Baz Luhrmann

‘So We Read On’ and Why We Should Keep Fighting About ‘The Great Gatsby’

In Sigrid Nunez’s book The Last of Her Kind, the central character, Georgette, meets her troubling, troubled, wonderful friend Ann when they are both students at Barnard College in New York. I can remember, quite clearly, that school for Georgette consists of her writing a long paper, “Why The Great Gatsby Is Not a Great Book.” … Read More

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Robert Plant’s “Rainbow” Video Takes an Obsolete Cue From Baz Lurhmann

Robert Plant’s single, “Rainbow” (off his new album Lullaby And … The Ceaseless Roar) is gorgeous – he goes almost full-out Bono with… Read More

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The Complicated — And Troubling — Role of Race and Class in Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Gatsby’

Now that The Great Gatsby has opened to favorable audience reviews and not-so-ecstatic critical response, there seems little left to be said about Baz Luhrmann’s garish 3D romance. As expected, Luhrmann’s picture is a mostly faithful adaptation of the book, if not a completely obvious one. And sure, for every shot of Leonardo DiCaprio practically tripping over his wing-tipped feet to reach for the green light at the end of Daisy Buchanan’s dock, there are thousands of frames filled with fireworks, confetti, champagne, and even the typewritten words of F. Scott Fitzgerald (by way of the ludicrous framing device suggesting that Nick Carraway wrote The Great Gatsby as a memoir to cure his “morbid alcoholism”) flying into the faces of the bespectacled audience. (It’s surprising that the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg weren’t behind Dolby-branded 3D glasses.) You don’t see a Baz Luhrmann film for the subtlety, but one aspect of The Great Gatsby that is surprisingly nuanced is the complicated role that race plays in both Lurhmann’s and Fitzgerald’s cynical treatment of the American class struggle. … Read More

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7 Other Directors Who Should Adapt ‘The Great Gatsby’

When fans of The Great Gatsby found out that divisive filmmaker Baz Luhrmann would direct this spring’s highly anticipated adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s legendary novel, reactions were mixed. Some film lovers embrace Luhrmann’s sheer excess; it worked well enough for Romeo and Juliet, so why worry about flubs like Australia? Others, however, had different aspirations for the movie that might just get leading man Leo DiCaprio his ever-evasive Oscar. So, what about the Gatsby adaptations that could have been? Read on for a short list of other directors who might have succeeded at filming one of the most acclaimed American novels of all time, from Scorsese to Spielberg. … Read More

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