The New Zealand director Jane Campion has shown her latest feature at the Cannes Film Festival, 16 years after she made her name there with The Piano. In Bright Star, Ben Whishaw plays the British romantic poet John Keats, and Abbie Cornish his lover Fanny Brawne.
The director said it was not a biopic, but a tale of love inspired by their story, and named after one of Keat’s most celebrated sonnets. Campion is still the only woman ever to have won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and said it is a battle for female directors to make it worldwide, calling the big studios “an old boy’s system.” Another film on show at Cannes is a surreal vampire feature called Thirst from the Korean director Park Chan-wook. Park became internationally known for his Vengeance Trilogy started in 2002 – films packed with violence. This one is full of moments that breathe new life into the genre.