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When Amour, Michael Haneke's film about an aging couple struggling after a physical setback, won the Palme d'Or earlier this week, the 70-year-old Austrian director became one of just a handful of directors to win the Cannes Film Festival's top prize two times—and the only person ever to do so within the span of only three years (he also won the prize in 2009 for WWI drama The White Ribbon).
Back in January 1992, Interview spoke with Jane Campion in anticipation of  The Piano, the film for which Campion received the Palme d'Or in 1993.
There was a big greyhound dog track and a big flea market there.  I bought a pair of cowboy boots and did my first tattoo.
You know what was funny?  I think the first tattoo I had ever seen being done was right before I did my tattoo.  It was a girl who had a fishnet top on and it just was so strange to me – it was the first tattoo I had seen. I was doing an airbrush course for helmets and automotive airbrushing when I met a girl there whose dad was a tattooist so I started making enquiries.
Most the hijinks came from me being a clumsy buffoon like getting hit by a car on my motorbike two weeks after starting and ending up in hospital or crashing my push-bike in front of the shop trying to show off doing endos or spilling coffee on myself in the street trying to dance like MC Hammer.
OW: A place that no longer exists called, Advanced Art tattooing in the northern 'burbs of Melbourne. Privacy was the only real issue in the last shops I've worked for, and nowadays we are doing a lot of private tattooing. Within tattooing it's been pretty much everyone I've ever worked with as they have all had an influence on me.
Others on the list would be Mike Roper, Mick from Zurich, Luke Atkinson, Dean Sacred, all the guys from Skull and Sword, Andre Malcolm, Shige, James Tex, William Yoneyama, Geordie Cole and of course Evan Griffiths, who I now work alongside, but I think the one I look up to most would be Claudia Kuster as she has been a mentor for so long. We went there for a lot of stuff when setting up the shop as it was cheap but it's not worth the mental torment. I think it’s more just, you know, things that I like and things that inspire me, more than historic things, I think.
That’s interesting about your son, man.  That, even having a father who was so heavily tattooed, he would still approach his first tattoo in that sort of environment. Growing up in Southern California, you’re inundated by Latino and gang-style tattooing on people that you see everyday. Living where you live, man, you’ve got some of the best, fine-line, Latino, black & gray—you’ve got some of the best of that style of tattooing in the world.
I have friends that never got a tat, and I can’t help but just go, “God…that’s so cool dude—you don’t have any tats. I was going to say, you know, if Social Distortion hadn’t worked out, you might have become a tattoo artist—because that’s what happened to a whole lot of us from that era.
So I wanted to rap with you, if I could, about the length of time you took between the last record and this new record. We did some shows overseas with you guys in Europe, which was my first time seeing you guys overseas at a couple of festivals, and in Italy, in Milan in particular, at that festival inside that hangar that we did last year—I couldn’t believe the way that fans were so ravenous for you guys over there as well.
We have great hopes, thanks to Oliver Peck and Shane Trulin, to eventually put together a nice article on Eric’s life and work. Steve Strange and the return of Visage with Hearts and Knives is the artist spotlight feature in the summer issue of Beige. The award sets high expectations for the drama's US release in December, especially considering past winners of the prize have included such classics as La Dolce Vita, Les parapluies de Cherbourg, Taxi Driver, Pulp Fiction, and The Piano. The Piano, which in early 1992 was tentatively titled The Piano Lesson, went on to win three Academy Awards in 1994, including one for Campion's screenplay and another for the acting of a young Anna Paquin—who preceded her True Blood career by being the second-youngest Oscar winner in history (Tatum O'Neal has her by a solid year). I love Owen dearly and really want to do this interview, but he's one of my best friends and partner in crime so this is bound to get real messy, real fast.
Yeah, but when those dolphins turned into a complete underwater scene that took over the whole hand I started dreaming of bigger and better things. After doing a few years of random jobs (including digging a pool by hand and reconditioning engines) post failing high school, I decided to try to find a job using my artistic interest.


