Monday, February 1, 2010

Oedipus Rex

When I found out Julie Taymor had directed a version of Oedipus Rex and it was on DVD there was no doubt that I needed to find it. Enter the hero of the piece – Netflix. Thank God for Netflix, helping geeks like me find the most obscure things possible.

I had to see this because Julie Taymor has only made three feature films and has captivated me with them. The way she integrates genres, art, color and space is fascinating and astoundingly beautiful to me and knowing she’s primarily a stage director I had to see her stage work. If you’re not familiar with Titus, Frida or Across the Universe I can almost guarantee you’ve heard of the most popular thing she adapted for the stage – The Lion King.

What I didn’t realize about this version of Oedipus Rex was that it was in Japanese, done for a play festival in Japan but that makes it even more interesting. Taymor melded together Japanese dance, fashion, make-up and tradition with Greek masks, and her signature puppets and use of color and created a visually riveting production. This was a special taping, done for the camera not the audience so the recordnign is not static, but I can only imagine how beautiful this must have been to see in person.

I recommend any of Julie Taymor’s work to anyone that appreciated different and beautiful film. She’s captivating and I can only hope that another movie will come her way before too long.

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