AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE

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“AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE was adapted from the autobiographies of distinguished New Zealand novelist, Janet Frame (To the Is-Land, An Angel at my Table, The Envoy from Mirror City).

“Jane Campion brings to the screen the harrowing true-life story of Janet Frame, New Zealand’s most distinguished author.  The film follows Frame along her inspiring journey, from a poverty-stricken childhood to a misdiagnosis of schizophrenia and electroshock therapy to, finally, international literary fame.  Beautifully capturing the colour and power of the New Zealand landscape, the film earned Campion a sweep of her country’s film awards and the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival.

“Festival/Awards: Special Jury Prize, Venice; Critics Prize, Toronto; Valladolid.” - New Zealand Film Commission; www.nzfilm.co.nz/film/an-angel-at-my-table; 28/01/2014.

“Here is the story of a curly-haired little redhead who grew up to be one of New Zealand's best authors, after enduring ordeals that would have put most people into a madhouse. The irony is that she was already in the madhouse, misdiagnosed as a schizophrenic, and subjected to more than 200 electroshock treatments even though there was nothing really wrong with her except for shyness and depression.

Janet Frame is today the author of some 20 novels, books of poetry, plays and autobiographies. The first two books were actually written and published while she was in a mental hospital, and it is possible to wonder if the act of writing them saved her life - giving her a place to order her thoughts in the middle of chaos.

Jane Campion's "An Angel at My Table" tells her story in a way that I found strangely engrossing from beginning to end. This is not a hyped-up biopic or a soap opera, but simply the record of a life as lived, beginning in childhood with a talented, dreamy girl whose working-class parents loved her, and continuing to follow her as she was gradually shunted by society into a place that almost killed her. Janet is played in the film by three different actresses (from girlhood through her 20s into her 30s, they are Kerry Fox, Alexia Keogh and Karen Fergusson), who have uncanny physical and personality similarities, and so we get a real sense of a life as it unfolds, as things go wrong and a strong spirit struggles to prevail.

Her books help her keep her mind, and eventually help her win her release - her father, cowed by the professionals, vows he will never let her go back to the asylum again - and at last, in her 30s, her true life begins as she gets a grant to study abroad and falls in with a group of bohemian writers and painters in Spain. She even finally loses her virginity, and although she will always be a little odd, a loner, wrapped in a cocoon of privacy, we can see her gradually becoming more comfortable with life. ” Roger Ebert (http://www.suntimes.com/ebert)

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Year 1990

Reference number F22794

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA

Genre Feature

Duration 2:32:00

Production company Hibiscus Films

Available at Medianet sites

Location information

Credits Director: Jane Campion
Producer: Bridget Ikin
Co-Producer: John Maynard
Writer: Laura Jones
Music: Don McGlashan
Director of Photography: Stuart Dryburgh
Editor: Veronika Haussler
Casting: Diana Rowan
Production Design: Grant Major
Art Directorn: Jackie Gilmore
Art Directorn: Grant Major
Costume Design: Glenys Jackson
Makeup Artist: Marjory Hamlin
Makeup Artist: Elle Stephenson
Production Manager: Owen Hughes
Production Manager: Lisa Kissin
Production Manager: Janes McIver
Assistant Director: Jessica Hobbs
Assistant Director: John Maynard
Assistant Director: Malcolm Robertson
Assistant Director: Corrie Soeterboek
Sound Designer: John Dennison
Sound Designer: Tony Vaccher
Production Sound Mixer: Graham Morris
Script Supervisor: Lynn-Maree Danzey
Camera Operator: Allen Guilford
Cast: Kerry Fox
Cast: Alexia Keogh
Cast: Karen Fergusson
Cast: Iris Churn
Cast: Jessie Mune
Cast: Kevin J Wilson
Cast: Francesca Collins
Cast: Melina Bernecker
Cast: Mark Morrison
Cast: Katherine Murray-Cowper
Cast: Mark Thomson
Cast: Brenda Kendall
Cast: Paul Moffat
Cast: Blair Hutchison
Cast: David McAuslAn
Cast: Ailene Herring
Cast: Faye Flegg
Cast: Carla Hedgeman
Cast: Timothy Bartlett
Cast: Richard Mills
Cast: Sassy Acorn
Cast: Tony Creamer
Cast: Hamish McFarlane
Cast: Geoff Barlow
Cast: Samantha Townsley
Cast: Sarah Llewellyn
Cast: Christopher Lawrence
Cast: Edith Campion
Cast: Fiona Kay
Cast: Brian Flegg
Cast: Eileen Clark
Cast: Margaret Gordon
Cast: Caroline Somerville
Cast: Lilian Enting
Cast: Fiona Brown
Cast: Maureen Duffy
Cast: Karla Smith
Cast: Willa O'Neill
Cast: Fritha Stalker
Cast: Melanie Reid
Cast: Natasha Gray
Cast: Kelly Stewart
Cast: Andrew Binns
Cast: Glynis Angell
Cast: Susan McGregor
Cast: Erin Mills
Cast: Virginia Brocklehurst
Cast: Natalie Ellis
Cast: Eddie Hegan
Cast: Sarah Smuts-Kennedy
Cast: Colin McColl
Cast: Erin Dorricott
Cast: Francene Clark
Cast: Doreen Donnell
Cast: Alistair Douglas
Cast: Rod Collison
Cast: Harry Lavington
Cast: Sheryl Stewart
Cast: Cushla Ashton
Cast: Jacqueline O'Rourke
Cast: Joy Trow
Cast: June Shane
Cast: Annabelle Lomas
Cast: Ann Coc-Kroft
Cast: David Stott
Cast: Elizabeth McRae
Cast: Jim Rawdon
Cast: Peter Brunt
Cast: Celia Nicholson
Cast: Peter Needham
Cast: Joshua Cole
Cast: Ian Hendl
Cast: Martyn Sanderson
Cast: Jessica Wilcox
Cast: Mark Clare
Cast: Helene Anderson
Cast: Joan Foster
Cast: David Letch
Cast: Rob Jayne
Cast: Sharon Marsden
Cast: Colette Cooper
Cast: Paul Norell
Cast: Julia Calvo
Cast: Carlos Martínez
Cast: Maria Matias
Cast: Michael Harry
Cast: Maria Mercedes Moroto
Cast: Paula Sánchez
Cast: Timothy Smith
Cast: Alison Bruce
Cast: William Brandt
Cast: Gwyneth Hugues
Cast: Gerald Bryan
Cast: Billie Atkinson
Cast: Peter Dennett
Cast: David McKenzie
Cast: Eleanor Wragge
Cast: Caroline Flint
Cast: Rachel Hernandez
Cast: Patrick Griffiths
Funded By: New Zealand Film Commission

Related Link New Zealand Film Commission