ADAPTING SHAKESPEARE: JULIE MEETS WILL
Associate Professor Lesley Marx, Centre for Film and Media Studies, University of Cape Town
Shakespeare, as Ben Jonson memorably expressed it, ‘was not of an age, but for all time’, and his work for the theatre, itself an ever-changing space of meaning in performance, has proved malleable and responsive to increasingly diverse times and places. Julie Taymor proved herself a brilliant theatre practitioner with The Lion King and an equally gifted film director with her biopic on Frida Kahlo. In her adaptations of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream she brings her rich visual sensibility to bear, as well as her imaginative grasp of the technical gifts of filmmaking, a powerful emotional engagement with the material and a daring will to interpret and challenge received meanings of a grotesque tragedy, an evocative and influential romance and a comedy that is, by turns, moving, frightening and very funny. This two-hour lecture will explore the meeting of these two gifted creators.