Jane Campion & Exam Questions

Week 2

What did I do?

Researched Jane Campion

Jane Campion is the director of Bright Star (2009). She was born in New Zealand, 1954, and is now 62 and living in Sydney. Her parents, Richard and Edith Campion, both had theatrical backgrounds – her mother acted with her in her sister Anne’s film The Audition.

Her films are Romantic-esque, making use of the New Zealand landscape where she was brought up, and usually feature strongly feminist themes as well as following the Romantic trait of experimenting with sensuality. Her film Angel at my Table is similar to Bright Star, in that it is a biopic of an author.

Bright Star was released two years after her mother’s death in 2007. This may have influenced the film through the prominent themes of, not only death, but of living life as fervently as possible before death comes. In the film, Fanny and Keath tried to fight the impossibilities of their relationship – his privation, sickness and society’s disapproval – and despite the fact that he would very likely  die, Fanny persisted in staying with him for as long as was possible. It was for this that she felt the impact of his death all the more. Not only is life lived to the full, but the end of a life is perceived all the more painful to those surrounding it.

Looked at types of exam questions

The HSC Extension 1 English Exams from 2011 to 2016, pose variety of essay and creative writing questions for the Module B elective, Romanticism.


The Essay questions addressed the composer’s ability to communicate the human experience, intellectually and emotionally, through their use of language and characterisation as well as they convey the concept of Romanticism itself – looking the way that the time period itself, and the significant ideas and perceptions it held, are present in the texts. The questions only ask for two prescribed and two related texts. I am most likely to use the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, as I am finding those two easier to connect to Romanticism than the modern film, Bright Star, directed by Jane Campion. I am also tempted to use the actual memoirs of Mary Robinson, rather than her poem January 1795, as an accurate representation of the time period of Romanticism.

The creative writing prompts pushed for understanding of the characteristics of Romanticism. From accurately portrayed characters and settings to integrated aspects of prescribed texts into the writing piece. In order to be able to provide a response for ALL forms of creative writing prompts I will need to have a story that is adaptable while maintaining a VERY Romanticist-focused concept. The reoccurring themes that can be seen in the prompts were: Characters, Setting, Communication, Values

It does not make sense for me to attempt any form of modern Romanticism (a contemporary story with Romantic themes) and I think that it will be difficult to majorly appropriate anything within the  fairytale genre and have it remain recognisable if adapted to the question. My first thought is to adapt an activity that we used in Advanced English to alter the structure of a story. I will complete this by creating 2-4 Romantic-esque cards under each category (Characters & their values, Setting, Communication, Plot). In order to address the idea of characters being sourced from prescribed texts, I will create character profiles of all the main fictional characters.

Image: Patrick Swirc. Jane Campion. http://www.festival-cannes.fr/en/theDailyArticle/60175.html


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