Jane Campion photo: Guardian

Though Top of the Lake series two is available to binge-watch on iPlayer, I’m going to savour this one, take each of the six episodes slowly. It’s beautifully shot, strange and brilliant. And: Elisabeth Moss. Superb in The Handmaid’s Tale she is excellent as detective Robin Griffin in Top of the Lake. Nicole Kidman is outstanding, too. Anyhow, there’s an interview with Jane Campion in the Guardian and the journalist Simon Hattenstone remarks on rewatching the director’s films, ‘it is fascinating to see her characters grow up. When she started out she was telling stories of pubescent girls; now they are about mothers and post-menopausal women.’

Campion initially insists that the interview is strictly business but within minutes is discussing the menopause and how women of her age (63) are viewed as ‘invisible and unfuckable’. She goes on to mention the positive side:

‘…It’s is a fear for a lot of women coming up to that time, but it can also be freeing. I got menopausal in my 40s. There are loads of myths about it. You’re going to age early for one. It hasn’t been like that for me. And I feel good inside. So it is a blessed thing.’


Read the full interview HERE.


22 thoughts on “Jane Campion talks menopause

  1. Love love love her! Always devour anything she produces the moment it’s out, I can’t help myself. I’ve been a fan since I started working in film & television almost 30 years ago. So as you may have guessed I’ve completed TOTL2 already…And baby it was gooood As for menopause, it’s not going anywhere so the more women discuss how it is/was for them the better. I’m trying to demystify it on my blog for those going through it or coming in to it. Although it certainly makes a bigger impact when someone like Jane talks about it in the press. My only issue at the moment is removing the sticky residue the patches leave on my butt hahaha

  2. This business of being invisible….I really couldn’t give a damn. If I need to I’m more than capable of making my presence felt!! As for being unf******* Whatever! Now retired I have time to read, stitch, paint, garden, travel….still interested in fashion, design and suspect always will be. The positives of menopause (long past) far outweigh the negatives.

    1. Agreed. Let’s not over-do the grieving. After all, we are probably the biggest generation of women to experience menopause instead of dying before 50. And for that I am thankful. Forty years of periods was plenty – I appreciate being able to step off the hormonal rollercoaster. I am not invisible either but perhaps I don’t give a stuff about whether or not men look at me. What am I – 16?

  3. Thankyou for that. She’s a wonderful woman in so many ways and I’d rather forgotten her. It was lovely to go off on a detour and read the full interview. Top of the Lake had bypassed me too, probably because I never watch anything with Nicole Kidman in it, but I’m definitely going to watch it now on iPlayer.

  4. I’m 58 still menstruating exactly the same as when I turned 13, not on any hormones or anything…..looking forward to freedom from this someday………

  5. Thank you! What a wonderful article! I had seen The Piano many years ago and was completely spellbound by it. My daughter has been urging me to watch Top of the Lake ,but I did not realize it was the same film maker!
    Thank you!

  6. Loved “Top of the Lake” but do you mean Holly Hunter? I don’t remember seeing Nicole Kidman in any episode.

  7. Hmmm – ‘unfuckable’! I agree with Annie Green here – I really couldn’t give a flying one whether men find me attractive or not. I am holding up reasonably well – slimmish (uk12), lightly made-up (when I feel I want to be), well-dressed (when I want to be) and certainly not out to attract male attention. When I was younger I did all the married/having affairs/being sexy malarkey and it was so tiring and shallow. I love men – I think sex is the best fun, I love women, children, small furry animals – equally and thank God I am not driven by bloody libido anymore. I find it completely liberating to be myself for me. If I have sex I can’t get pregnant – I can wear white jeans without fear of the dreaded leak, I can totally do without period cramps and sore boobs. What’s not to love about being 60?

  8. Thank you Alyson for sharing this interview..i saw an episode of TOTL for first time last week and was mesmerised so it was interesting to learn more about the life of such a talent and inspiration

  9. Dear Alyson,
    Thank you for bringing our attention to the article on Jane Campion. She is a great example of a clever, thoughtful and creative NZ woman. All the best with your new book, Regards, Tracy Hawkes Bay NZ – remember if you ever head down this way, you have a guide ready and waiting.

  10. What a GREAT interview. I learned so much about her career, which I’d not known, and about films I have GOT to watch ASAP. Thank you so much, Alyson, for posting about Jane and linking to the Guardian interview.

  11. Thanks for drawing my attention to the article in the Guardian. I saw the Piano years ago and thought it was brilliant. Now I can’t wait to start Top of the Lake and dive deep into Campions work. Very interesting what she says about film versus TV. I tend to agree, TV has never been better. It’s remarkable the paradigm shift that’s taken place. It’s wonderful that talent like Campion now have the freedom to realize their vision in this unexpected place.

  12. I’d suggest that Jane Campion is not mourning being ‘unfuckable’ herself but referring to the way in which the powerful male influencers in her industry disempower women they don’t find sexually attractive and who resemble either their older wives or their mothers. See Patricia Arquette, Julia Louis-David, Tina Fey and Amy Schumer ‘s comedy sketch ‘Last Fuckable Day’.

  13. The video was funny. I don’t really care if men find me attractive. Unless it is brought to my attention it isn’t something on my mind. What bothers me more is when women throw each other under the bus to gain male attention. Until women stick up for each other the F-able conversation will continue.

  14. Like Retrochicmama I have seen all of Jane Campion’s film from An Angel at My Table to Dark Star. I’ve enjoyed the intensity and ambiance of all of them. Thanks for link to The Guardian interview. For some reason I never saw Top of the Lake when first broadcast, but caught the final episodes recently. I did watch the new Top of the Lake: China Girl series in its entirety. I was gripped by its intensity and portrayal of the sleazier underbelly of life in Sydney. The actors Elisabeth Moss, Campion’s daughter Alice Englert and Nicole Kidman, plus the principal male actors were all compelling to watch. Because it was available on BBC I-Player I watched it in two to three hour chunks to not lose the narrative momentum. I highly recommend it as well as Campion’s films.

  15. The topic of menopause and coping with it demands a separate posting to one about film and television dramas. As someone in my mid60s I have been through menopause and out the other side fortunately. I suffered most from peri menopausal symptoms in my 40s without knowing what that was. A kind American friend discussed this topic and steered me to a shelf of self help books in large New York Barnes and Noble bookstore. They helped me cope and in turn were loaned to a series of younger friends going through this when I no longer needed them. In brief I took no HRT since my sister had had breast cancer and recovered. Said little to the three men, two teenage sons and hubby in my immediate family. Instead I Fanned away the flushes, wore natural fabrics in layers and put up with symptoms. To cope with perimenaupausal weight gain, I consulted a nutritionist for guidance, got myself a trainer for a year as 50 approached and developed a gym habit. As a consequence I’m slimmer, fitter and have not given up trying to appear attractive and beguiling despite the advancing years. So much better now in 20teens that the topic of The Change, title of a Germaine Greer book, I think, is openly discussed and written about. And there are undoubtedly many online forums to read and participate in. Older women still acting and appearing dynamic and attractive has certainly been one strand of Alyson’s postings. And one I appreciate. Good luck to those going through this now.

  16. Well, I kind of care about being invisible and unfuckable too. I think it may be because I live in the United States, where being young is absolutely everything. I still think that Europeans, on the whole, have a healthier attitude towards aging. When I’m in Europe, I notice that men still look at and appreciate me, and I like it!

Leave a Reply

Thank you for commenting but please be respectful and considerate.
If you want to be in my gang, play nice.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *