Lawrence O'Toole
August 30, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Films by Jane Campion

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
director
Jane Campion
distributor
First Run Features
genre
Drama, Short

We gave it an A-

These three early films by New Zealand’s Jane Campion, the acclaimed director of Sweetie and An Angel at My Table, prove that, like a short story, a short film can capture an entire universe through quicksilver accumulation of detail. In Films by Jane Campion, the most disturbing of these shorts, A Girl’s Own Story, views the terrible intimacy of incest between brother and sister through a series of stabbing vignettes. Equally on the cutting emotional edge is Peel: An Exercise in Discipline, in which a family argument during a car trip escalates into a horror show of alienation. Passionless Moments, nine brief miniatures, finds as many characters experiencing moments of banal revelation that are funny, bizarre, poignant, and true enough to leave us blushing in recognition. Campion’s strange but salutary work proves that less can indeed be much, much more. A-

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