Strictly Ballroom has a 88-year old and 5 times adopted kid: "The Great Gatsby(2013)"

Sean_Victorydawn By Sean_Victorydawn, 10th May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Romance

and she is listening Hip-Hop music. She could also dance, could sing a song with tunes from another song, and could compose a new song from a poem. This is a compilation of Baz Luhrmann's Red Curtain movies, and a guide to understand why Luhrmann does this.

"Pardon me sir, you can't film this like other films, there is an exclamation mark at the end!"

In life we all got to;

(|) Stop at red lights,

    to check whether it has a hidden camera or not, then pass on if not

(||) Stop at exclamation marks,

    to see what the hell is this for, maybe there is a hidden joke or it's time to lower the volume and send the kids to their beds

(X) Stop at Baz Luhrmann movies,

    for all counted above.

If Romeo's brothers are criminals and Juliet's father is a policeman in the 20th century(Romeo + Juliet !), if you fall in love with a stripper and when you invite her to your bachelor apartment inside a windmill she tells you that there is a rich tycoon bothering her but won't tell you that she has cancer(Moulin Rouge!), if you wear your leather pants in the morning and dance in the street then a geek girl in her speckled polka dot pajamas comes to force you to teach her how to dance but when you take off your leather pants she runs away(Strictly Ballroom!), and finally if you live in a very noisy neighborhood where crazy people party every single night not letting you sleep ever so you can get up early in the morning to go to your boring job and one day when you decided to go to meet these neighbors a rich playboy watches you standing from his full bay window of his gigantic mansion then invites you for a party where he will ask you to convince your beautiful cousin to get divorced and marry him, in return for all you can eat banana cakes and all you can drink vodka martinis(The Great Gatsby!);

    then you should dot a red mark with a marker on these movie tickets or on this DVD to remember next time before you watch a Baz Luhrmann movie, you need to be prepared, for it's a Baz Luhrmann movie.

It's better not to put our logic in this to create comparisons with other non-Baz Luhrmann movies(*1!) whether they have the same title(without the exclamation mark), adapted from the same novel, or try to tell the same story. Watching a Baz Luhrmann movie is the same level of joy and the same level of stupidity with getting a part from a Broadway musical. If you play a cameo part in a Broadway musical, and you just have to stand there all the time and sweep the floor wearing a cat costume, unaware that the tail you have in your back puts more dust on the floor the more you sweep the floor.

Sing a song with a tune from another song or adapt a Jazz song in Hip-Hop, but why?

When you see a red curtain opening in a feature film, and as the camera approaches into the red curtain, we are going into Luhrmann's world of movies, where joy and love go out of people's hearts to control their bodies and minds and let them do silly things(mostly dancing screaming partying etc.). In this world there is only one vital person. Everybody except him is a moving image, it's only him who sets the rules, it's only him who can love and who can lose, it's only him who can change things that doesn't fit him. This vital person is(was):

    * Nick(The Great Gatsby!) and the world around him played by Tobey Maguire
    * Christian(Moulin Rouge!) and the world around him played by Ewan McGregor
    * Scott and Fran(Strictly Ballroom!) and the world around them played by Paul Mercurio and Tara Morice on the fan clip above made for Youtube
    * Romeo plus Juliet and the world around them played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes

From Strictly Ballroom to The Great Gatsby

Strictly Ballroom is an Australian-made dance/romance movie in style of Dirty Dancing(Patrick Swayze & Jennifer Grey) but ultimately with Luhrmann's touch. If you liked Dirty Dancing you will love Strictly Ballroom, there is even more simplicity even more romance even more social challenges and even more magical moments.

Here are the top 7 magical moments from Strictly Ballroom of my choice:

    /1\ Scott taking off Fran's glasses while saying "a life lived in fear is a life half lived(*2!)"
    /2\ Behind the red curtain when Scott&Francesca dance to Doris Day's Perhaps,Perhaps, Perhaps(1954 version)
    /3\ Scott&Francesca dancing in front of the metal Coca Cola broad sheet wall ad on the roof
    /4\ Scott's father starting clapping in unison protesting the dance federation when Scott&Francesca are banned, encouraging them to continue dancing just by clapping in unison
    /5\ Scott practicing his own unique style of dancing and watching his steps on the mirror
    /6\ Fran and Scott's meeting scene and the memorable way Fran introduces herself to Scott
    /7\ As they walk beside the wire fences alone through the evening, Francesca persuading Scott upon the choices they look forward to make together

In Great Gatsby, we are following what Nick(Tobey Maguire) does and thinks until his life is changed when he meets Gatsby(Leonardo DiCaprio). After meeting Gatsby, we are only following what Gatsby does and thinks, but only from Nick's point of view.

In Luhrmann's movies, the only thing you need to pay attention is, "who is the driver?". Once you find the right answer, you can take the most out of the film. In Great Gatsby, the driver is Nick, since we are always in his point of view. For Nick, Gatsby is a legendary man. Nick adores Gatsby. He could give everything to him. Nick would still believe Gatsby not being the killer, even if Gatsby killed someone in front of Nick's eyes.
The promise is nothing else but Nick and the world around him.

This makes it a good novel adaptation, and an original promise, for the 4 previous screen adaptations never put that attention to Nick's point of views. This is the power of the use of narration in Hollywood films, so you could never know the truth. With the right narration used with right timing, the truth doesn't matter, what matters is what the hero believes in. Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby is an accomplishment in this production aspect.

Here are the 4 previous screen adaptations of F.Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby with the same title, where the first one dates back 88 years in the past:

2013(Luhrmann): Gatsby(Leonardo DiCaprio), Daisy(Carey Mulligan), Nick(Tobey Maguire)
2000(tv-movie): Gatsby(Toby Stephens), Daisy(Mira Sorvino), Nick(Paul Rudd)
1974(color feature): Gatsby(Robert Redford), Daisy(Mia Farrow), Nick(Sam Waterston)
1949(black & white feature): Gatsby(Alan Ladd),Daisy(Betty Field), Nick(Macdonald Carey)
1926(pioneer release as a silent movie): Gatsby(Warner Baxter), Daisy(Lois Wilson), Nick(Neil Hamilton)

Bibliography, Sources and External Links

(*1!)non-Baz Luhrmann movies - movies to pay attention to understand the story, to understand what is happening, why is happening, how is happening, when is happening. In Baz Luhrmann movies none of these really matter.
(*2!)a life lived in fear is a life half lived- quotes from the movie Strictly Ballroom
* Review and the top magical moments list for the movie Strictly Ballroom is referenced from my previous review of this film for IMDB, please follow the link:


Baz Luhrmann, Dance Costume, Dance Like Noones Watching, Ewan Mcgregor, Leonardo Dicaprio, Lets Finish This Before Your Husband Arrives, Set Decoration, Show Must Go On, Tobey Maguire

Meet the author

author avatar Sean_Victorydawn
Cihan, mid-senior level experienced publicist and production coordinator, works for the local Ottawa media production company Victorydawn Pictures since 2012.

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