and artist.
Additional cast: David McKenzie, Paula Sanchez, Peter Needham, Natalie Ellis, Eddie Hegan, Melanie Reid, Willa O'Neill, Karla Smith, and Edith Campion.
Based on three autobiographical novels by New Zealand novelist and short-story writer Janet Frame.
Shown at the New York Film Festival and the Sydney Film Festival in 1990.