Sound and Fury: Julie Taymor's "The Tempest"

by robbiefreeling
December 8, 2010 1:53 AM
2 Comments
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Julie Taymor is a filmmaker fascinatingly, infuriatingly at odds with herself. Each of her four features contains an essential, somewhat patronizing, gesture toward accessibility: her debut, Titus, sexes up Shakespeare’s gruesome Titus Andronicus with an all-star cast and a bright color palette; Frida puts Salma Hayek through an Oscar-friendly ornate-biopic game of dress-up, casting the voluptuous actress as the earth-mother-ish Mexican painter Frida Kahlo; Across the Universe tells a story of young love laced with Beatles tracks, proudly presenting the biggest pop-music sensation in the history of the world for those recalcitrant adolescents unwilling to take their parents’ word for it; and The Tempest, her latest effort, returns to the turf of her debut, busting a flashy late-Nineties-esque Shakespeare-revisionism move (it’s Prosper-a not Prosper-o!) amid a maelstrom of bizarre VFX. Even her forthcoming, astronomically expensive Broadway adaptation of Spider-Man, subtitled Turn Off the Dark, seems determined to make the comic-book material even more mainstream; the three Sam Raimi Spider-Man films collectively took in about $2.5 billion worldwide, but for all those stern, earnest adult-contemporary listeners in flyover country still dismissing superheroes as geeky kids’ stuff, Taymor has made the diplomatic gesture of adding a score of new soaring anthems by Bono and The Edge. Read Benjamin Mercer's review of The Tempest.

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2 Comments

  • AV | October 5, 2010 4:08 AMReply

    why so much piling on for the tempest?
    why are so many people going so crazy?
    why so much fury that taymor wants to make something accessible?
    this has become disgusting

    tempest is not a 'disney' film so you don't have to worry about mickey and goofy popping out of the ship's cabin.
    touchstone miramax disney whatever is the distributor
    tempest was made for under 20 million
    it wasn't made for you. so be it.
    maybe you need 3D glasses and your chair to go up and down?

    and by the way. Djimon Hounsou is not 'barking' his lines.
    how dare you

  • Andy | October 4, 2010 12:03 PMReply

    Your summary of Taymor's work is ridiculously simplistic. Titus was "sexed up" because it was a movie that had two movie stars, and bright colors? Give me a break! And then you try to find fault with casting Salma Hayek as Frida? Hayek was the one who brought the project to Taymor! Next time try to find a thesis that you can support.