Julie Taymor Wraps Film Version of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM; Aims for Toronto Debut
Vulture writes that Tony-winning director Julie Taymor has finished the film version of her staged production of Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, which ran at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn this winter, produced by Theatre for a New Audience.
"Many people wanted a tour, but it's completely impractical," Taymor told Vulture, citing the number of actors required for the project. "It will probably never see the light of day again as a live production, so I feel very good about the film...I think it's fairy unusual, because it is a real hybrid of live theater and film. It's very cinematic. There are no visual effects -- they're all live."
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All of the performances were shot straight through with cameras in different positions at each show, along with handheld close-ups. Taymor compared this film's feel to her screen version of Oedipus Rex, which premiered in 1992. Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto (Frida) shot all of the footage for 'MIDSUMMER' during the last four performances of the play.
Taymor's plan is to debut 'MIDSUMMER' at the Toronto International Film Festival, as she did with 2002's Frida and 2007's Across the Universe.
Taymor is known for her visionary work on stage and screen. She is a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and won two Tony Awards -- including Best Director -- for The Lion King, which is the highest grossing Broadway show of all time. Taymor is also an accomplished director of opera, with productions including an astounding realization of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex (broadcast on PBS) in Matsumoto, Japan; The Magic Flute for the Metropolitan Opera and The Flying Dutchman and Elliot Goldenthal's Grendel for the LA Opera.
Taymor made her debut as a film director with her adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus (screening on Friday at FTF), starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange, and has directed three other films: Frida -- the story of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina (which earned six Oscar nominations and won two); Across the Universe, a phantasmagorical musical featuring the music of the Beatles that was a Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture; and The Tempest -- her second reinvention of Shakespeare -- starring Helen Mirren as Prospera.