Anyone who found themselves uninspired by their high school English classes might remember that there was a small spark of fun to look forward to, if they were lucky. Should your instructor assign you to read, or better yet, watch a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, you could anticipate some magical entertainment. Julie Taymor staged her own version of the classic in 2014 and fortunately, it was captured on film because it is astonishing.
Of course, the play was meant to be a spectacle and who better to adapt it to a modern stage than the women who brought The Lion King to Broadway. No spoilers, but Taymor finds a way to work her trademark anthropomorphic creatures into Midsummer as well, and it is as darkly charming as you would expect. However, the blue-collar players of Athens who mount their own performance in honor of their Duke Theseus’ pending nuptials are not as skilled in costume design as Taymor. Few are, and the Lion in their little troupe is a deliciously ridiculous self-reference of a play within a play about another play. Continue reading.
Streaming on Film Movement + through March 1, 2023. WATCH NOW