On February 28, the DGA Eastern Region Special Projects Committee hosted a special evening in the Guild’s offices in New York with award-winning director Julie Taymor.
Following an introduction by Committee Chair Raymond De Felitta (Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story) Taymor sat down with moderator Terry George (Stand Off) to discuss her long career.
To set a framework for their discussion, each section featured a screening of a scene from her feature films Titus, Frida, Across the Universe, and The Tempest. After each scene, Taymor and George talked about subjects such as how she adapted her stage productions of Titus and Across the Universe into cinematic experiences that stood apart from theater versions; her use of subjective and objective storytelling in the biopic Frida; and what prompted her to gender shift the traditionally male role of Prospero in The Tempest into a female character as played by Helen Mirren.
Taymor is known for her unique imagination, while blurring the lines between theater, opera and film. Her work on the stage includes her direction of classic operas such as Stravinsky’s “Oedipus Rex” (1992) an Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” (1993) and plays such as Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” and her Broadway production of “The Lion King” (1997), which successfully blended masks, costuming and puppetry to bring the animated film to life on the stage, earning her Tony Awards for Direction and Costume Design.
Her first film was the hour-long short, Fool’s Fire (1992), which she adapted from the Edgar Allan Poe short story “Hop-Frog.” In 1993, she directed a television version of her opera production “Oedipus Rex” for the PBS series Great Performances. She made her feature debut with in 1999 with Titus, her film adaptation of her stage production of “Titus Andronicus.” Her other feature films include Frida (2002), true story of the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo; The Tempest (2010), her adaptation of the Shakespeare classic; and the Golden Globe Award-nominated Across the Universe (2007), a 1960s love story set to the music of The Beatles.
Taymor joined the DGA in 2002.