Baz Luhrmann – Analysis of the Red Curtain Trilogy Essay Sample

July 29, 2017 Music

The Red Curtain Trilogy. upon first idea. could merely be seen as a selling tool by Baz Luhrmann and the squad at Bazmark – put your three popular movies in a box set with some added characteristics and put it upon the DVD purchasing audience. However. upon farther review. the three movies are non boxed together merely for selling intents. or merely by the fact they have the same manager and production squad – Simply Ballroom. William Shakespeares Romeo & A ; Juliet and Moulin Rouge! all have implicit in subjects and myths that link them together. This essay will seek to discourse the societal and aesthetic subjects that run through the Red Curtain Trilogy. The subjects will be compared and contrasted between the three movies.

When explicating the ‘trilogy’ . Lurhmann addresses the first subject that runs through them – it in fact relates non to any societal or aesthetic subject. but the inspiration to elements of their plot lines.

“The ‘Red Curtain’ manner that defines our filmmaking comprises several distinguishable storytelling picks. A simple. even naive narrative based on a primary myth is set in a heightened or created universe that is at one time familiar yet alien. distant. Each of the ‘Red Curtain’ trilogy has a device which awakens the audience to the experience and the storyteller’s presence. promoting them to be invariably cognizant that they are in fact watching a movie. In ‘Strictly Ballroom’ dance is the device. the histrions literally dance out the scenes. In ‘Romeo+Juliet’ it is Shakespeare’s heightened 400-year-old linguistic communication. In ‘Moulin Rouge’ . our ultimate ‘Red Curtain’ gesture. music and vocal is the device that releases us from a realistic universe. ” ( Baz Lurhmann – World Wide Web. clubmoulinrouge. com )

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The primary myths that Luhrmann alludes to are really easy to understand one time brought to visible radiation. In Strictly Ballroom. the myth is David and Goliath. along with a 2nd subject of the ‘Ugly Duckling’ . Romeo+Juliet contains the notional myth of vernal love in struggle with society. The underlying myth in Moulin Rouge! is the myth of Orpheus. One that is non really good known. the myth of Orpheus Tells of the boy of Apollo and the Muse Calliope. Orpheus inherited from his female parent the power to enrapture every life animal with his music. When his love. Eurydice. was killed he descended into the Underworld to plead for her return. Orpheus enchanted Hades. the sovereign of the Underworld. with his music and was permitted to go forth with Eurydice. But there was one status: on his journey back to the universe above. Orpheus must take Eurydice and non look back to see if she followed. Merely as he reached the entryway to the Upperworld. fright overpowered him and he turned to see if she followed. therefore losing Eurydice everlastingly ( www. clubmoulinrouge. com ) . These fabulous subjects are so highlighted by the societal subjects that run through the three movies – household. position. beginning. societal figures and love.

On the surface. Strictly Ballroom could be seen as purely superficial. But its colorful images are merely highlighted by the mixture of fractured and involved relationships that drive the characters.

One of the most built-in secret plans in the movie is the relationship between lead character Scott ( Paul Mercurio ) and his household. The household is depicted as an unhappy one – a rebellious boy. a broken down female parent. a male parent who is immersed in his ain universe – in fact. the most grounded household member is that of Scott’s younger sister. who seems destined to look on as her household members continue on a destructive way. The four members of the Hastings household seem alienated. non merely from each other. but from the universe outside of dance hall dancing – their whole life is dancing. preparation and competitions. On the contrary. Scott’s love involvement. Fran ( Tara Morice ) . comes from a big Spanish household. who seem warm. loving and happy to be involved in each others lives.

Romeo & A ; Juliet. nevertheless. high spots two households that are at war. non merely with each other. but within themselves. Both households ( the Montagues and the Capulets ) . like the Hastings’ . practically seem to populate in other household members pockets – involved in each others lives in so many ways. And. likewise. the kids in the households – Romeo ( Leonardo DiCaprio ) and Juliet ( Claire Danes ) . and likewise in Strictly Ballroom with Scott and Fran – defy their household members by persuing a relationship with each other. Besides similar are the thrusts of each of the households in both movies. Survival in the dance universe drives the Hastings. whereas hatred. endurance for life and regard for the household name drives the Montagues and Capulets – where finally. they pay the monetary value with the lives of their family. Moulin Rouge! on the other manus. has really small reference of household. or even their impact on the lead characters lives – in this regard. it is different to the other two movies. The little mention is to Ewan McGregor’s Christian’s male parent minimizing his wants to go to Paris to go a portion of the Bohemian society. Therefore. it is his father’s disapproval that drives Christain to encompass this new life all the more wholeheartedly.

