Baz Luhrmann Analysis Of The Red Curtain Trilogy

3507 words - 14 pages

The Red Curtain Trilogy, upon first thought, could simply be seen as a marketing tool by Baz Luhrmann and the team at Bazmark - put your three popular films in a box set with some added features and set it upon the DVD buying audience. However, upon further inspection, the three films are not boxed together simply for marketing purposes, or just by the fact they have the same director and production team - Simply Ballroom, William Shakespeares Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge! all have underlying themes and myths that link them together. This essay will seek to discuss the social and aesthetic themes that run through the Red Curtain Trilogy. The themes will be compared and contrasted between the three films.When explaining the 'trilogy', Lurhmann addresses the first theme that runs through them - it in fact relates not to any social or aesthetic theme, but the inspiration to elements of their storylines."The 'Red Curtain' style that defines our filmmaking comprises severaldistinct storytelling choices. A simple, even naïve story based on aprimary myth is set in a heightened or created world that is at oncefamiliar yet exotic, distant. Each of the 'Red Curtain' trilogy has a devicewhich awakens the audience to the experience and the storyteller's presence,encouraging them to be constantly aware that they are in fact watching afilm. In 'Strictly Ballroom' dance is the device, the actors literally dance outthe scenes. In 'Romeo+Juliet' it is Shakespeare's heightened 400-year-oldlanguage. In 'Moulin Rouge', our ultimate 'Red Curtain' gesture, music andsong is the device that releases us from a naturalistic world."(Baz Lurhmann - primary myths that Luhrmann alludes to are actually easy to understand once brought to light. In Strictly Ballroom, the myth is David and Goliath, along with a second theme of the 'Ugly Duckling'. Romeo+Juliet contains the fanciful myth of youthful love in conflict with society. The underlying myth in Moulin Rouge! is the myth of Orpheus. One that is not very well known, the myth of Orpheus tells of the son of Apollo and the muse Calliope. Orpheus inherited from his mother the power to enchant every living creature with his music. When his love, Eurydice, was killed he descended into the Underworld to plead for her return. Orpheus enchanted Hades, the monarch of the Underworld, with his music and was permitted to leave with Eurydice. But there was one condition: on his journey back to the world above, Orpheus must lead Eurydice and not look back to see if she followed. Just as he reached the entrance tothe Upperworld, fear overpowered him and he turned to see if she followed, thus losing Eurydice forever (www.clubmoulinrouge .com). These mythical themes are then highlighted by the social themes that run through the three films - family, status, origin, social figures and love.On the surface, Strictly Ballroom could be seen as strictly superficial. But its colourful images are only...

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