But short films are not inferior, just different. I think the short gives a freedom to film-makers. What's appealing is that you don't have as much responsibility for storytelling and plot. They can be more like a portrait, or a poem.
With 'Bright Star' and with 'The Piano,' too, I felt a kind of sadness about it being in such a different era, because of my lack of experience with the era. And one of the ways I'd get over it is to remind myself that every film, even if it's contemporary, creates its own world.
I think that three-act fundamentalism in film culture is a problem sometimes, because it's almost too obvious, or it's too expected. And it's not the only way to fill two hours, or to phrase things, or to order thoughts, or order ideas.
I had this spooky psychological thing about 'The Piano' before it began, which was how everybody was going to go nuts on the set. Because a film tends to set up the way people are going to behave.
I think feature film can be quite conservative, because you have to now get audiences to come out, and it's quite a hard thing to do. Of course, television can be conservative too.
I think women don't grow up with the harsh world of criticism that men grow up with, we are more sensitively treated, and when you first experience the world of film-making you have to develop a very tough skin.
I've had a lot of different responses to my films. I got a lot of support from 'The Piano,' the obvious one, but it feels like an ocean, with a lot going on - the goal is to keep alive.
I'm someone who loves to play. I make films so I can have fun with the characters.
If you start with a good idea, you can encapsulate it in a phrase and explain it. I like high-concept films. Everyone can get hold of it. I don't think there's any harm in that at all.
I did this Super-8 film at art school called Tissues, this black comedy about a family whose father has been arrested for child molestation. I was absolutely thrilled by every inch of it, and would throw my projector in the back of my car and show it to anybody who would watch it.
The Piano Lesson' is very sophisticated, easily the most adult or complex material I've attempted. It's the first film I've written that has a proper story, and it was a big struggle for me to write. It meant I had to admit the power of narrative.
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