One component that is apparent in Moulin Rouge! is the importance of position and wealth of the characters. The Duke ( Richard Roxburgh ) is a affluent adult male. with the power to do or interrupt the Moulin Rouge. Satine ( Nicole Kidman ) is encouraged to score the affluent adult male – but alternatively falls in love with the penniless Christian. ensuing in the menace of death for non merely the Moulin Rouge. but besides the three involved in the love trigon. It is obvious in the movie that the character of the rich Duke is treated with little more than contempt. while the hapless Gypsies. like Christian. are portrayed as sympathetic – the hapless get the better ofing the rich in popularity. In relation to the other movies. where Moulin Rouge! can be seen as rich adult male. hapless adult male. Romeo & A ; Juliet is rich adult male. rich adult male.

The importance of position and wealth is relevant. non because of a love between two people of opposite societal categories. but because of a love between two people whose affluent households are involved in a feud that stems from the demand of power. wealth and high quality. The difference of position does non use in this movie – but its impact on the households feud affects even the youngest household members – in this instance. Romeo and Juliet. Strictly Ballroom besides features battles involved with stature – nevertheless. it is non wealth that defines this stature. but instead the degree of competence within the dance hall dance circles. Novices are treated with nil more than amusement. and are non deemed good plenty to dance with person of a more professional and complete stature. Possibly the character with the most ‘stature’ is that of Barry Fyfe ( Bill Hunter ) . president of Dance Australia. Ignorant of anyone who isn’t qualified. he is more focussed on himself than the good of the dance constitution and its terpsichoreans – and he is particularly prejudiced against Scott and his demand to dance something different to everything he has been taught.

This demand to be different fuels Scott’s relationship with Fran – and finally it is her Spanish heritage that inspires his dance. Multi-racial elements are introduced into the movie in the signifier of Fran and her drawn-out household. With the aid of her household. and their traditions. Scott is transformed into a more accepting individual and an divine terpsichorean. In Romeo & A ; Juliet. many characters have been adapted to go Hispanic – a consequence of the scene. which has the feeling of Miami Beach meets South America – and Tibult. Romeo’s best friend. is now of African American descent. What is interesting in the two movies. is that there is no racial bias. Of class. this would hold been impossible anyhow in Romeo & A ; Juliet. what with remaining true to the word of Shakespeare. but Fran’s heritage is non alluded to by Scott’s household – their chief

bias against her is her deficiency of dancing ‘skill’ . Moulin Rouge! besides contains characters of different descent – while many are Anglo-Saxon. there are rather a few minor characters of. one time once more. African American and Latino posterities – along with The Unconcious Argentinian ( Jacek Koman ) . who provides minutes of ‘comic-relief’ ( along with John Leguizamo’s Toulouse Lautrec ) . Like the other two movies. no bias is shown to a individual of a different descent. Besides. in Moulin Rouge! it is apparent that there is a strong Indian influence to some costumes and put design – nevertheless. there are no characters of Indian descent.

What is besides apparent in the three movies are the visual aspect of ‘underworld’ figures. In Moulin Rouge! . Satine and the other terpsichoreans at the Moulin Rouge are concubines – or cocottes – and Zigler ( Jim Broadbent ) their version of a ‘pimp’ . Romeo & A ; Juliet contains a scene where Tibult dresses up. along with others. and performs a retarding force queen act. And. although non as obvious or utmost as the other two movies. Strictly Ballroom’s Barry Fyfe is the ageless con adult male. running the show and repairing the competitions to his ain benefit.

However. more than any other subject discussed. the subject of love is by far the most of import and most built-in to each of the three movies. Love drives the full movies narratives – without the love of the lead characters. nil else affairs. The love of Scott and Fran in Strictly Ballroom overcomes dancing incompetency. household disapproval and intervention from higher powers ( Internet Explorer. Barry Fyfe ) . Romeo and Juliet’s love leads to them deceasing for each other in the face of hardship and disapproval. finally stoping the feud between the households. which had caused them to take their lives. Christian and Satine overcome The Duke. Zigler. the restraints of the Moulin Rouge and her ‘work’ to happen love. But the three movies do non portion a belief of ‘all you need is love’ – love may suppress all. but it does non guarantee a happy stoping – particularly as Scott and Fran are the lone twosome together – alive – by the terminal of the movie. Death finally steals away the other twosomes felicity.

Social subjects are non the lone resemblances throughout the three movies. In fact. their aesthetic subjects are evidently the shaping factor that binds the trilogy together. The common aesthetic subjects include costumes. art way and put design and the usage of music as a defining characteristic.

