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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: November ::
Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2110  Friday, 17 November 2000.

[1]     From:   Milla Riggio <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 10:16:23 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2105 Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS

[2]     From:   Douglas M Lanier <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 10:22:05 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2105 Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS

[3]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 08:32:35 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2105 Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS

[4]     From:   Billy Houck <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 13:46:47 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2105 Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS

[5]     From:   Tanya Gough <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 15:25:15 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.2105 Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS

[6]     From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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        Date:   Friday, November 17, 2000
        Subj:   Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Milla Riggio <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 10:16:23 -0500
Subject: 11.2105 Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2105 Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS

Dear all:

May I echo Brian Walsh's praise of TITUS, and add a word or two. I also
believe that this is easily one of the best film adaptations of
Shakespeare, and I teach many of them in my Shakespeare on film courses.
I thought Taymor got an acting performance out of Jessica Lange that was
beyond my imagining, and Anthony Hopkins was brutally moving and
powerful. The eclecticism of the period is little more than the freedom
to stage the plays as they were writing, for the stage not the costume
museum, and the jokes were indeed delicious. I saw it twice in the same
week and will see it many, many more times.

What I want to add to Walsh's comments is two-fold: 1) Fellini. This
film was heavily indebted to SATYRICON, with wonderful results. I have
seldom seen a filmmaker pay more direct homage to a master with such an
original product (there was even a hint of La Strada underlying bits of
the film, with Satyricon tones and modes).  2) On another note: Aaron. I
admire the straightforward, non-pc way in which Taymor had the nerve to
portray the villainous Aaron, letting the extraordinary power of his
final recognition of his child emerge from a portrayal that pulled no
punches, though for sure he was not one of the fools. What surprised me
most, perhaps, was the natural playability of the language. I have
taught the play many times and had always assumed that the only really
moving language was, in fact, in the Aaron/son recognition scene, where
there are lines that continually surprise me as having been written of a
miscegenational child in the 1590s. But I thought that, given the
stylization of the production, the text played as well or better than
almost any Shakespeare film I have seen. Amazingly apt and convincing, I
thought. I fully agree with the judgments of the other films named by
Walsh (though I thought there were some quite good effects in the Ethan
Hawkes Hamlet).

It is too bad, indeed, that imaginative, recreative efforts with the
complexity and clarity of focus that Taymor brought to TITUS are beyond
the grasp of the ordinary reviewer, or audience.

Milla Riggio

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Douglas M Lanier <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 10:22:05 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 11.2105 Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2105 Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS

Those interested in putting TITUS in the context of Taymor's theater and
art work might be interested to know that the National Museum of Women
in the Arts in Washington, D.C., will be opening an exhibit today on
Taymor's work:  "Julie Taymor:  Playing with Fire."  I've not seen the
exhibit, but it is said to include set designs, puppets, costumes,
video, special effects and music.  It runs through February 4.  Those in
Washington, D.C., for the MLA convention might want to include it in
their itinerary.

If this has already been noted by someone else, please excuse the
duplication.

Cheers,
Douglas Lanier

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[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Nov 2000 08:32:35 -0800
Subject: 11.2105 Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.2105 Re: Julie Taymor's TITUS

Overall, I enjoyed Brian Walsh's take on Titus, but the following
paragraph caught my eye:

> Remember the famous drawing by Henry Peacham of a staging of Titus, no
> less (reproduced in the Norton Shakespeare, page 3291). We can see from
> this that in Shakespeare's time there was no attempt to rigorously
> adhere to a consistent sense of place or time--why should we try to do
> that now?

Does anyone else think it a little ironic to appeal to the author's time
in order to move away from the idea of authenticity?

Cheers,
Se

 

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