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"Masters of Sex"

Season One



Nichole Tom and Ellen Wroe

Today's Australian update features a couple of movies directed by Jane Campion early on in her career.



Karen Colston film clip (1080hd; collages below)

Genevieve Lemon film clip (1080hd; sample below)

Sweetie is 1989 comedy drama where Kay (Karen Colston) finds the man of her dreams after reading the tea leaves and discovers that it's co-worker Louis (Tom Lycos). Except he has just gotten engaged, but Kay manages to convince him that they are destined to be together. Kay and Louis's relationship seems to be going well after a year and then Dawn, known as Sweetie (Campion regular Genevieve Lemon), Kay's sister breaks into the house and returns with a man she claims to be her producer who she's also sleeping with. Sweetie has been in a mental institution for a lengthy period but still have dreams of making it big even though she seems to be grossly overestimating her ability. And she causes havoc from the minute she arrives, causing problems between Kay and Louis, so Kay enlists her father to help her get Sweetie out of the house, but he is a mess after his wife, Kay's mother left him because he was way too lenient to the wayward Sweetie and still sees her as his little girl. This is not going to end well... Interestingly straightforward movie from Jane Campion who's more known for dour artful dramas and is not far removed from the suburban drama of her later movie Holy Smoke, hell, it could be a cousin to Muriel's Wedding. Genevieve Lemon is excellent as Sweetie, a horrible, selfish person who always wants the attention on her, but even after all that, her demise is actually quite sad. Probably the most accessible Campion movie I've seen for beginners and a pretty solid movie from Campion, but not really a big indicator of things to come.



Kerry Fox film clips (1080hd; collages below)

An Angel at my Table is a 1990 drama based on the work biographical work of New Zealand author Janet Frame, told in three parts (and possibly more of a mini-series at 158 minutes). We follow Janet (Kerry Fox as an adult) as a young girl with distinctive curly red hair and bad teeth growing up in a poor household who from a young age wants to be a teacher but also wants to be a writer. Janet is an unremarkable person with severe shyness who goes to teacher's college, which causes conflict with her teaching dreams, so much so that staff from the college recommend she spend time in a psychiatric hospital where she is diagnosed with schizophrenia. She spends at least 8 years in psychiatric hospitals and almost has a lobotomy before being saved from having the procedure. Janet continues to write even while in hospital and starts to get a few things published including her first book. Janet is given a literary grant, which she uses to travel around Europe, first up London where she doesn't really fit in with the scene before ending up in Spain where she falls in love for the first time with an American writer. She also get more novels published, this time in Britain.

Dour and very lengthy look at the life of Janet Frame that is interesting in that while Janet is a well-renowned author (admittedly, I've never heard of her, but that's more about me), she's always presented as an unremarkable person who seems out of place in most situations she finds her self in. The psychiatric stuff is particularly heartbreaking and thankfully never got a lobotomy as we find out later that she was misdiagnosed. And in the movie, it's presented that Janet has extreme shyness, which if true is a pretty damning indictment on the system who seem to be guessing at diagnoses. A pretty decent look at an unremarkable talent, but at over two and a half hours, probably best to watch in installments.

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