Friday, August 12, 2011

Janet Frame: An Angel At My Table

Jane Campion is BY FAR my favorite movie director! You may know her for directing 'The Piano' & 'Portrait of a Lady'. I just watched another biopic film she directed in 1990, which is the 3 part biography about the famous New Zealand writer Janet Frame & named after her best selling book, The Angel at My Table.

It's difficult to believe actress Kerry Fox isn't a cruel character parody of 'Annie' in this movie, with her gigantic red mop of hair, until I looked at actual photo's of Frame. She was, in real life, heavy, gawky, anxious, painfully shy, awkward & had a HUGE red hair Afro, yet with all her outward attributes, there hid beneath a remarkable & prolific writer.

Get ready for a THREE hour movie, (with Part 2 being largely the harrowing years she spent in a mental institution, wrongly diagnosed with schizophrenia, receiving shock treatments & narrowly MISSING a scheduled lobotomy, ONLY because she had published a book & won a distinguished literary prize, WHILE institutionalized.

She reminds me very much of Saraphina, who I also wrote about previously in this blog AND so many other artists who demonstrate the miracle of determination, perseverance, & following one's gift in spite of tremendous adversity. There is a saying that goes something like, 'A True Artist Cannot NOT Create', or something to that effect. Janet Frame is just one more example of the literal truth of this statement.

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