When in treatment with his art section about the movies. Luhrmann coined a term that inspired and gave complete originative control out of the normal movie kingdom to all three of his films – “instead of unreal world. it’s existent artificiality” ( Luhrmann. Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) . The purpose for the spectator is non to believe they are watching ‘real life’ . but to admit that they are non.

The costumes in the movies highlight this. Catherine Martin explains the costume design in Luhrmanns foremost movie Strictly Ballroom as “Intensely colourful and devilishly beautiful. ” The general design for this film capitalizes on the exceptionally coarse but inordinately beautiful and glamourous universe of dance hall dance. Each of the female dance hall gowns consisted of over 40 metres of cloth. and Scott’s matador jacket took three hebdomads to do ( Martin. Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) . Yet each of these designs were peculiar to the movie to help in making the highly colourful expression that was required for the movie.

In Luhrmanns’ 2nd movie William Shakespeare’s Romeo & A ; Juliet costume interior decorator Kim Barret had a large challenge on her home base. While the set interior decorators had to make an Elizabethan universe out of 20th century image montages. Kim Barret had to dress the characters to suit someplace mediate all of this. In this movie guns were non lone arms but besides cosmetic accoutrements. The Montague’s were dressed in Hawaiian shirts and slack bloomerss while besides being adorned in spiritual iconography. They rejected the bulletproof waistcoats. while each cloth was specific to each character. The Capulets were dressed based on the thought of a flamenco/peacock. These characters wore unassailable waistcoats adorned with spiritual iconography ; these cosmetic waistcoats became indispensable to the Capulet closet. The Capulet pack had cosmetic tattoos and wore cosmetic yet endangering jewellery ( Barret. Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) .

While the costumes for Romeo & A ; Juliet weren’t as bright and extraordinary as Strictly Ballroom. they did nevertheless hold the similar consequence in which they assisted in making the universe and atmosphere within the film. doing it look believable. In the scene where Romeo & A ; Juliet first meet they are dressed as an angel and knight. Kim Barret explains that the original text provided the inspiration behind the costuming picks. In the book Romeo calls Juliet his Angel and Romeo is Juliet’s Knight in Reflecting Armour ( Barrett. Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) . While

Strictly Ballroom had to be full of bright and beautiful costumes this movie on the other manus had to costumed to suit someplace mediate a 20th century beach civilization while besides embracing the Elizabethan civilization ( i. e. the spiritual iconography ) .

The costuming for Luhrmanns concluding ruddy drape movie was. like Romeo & A ; Juliet. a affair of seeking to unite history and present – Moulin Rouge was set in 19th century Paris. In this movie there were 2625 handmade costumes. the 30 can-can frocks had five or six frills mensurating 20 metres each. around 120 metres of frill for each skirt. Both the manager and interior decorators were passionately committed to re-examining the attack normally applied to the design of period costumes. Although they based all their costume picks on painstaking historical research it didn’t ever pan out. A quandary faced by the costume interior decorators was. after researching they found out that to be historically accurate the can-can misss had to have on no underwear. To get the better of this little issue they decided to demo tonss of tegument. but to hold the colourss arrayed so that when the skirts were lifted up their bloomerss resembled a centre of a flower. They decided it was more of import to convey the narrative. the characters and the ebullient universe of the Moulin Rouge in the clearest manner possible instead than with academic historical truth ( Luhrmann. 2001 ) .

There was nevertheless one regulation handed over to the dress uping department- all the costume inside informations. elements of dress and stuffs had to hold existed in the nineteenth century. but they could utilize them out of context. The character of Satine played by Nicole Kidman was frequently dressed through agencies of intertextual mentions of historic Hollywood films. The coach halt costume worn by Marilyn Monroe was really the inspiration behind the black diamond frock worn by Satine ( Luhrmann. Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) . The costuming for Moulin Rouge is similar to Strictly Ballroom in the facet where the costume interior decorators were taking at making a bright and beautiful universe with the costumes. The costumes in both these films are critical to the movie. as the apparels visually aid in making the universe in which the movie plays out. Whilst similar to Strictly Ballroom with its ocular presentation. the costuming was besides similar to Romeo & A ; Juliet in where they had the hard undertaking to plan costumes to fit a period of history ( nineteenth Century Paris and the Elizabethan epoch ) . whilst updating them to a modern version while maintaining in agreement non to lose the historic significance.

Stage dancing in Strictly Ballroom was critical to the narrative – it is based on the universe of dance hall dance and the narrative is told through the enormously ocular component of dance. Each of the important emotional scenes was ‘danced’ out for the audience. The usage of dance was used to great consequence to foreground the narration in this film ( Luhrmann. Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) . Different to the other two movies. Strictly Ballroom’s dance scenes non merely drive the narrative. but they besides drive the character of Scott – it highlights his demand to be different. “In a universe where winning agencies everything. Scott learns how hollow triumph can be if the monetary value is smothering creativity” ( http: //movie-reviews. giant. net/ movies/s/strictly. hypertext markup language ) .

