Taymor recognized for creative work
ASPEN, Colorado While there might not be a lot of similarity between Disney-fied lion, a tragic Shakespearean figure and a tortured artist, Julie Taymor has been drawn to them all. As a director, shes responsible for play after play, movie after movie, that are popular and yet still full of artist risk. At the end of the month, Aspen film is celebrating her for that very reason.Recently, she had a few minutes to chat.
I dont think people who do that can answer a question like that. I think you just, it just comes, its just something you do like drinking or eating or, you know, sleeping or whatever. Its just part of my being. I didnt decide one day to be a creator. Its just what Ive been doing my whole life.
Well, I think that, if we just even look at someone like Shakespeare, you know, who wrote these extraordinary plays and used the most extremely exquisite and elegant language to describe what really is a horror that every its not me, I mean, I just think thats just part of what an artist does in general or Picasso painting Guernica. You know, youre in awe of it, and I think that beauty and darkness go hand-in-hand. I dont think beauty is light. I also think it makes people stop and ponder the moment. I think it was beautiful when Livinias hands I think its an incredibly, I dont know if beauty is the right word, but astonishing image of her hands being cut off with the twigs replacing them. But I did get it from Shakespeare, you know what I mean? I got it from his language, and the blood pouring out of her mouth. Sometimes I feel that if you just do things in an absolute, matter-of-fact way, the audience wont see it. Theyll take it for granted. They become immune to the imagery. Friday Kahlo painted her pain, so theres nothing more exacting than someone who made beauty out of suffering than her. So, if I show that bus accident with the gold (flakes, flying through the air), that was an event. That happened. I didnt make that up. That was written about, and so I shot it. And yes, slow motion or the glass breaking just amplifies the experience. It is something very beautiful. There is beauty in horror, that is for sure.
Well, Im an entertainer and a storyteller, and I want to move people I suppose the loftiest notion would be to, in some way, transform them. The experience is transformative, that they are inspired and their life has been added to, that there is something. Thats my lofty notion. Thats the one that one hopes youve done, and people feel moved. And then I hope that Ive given them a good time, that Ive entertained them for the two or three hours they spent in the theater or the film, and that Ive made them think, moved them. Its sort of the three parts: your head, your heart and your gut. That my work operates on all of those levels, and if you dont understand the more sophisticated ideas or more sophisticated imagery and language that youll still have a good time with the story. And again, using Shakespeare as my model, he knew how to do that.
Completely. If you do Shakespeare well, meaning you have actors that know what theyre saying, you dont have to understand those words, because its clear in how they express and the action thats happening.
(Taymor laughs) Um, feeling like youve given people something. When people tell me how they saw Across the Universe with their daughters, and they had that moment, and they shared that experience, that touches me. If I feel like people have been really, really touched by the work, thats the most gratifying. Being successful financially supposedly, and does, give you freedom to keep doing the kind of work you want to do, so I can make my choices.I think its that, though, the joy or the happiness or the fun that you can give to people. Its a reciprocal feeling.
I dont know if there is anything at the moment. I suppose you could say the worst part is that people want to bring you down, obviously. You dont they dont call them critics for nothing. Theyre not there to be out there and say ra, ra, ra. So, youve already got to deal with people comparing you to your last work or all of that. But its no big deal.
Um, I think, I dont know if its pride as much as something that I aspire to and feel that Ive been able to do, in a way, which is bridge art and commerce. That you dont have to dumb down to your audience or patronize them with drivel to make a buck or have good entertainment. I think thats still an misconception, especially in the movie industry, that art films are separated from commercial films.
Oh, I have lots of projects (laughing). I want to do and opera film of Grendel. I want to see if we can, because its very hard to do opera, you only get six performances, and we work 10 or 15 years on it. I have other movie musicals I want to do. You know, its still in the medium. I like the idea of still making experimental, new kind of work in all three mediums: theater, opera and film. I have Spider Man coming up next year, which is pretty exciting, on Broadway.
Being in love.
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