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Inspiration and tips

In “Inside Jane Campion’s Cinema of Tenderness and Brutality” (The New York Times Magazine, November 16, 2021), Jordan Kisner also discusses the creative process of Campion, a New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director. Campions latest feature length film is the award-winning 2021 western drama The Power of the Dog, which is based on the 1967 novel of the same name by Thomas Savage and which features Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst. Kisner’s profile of Campion includes the following description of her writing process:

When she writes, she often sits on the great island of her bed and does nothing else. One reason she liked the Jungian dream work, she said, is that the analyst’s language matched some of her own philosophy. “She says it’s like throwing chum out, seeing what surfaces,” she said. This is what writing feels like for her. “It’s an amazing moment when you realize there’s a channel. In my case it was just like sitting down for four hours. That was it. Something comes to you. You write. You don’t read, you don’t use the phone, you don’t do anything else, because then the psyche starts to trust the time.”

“So many writers have an aversion to just sitting down and waiting,” I said.

Campion nodded and then paused. “I think it makes them afraid.”