Cinemascopes: Taurus

April 21 – May 21

CINEMASCOPES (cinema + horoscopes) approaches film through an astrological lens, and vice versa. Published in seasonal instalments, the series explores how astrology can be made intelligible through film, and considers how the energy of each astrological season might be applied to how we watch and make films.

Happy Taurus season! Taureans are complex, and I’m not sure if I can really do them justice in a piece like this, so what you’re about to read only covers a few facets of the whole. Placid and competent, Taureans don’t rush things — this season is the time for a patient and thorough (yet easygoing) approach to filmmaking.

As a sign notorious for its sensual predilections, Taurus season is also a great time to tap into the material, sensory, and affective possibilities of film. The work of Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani is a great place to start — though I don’t know their signs, they explicitly approach their work in “a sensual, physical way”.

There are certainly a lot of fantastic and prolific Taureans in film, and this season offers a wealth of work to examine and draw inspiration from — perhaps being earth signs contributes to a certain creative fertility.

Work hard

Taurus, a.k.a. The Bull, is of course known to be a stubborn (or, more optimistically, persistent) sign — and they get results. Coming out of the full-steam-ahead impulsivity of Aries season, the earth sign Taurus is more focused on having a balanced, consistent, and practical work ethic.

They work hard and quietly, and are adept at sustaining this steady motivation thanks to their “noticeable powers of endurance and resilience… [and] hidden reserves of power and strength”.

The creative output of Taurus directors like John Waters, Elaine May, Amy Heckerling, Jane Campion, Barbara Hammer, Cheryl Dunye, John Woo, Orson Welles, and Maya Deren is evidence enough of this…

…not to mention Taurus actors like Al Pacino, Giancarlo Esposito, Rosario Dawson, Channing Tatum, Robert Pattinson, Joe Keery, Audrey Hepburn, Danny Trejo, Uma Thurman, Grace Jones, Barbra Streisand, Cher, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

TAURUS INSPIRATION

Bri Malandro — pop-culture archivist, creator of Insomnia Revenue, and originator of the Yeehaw Agenda — is an absolute Taurus legend, with a consistent and fantastic creative output. She gets it.

Key quote:

I just feel like Taurus is a very slept on/underestimated zodiac.


Rest harder

Do enough reading on Taurus and you’ll notice the same word cropping up again and again: “sensual”. Not only is Taurus an earth sign, it’s also ruled by the planets Venus and Ceres — the god of love and the Earth Mother, respectively.

What does this mean? Put simply, Taureans are considered to enjoy earthly delights. Indulgence, comfort, and sensory pleasures are a big part of Taurus energy. They work hard, but they know how to treat themselves — they’re often characterized as being preoccupied with food, romance, and sex, which makes sense when considering these ruling planets. Don’t overwork yourself this season — acknowledge that you are deserving of rest and pleasure, too.

TAURUS INSPIRATION

Sailor Moon from Sailor Moon. I know it’s controversial for me to say that, because she’s a Cancer, but that girl’s got love & food on her mind constantly — she’s gotta have some Taurus in her chart.

Key quote:

I’m told my best subject is sleeping, but I think it’s eating.

Stay grounded

The more I look at the roster of Taureans in film, the more they seem to me to share a quality of casual excellence: of doing great work and not being wankers about it. You could chalk this up to a hardworking nature, but I think that, paradoxically, their greatest strength is their ability to take it easy.

Though creatively talented, they don’t take themselves too seriously, meaning they can be very open and comforting presences to be around. Channel their mellow energy — retain your humility and groundedness this Taurus season.

TAURUS INSPIRATION

Robert Pattinson, whose offbeat, unpolished approach to interviews reveals a down-to-earth unpretentiousness — take this interview with Willem Dafoe, or his description of his favourite Halloween costume (“kind of a sort of Charlie Chaplin-ish kind of demon” made from his “friend’s mom’s clothes”), or any of his answers to this Reddit AMA, or the time he lied about seeing a clown die (?!) because he had “nothing interesting to say”. We’ve all been there.

Key quote:

Sometimes just when I say hello the right way, I’m like, “Whoa, I’m so cool.”

Final notes — express your emotions

Taureans are also known to be guarded when it comes to emotions and vulnerability — the other side of the coin when it comes to “strength”. This is not to say that they are genuinely repressed or emotionless — they can be quite romantic (and sensual, as we know) — but they tend to struggle when it comes to actually expressing their emotions! Don’t confuse being calm, hardworking and focused with being emotionless this season. Allow yourself to feel, and allow yourself to express these feelings in your work and beyond.

Recommended viewing: Phantom Thread. Reynolds Woodcock (played by Taurean legend Daniel Day-Lewis) is attractive and talented (but doesn’t need to brag about it); he’s a workaholic (but he’d love an excuse to be lazy); he isn’t great at expressing his emotions (though he delights in romantic relationships); he’s occasionally stubborn; and he’s really into food. Cinematic Taurus energy at its finest.

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Ivana Brehas (a.k.a. Joaquin Shenix) is a writer and filmmaker living in Naarm (Melbourne). She has written for Dazed, Much Ado About Cinema, The Big Issue, 4:3 and more. She is currently completing her MA in Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing at the University of Melbourne. Contact her at www.ivanabrehas.com.

Ivana Brehas

Ivana Brehas (a.k.a. Joaquin Shenix) is a writer and filmmaker living in Naarm (Melbourne). She has written for Dazed, Much Ado About Cinema, The Big Issue, 4:3 and more. She is currently completing her MA in Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing at the University of Melbourne. Contact her at www.ivanabrehas.com.