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English Task A: Film Study

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Dear Haters,

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I’ve heard it all and I’ve read it all. Taking into consideration all of your opinions, I’ve noticed a common factor. Many of you view my use of exaggeration, excessive colour and chaos in my movies, Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, as unrealistic and, for a lack of better words, “too chaotic”. Well, let me break it down for you.

The lights, frenetic scene cuts, camera shots and dramatic fantasy-like editing, it makes the movies what they are. All of those elements complete the movies and make them whole. Is it possible that you did not look for the deeper meaning behind all of these elements? The lights, specifically referring to Moulin Rouge, were used for symbolization. The pale sky-blue light that gleamed on Christian’s face whenever he was in a scene simply symbolized his character before he met Satine, he was a lost but calm and loveable character looking for his purpose and when he finally found something to feed his passion the blue colour fades and turns into a soft white light, which also happens to be the colour used for Satine. This simple change in colour says so much, it tells us that his character has changed, that he’s found something special; love. Sadly this blue light fades back in when he loses the love of his life, representing the transition back into his old character.

Frenetic scene cuts. The quick-changing scenes were a unique way to pull you into the movie and to give you a taste of my creative vision, allowing you to enter a different world. The fast paced scenes are also used to show you the chaos and energy happening at that point in the movie. The Great Gatsby is set in New York City, the city that never sleeps; it only made sense to show you the hustle and bustle of the city and what better way to do it than quick scene jumps. My vision was to create a sense of excitement along with the chaos in order to keep people at the edge of their seats, constantly wondering ‘what’s going to happen next?’

I wanted viewers to somewhat connect with the characters I created/interpreted, and to make this happen I used different camera shots paired with slightly intense and dramatic music for certain scenes. The music along with a close up of Christian or Gatsby’s face would allow the viewers to emotionally invest into the characters as close ups are perfect to capture emotion. This allows viewers to then become more invested into the movie and longing to know more background information about characters such as Gatsby. Other shots such as medium shots were used to show the costumes worn in the scenes, this allows the lifestyle of the characters to be determined, for example, the dramatically ‘poofed’ skirts and excessively colourful hats in Moulin Rouge are shown using close ups and medium shots in order to represent the oh-so phenomenal Jazz Age.

The dream sequences. The use of editing to make scenes look more like a fantasy is to create the imagery of how the characters are feeling in that moment. It isolates the characters when they are experiencing a special moment and the fantasy editing emphasizes their emotions. Although the exaggeration of colours and special effects may make it seem unrealistic, it is all dramatize to represent the emotion and passion in the scene while tugging at the viewer’s imagination and allowing them to pull out any emotion they’re feeling during that scene.

Right! I’ve laid it all on the table. I hope you now have a slight understanding of the method to my madness and that you’ll be able to watch my movies with fresh eyes.

Sincerely,

Baz Luhrmann

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