All he did was make me buy the A to Z of Tattooing by Huck Spaulding, but that's as far as it went. They are some of my greatest influences in tattooing and I still keep in touch with all of them, so to work there really was something special. We were looking for a name that combined our interest with the Japanese style of tattooing and our love of hair metal. It's set up in the heart of the city and is really easy for our clients to get to, especially the interstate clients who don't have a car and need hotels, etc. It's really hard to make a list, there's so many that I've looked up to over the years, but I guess the main ones have been (and still are) Filip Leu and Grime. That place is a inhumane experiment to see what people can possibly endure in terms of frustration and disorientation. For me personally, it’s been more like things that are reflections of me, or things that are in my life. And I think you hit on something interesting — how in the eighties and nineties, tattooing was an anti-social statement, and now, it’s almost just a fashion statement. In the interview, reprinted below, the filmmaker talks about her controversial portrayal of females that would go on to typify her success.Jane Campion by Katherine Dieckmann Jane Campion directs horrific, funny, and wildly expressive movies about misunderstood women, family abuse, and the way overripe imaginations transform banal reality.
I first went in there to get my first tattoo outside of the shop I was working in back in 2000 an it just blew my mind.
Considering I'd worked in this city for 13 years it'd be stupid of me to walk away from that. Tama is the name of a drum company that sponsored half of the bands we love and the drum kit I wanted so badly when I was learning to play years ago. It gets kinda awkward when you're right up in someone's butt-crack with a shader and someone comes in asking about pricing or something as we don't have a counter person. Those guys have set the standard over the years and continue to raise the bar, plus they are really nice guys too. Getting tasered in L.A., to a friend nearly getting his throat slit by some crazy dude who climbed through our third-story window in Edinburgh!
It's a world with a lot of genuine people and real characters and I hope it stays that way.
Growing up in Southern California, you saw it on cholos, you saw it on sailors at the Pike.
Did you think, you know, I’d like to get some tattoos like that; I’d like to get some black and gray imagery, some Latino imagery? From then until now, what were the changes in the writing, recording and producing process, or were you just taking the right amount of time for the songs, and for the record that you wanted to record? But I’d just gotten back together with my oldest son’s mom, and started raising a family, and started restoring a house to move into—just a lot of normal, everyday life things. It's a sign of how deeply Campion's films probe the recesses of the psyche that people automatically presume her to be a dark cloud.
Also if we're tattooing someone in a really painful spot it's best just to keep going and get it done rather than stopping to answer the phone or make appointments. There is also a whole bunch of Chinese painters I have books of that I have no idea how to pronounce their names, as I can't read Chinese.
I was 17, you know, and I drank five beers before I went in [laughs]…and I got this heart right here, and this banner—which I designed myself—and like a typical teenager, I wrote Heartbreaker across it.
You have a lot of tattoos that are in that style—was that your intention, when you knew you wanted to get tattooed? All these pro athletes are getting tats, going right to the neck…it takes a little bit of the fun out of it. Instead, talking on the phone from Sydney, the self-professed "chatty and social" Campion is crisp, quick, and prone to bursts of hearty laughter.She first attracted attention for Sweetie (1989), an unsparing look at a bland, repressed woman, her id-driven sister, and their parents' sheer inertia. Campion's willingness to depict blood, piss, and anguish through a violently tilted camera won her mostly praise, with a few nervous dissents.


While he is without a doubt one of the loudest people in the industry, he is also incredibly modest and hard-working. But I told myself that I would never let eight years go by again without a record, but before you know it, there were six. Last year's An Angel at My Table, adapted from Janet Frame's autobiographies, served up a more becalmed but no less compelling look at the shy writer's struggle to define her creativity.A third feature, tentatively titled The Piano Lesson, is currently in pre-production.
His artwork is insane, be it portrait work, Japanese inspired pieces or pin-ups - the end result is always jaw-dropping. And back then it was kind of like, I’m 17, I’m looking at a Stray Cats album, and I’m going, “Okay, I just want four”, here, and here, [Mike gestures to both forearms and both biceps] But you can’t just get four, you know?
Set in Campion's native New Zealand, the 19th-century period piece explores a love triangle between a mute pianist (Holly Hunter), her greedy homesteader husband (Sam Neill), and a dashing ruffian (Harvey Keitel).
Will The Piano Lesson take you back in that direction?JANE CAMPION: I've been wondering about that very much myself!
And correct me if I’m wrong, but back then, and throughout history, it seems to that tattooing was for anti-social reasons, an anti-social statement. I'm more after what sorts of sensations and feelings and subtleties you can get through your story and can bring out through performances—although at the same time, I'm always wondering about style, trying things out.
It’s like, “You mean, because you’re sleeved, you and I have something in common?” To me, that’s the same as just living in the same city as me. 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. I was like, “Trust me, son.” Because there is some amount of preparation that I wish I would have done with my tats, of course.
So you know, there’s a certain aspect to going and getting fresh flash tattoos, and having it all be uniform—like I didn’t know that you were supposed to get big pieces first, and all that. There was a big drive when I was at art school to make you aware of the economy of meaning—after all, this was still during the tail end of minimalism. I remember when she came and spoke to us at university and told all the boys to leave the audience.
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. Then one day someone said to me, "You don't have any wide shots in the film." And I said, "Wide shots?
What are they?" That comment kind of blew my whole world apart, and I realized that I did not have any idea of what I was up to. So over the next few years I went on a very self-conscious quest to understand film language.
I also looked at lots of still photographs, for compositional interest and, you know, to take in what a vision was. One is very practical, like, "Ew, does that mean I have to come up with something new?" And the other is "Oh, isn't that great that, even in a superficial way, there's this little celebration of individuality?" I feel kind of excited about that. My instinct is that it all comes down to meaning, and you return to films where there's some sort of tight emotional rationale. And I suppose this phase of eccentricity will disappear, since there seems to be a high turnover for new things. Well, I just won't be doing that anymore, then!THIS INTERVIEW ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE JANUARY 1992 ISSUE OF INTERVIEW.For more New Again click here.



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