Across the Universe (2007). Why? Because I’m a Beatles fan? Because of cameos ranging from Bono to Joe Cocker to Salyma Hyeck? Because it represents the turbulent 60s perfectly? Because the music and choreography and cinematography are far-out? YES.
What’s there NOT to like about Julie Taymor films? They are classy, magical, colorful, musical, sexy, and very cool.
Another OUTSTANDING Julie Taymor film is Frida (2002).
This film is a biopic featuring the surrealist Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. It stars Salyma Hyeck, Alfred Molina (Diego Rivera), Antonio Banderas, Edward Norton, Ashley Judd, and Geoffrey Rush. Watch the film for the colors, the acting, and the history. Frida Kahlo lived from 1907 – 1954 and struggled with her identity and demanded equality and respect in a Machismo society. She was ahead of her time, fearless, and proud of her country. Julie Taymor brings to life a fabulous artist and a voice to Latin American art.
A theme of Frida Kahlo’s life was pain. In her teens a bus accident impaired her. Here’s a cool scene exemplifying the Mexican symbol, the calaca, as a way to describe Frida’s injuries.
Another visionary director is Jane Campion. The Piano(1993) is visual art. Set at the wild, New Zealand coastline and interior, the cinematography is top-rate. It’s difficult to personify an object and pull it off. The piano transforms into a character, a sister to the protagonist Ada. The piano is an interpreter. The piano is tattooed, stroked, mutilated, loved, cherished, used, and murdered–it is the central symbol of the story.
Holly Hunter and young Anna Paquin won best actress and supporting actress. Harvey Keitel looks awesome in New Zealand tattoos. Sam Neill is the colonial male from England in the 1860s who can’t tame the aborigines and cannot fathom his newly arrived bride from Scotland.
Her obsession with her piano is peculiar, and when she plays, it’s like “a mood that goes through you.”
Portrait of a Lady (1996). Henry James loved to write novels and stories about the super-wealthy during the Gilded Age and their cruel games of toying others for sake of amusement. Nicole Kidman is Isabel Archer, an American heiress and free-thinker who travels to Europe. She succumbs to two corrupted souls, Madame Merle, (Barbara Hershey) and Gilbert Osmond (John Malkovich). Jane Campion’s use of camera angles, period clothing, and her vision of this James classic was interesting.
She makes man movies as well as any man could.
NANCY MEYERS directed blockbuster chick-flicks…
She seems the one “most likely to succeed” but it’s too soon for me to accept her yet. Yes, Lost in Translation was nicely done. Are you looking forward to The Bling Ring?
Have you seen any of these well made films?
Who’s your favorite female director?