Jane Campion believes that 'The Power of the Dog' is "too specific" to be considered as a Western.

The 67-year-old director has helmed the drama film that is set in 1920s Montana and follows cattle rancher Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch) whose presides over a reign of terror towards his brother (Jesse Plemons) when he marries a young widow (Kirsten Dunst) but felt it was more than a conventional Western film.

Speaking prior to the film's premiere at the New York Film Festival, Jane said: "The film is clearly a complex way of approaching masculinity. I think it's a solid container for thinking and rethinking the men in this world.

"I didn't think of it as a Western. The story was too specific."

Jane, whose previous pictures include 'The Piano' and 'Holy Smoke!', also believes that the new movie – which is based on Thomas Savage's 1967 novel of the same name - is a "departure" from her previous efforts.

She said: "I see this film as a departure from my other films, but maybe it's a nice bookend to 'The Piano'. This is another big landscape film exploring the masculine myth."

Kirsten revealed that she had been longing to work with Jane after seeing her work on 'The Piano'.

The 39-year-old star told Variety: "Ever since I was young and watched 'The Piano', Jane has been a filmmaker that I've admired and wanted to work with.

"When I was in my 20s, she actually sent me a letter about working together... I've saved it since. Her films and the women in them have sustained me across my whole career."