WOODSTOCK – A piece of the director Julie Taymor story is missing. Perhaps it is too soon to name it.
On Saturday, Taymor sat in a plush chair on the raised stage at the Kleinert Center in Woodstock.
Film critic and author Thelma Adams sat across from her, a sheaf of questions in hand.
Microphones crisscrossed the space in front of them as 100 or so people clutched their Woodstock Film Festival tickets and scrunched into plastic chairs in the audience.
Later Saturday night, Taymor was to receive the film festival’s Maverick Award, one of two major awards given at the festival.
The festival offerings of mostly independent films and documentaries continues through the weekend.
That includes a screening Sunday morning of Taymor’s “Across the Universe,” a 2007 reprise of the tumultuous Sixties, infused with 33 songs by the Beatles.
The artistic roots of 65-year-old Taymor go deep into Indonesia and Japan, among other foreign locales.
Experiences there led her to focus her artistic vision on the idea of ideographs. They distill a film or play into a single motif, she explained to the audience.
In the “Lion King,” which she directed on Broadway, that ideograph is a circle. In the film, “Titus,” starring Anthony Hopkins, it was the Colosseum.
On Monday, she said, she starts looking for locations for her newest film, a movie based on the life and writings of feminist icon Gloria Steinem.
The movie, as presently envisioned, follows the life and activism of Steinem through the portrayals of five different actresses, including Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore and Steinem herself, Taymor said.
The actresses will cross time and talk to each other through an out-of-time bus, which is what Taymor sees as the ideograph of the film.
What started out envisioned as a celebration of women on the night of the presidential election in 2016 has changed due to its startling outcome, Taymor said.
“We must not give up,” she said. “We must get it out before 2020.”
Taymor herself is not easing up; she did not talk about what her own ideograph might be.
She said she now has five or six projects going in different stages of development, including plans for an eight-part television series.
“People have to do the stories that interest them. Period. It is about individual artists telling stories they want to tell,” she said.