This creativeness that is stifled. so realised. is showcased through dance. Unlike Strictly Ballroom. Romeo & A ; Juliet was non a dance movie. despite this fact a choreographer was used in a few cardinal scenes. The party scene was evidently choreographed. but a scene that was besides choreographed was the gas station/gunfight scene. The character of Tibult who was costumed on the thought of a peacock/flamenco was besides choreographed during this scene. When he draws out his gun he is in world dancing the flamenco – choreographer of all three movies. John O’Connell. described his character as a matador with guns ( O’Connell. Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) .

While Moulin Rouge was still in the bill of exchange phases. choreographer John O’Connell was researching musicals and the can-can. He found inspiration with the humor and imaginativeness. a gaiety and joy that disappeared with ulterior musicals. He besides looked at 100s of Bollywood films that he thought captured the kernel of the mid-fortiess and 1950ss Hollywood musicals. The Choreography throughout Moulin Rogue pays witty court to iconic musical and dance manners: from Bollywood for the Hindu ‘Spectacular Spectacular’ to Hello Dolly for the Hollywood manner kicklines of ‘Like a Virgin’ ( Luhrmann. 2001 ) . The stage dancing for Moulin Rouge is similar to Strictly Ballroom. as John O’Connell had to research certain types of dances for both films. Each of these movies had to incorporate specific dance which the choreographer added his ain reading. Romeo & A ; Juliet nevertheless is the uneven one out ; the usage of stage dancing was used. non for narrative intents. but chiefly to stylise the characters.

The set design of Strictly Ballroom was reasonably consecutive frontward the scenes were either changeable inside a hall. in a in-between category suburban place and in the begrimed streets of Sydney. They had to make a great scale universe on a low budget. The set design was reasonably simple and merely had to help in making the universe of Ballroom dancing inside the dance halls and so in the begrimed streets of Sydney where Scott and Fran are free from the restraints of Ballroom dance ( Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) . Even scenes that needed to be stylised were done so on a low budget – the ‘flashback’ scene. when Scott is told about his parents dancing. was originally meant to be fashionable. but due to budget restraints. the concluding merchandise is somewhat ‘tacky’ – but deliberately so ( Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) . The concluding competition was filmed during an existent dance hall competition – in the hr long lunch interruption. Seriously over agenda. people at the competition became defeated and left – go forthing them with a comparatively empty sphere. In order to bring forth the consequence of people in the crowd. members of the art section ran around the sphere. throwing colorful shirts over seats ( Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) .

Romeo & A ; Juliet on the other manus had the hard undertaking of being in the 20th century beach and corporate universe. but besides incorporating elements of the Elizabethan universe. Lurhmann chose to put this updated version in a new Verona. where Miami beach became one with South America ( Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) and overcame the centuries by. where possible. puting spiritual iconography – the immense Jesus statue. etc. The set interior decorators besides had to come up with 20th century equivalents to the Elizabethan universe. such an illustration was alternatively of holding the town centre. and they had to put the gap conflict scene in a gas station ( Behind the Red Curtain DVD ) . The set design for Moulin Rouge was to happen a manner to uncover nineteenth century Paris and the Moulin Rouge as it may hold felt to its audience so – sexy. energetic and bursting as the seams with all things Bohemian and modern. The design undertaking was to make a topographic point where interrupting out into vocal would experience natural ( Luhrmann. 2001 ) .

The art way squad besides felt it was of import that they include elements that were at the original Moulin Rouge – including the themed suites ( ie the Gothic Tower ) and the 6 pes Elephant ( which. at the existent Moulin Rouge. had a gentleman’s merely club in its abdomen ) ( Luhrmann. 2001 ) . The terminal consequence was complex. diverse – and immense in graduated table compared to the other two movies. It is interesting to observe that all of Moulin Rouge! was filmed on sound phases. with no out-of-door shoots ( ‘Making of Moulin Rouge’ HBO featurette. Moulin Rouge! DVD ) . Each of the movies designs are single and specific to each film. they each aid in assisting the narrative along. whilst besides making the universe in which the movie can play out.

Baz Luhrmann has produced three award winning ( see appendix A ) movie. that are similar yet different. The three movies are each based on a myth. on compulsion. on society. on love. They have similarities that are difficult to disregard. But the three movies deal with these issues in different ways. finally holding different results for their lead. and back uping. characters. Yet it remains that in each of his movies. Luhrmann has aimed at making a heightened universe that is theatrical and unusual. but yet familiar to audiences.


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