Almost there...

Monday, June 04, 2001

Moulin Rouge was everything I had hoped for. Nicole Kidman looked stunning. Baz Luhrman has created another visually stunning piece. Seeing it at the Grand Lake theater was the right thing to do. Oddly enough, the curtain and procenium arch at the start of the film almost perfectly matched the curtain and arch of the theater itself. Baz Luhrman seems to have a refreshing disregard for the way movies should be made according to the Hollywood establishment. He throws the utterly absurd and ridiculous at you, makes you scoff at his choices, and yet inexorably sucks you in. Listening to the reactions of the audience throughout the film was fascinating in itself. In the first scene when the actors break into song, it's met with groans and cringing. But then after an in your face song and dance that takes you where no Sound of Music/Carousel/Oklahoma musical ever could, when the characters break into an equally absurd 80's love song medley, suddenly your realize that you and the rest of the audience gets it and are becoming part of the vision. They're laughing, but only where it's meant to be funny and ridiculous. There is no more disdain in the laughter. In our particular theater the change happened slowly throughout the rest of the film. First the folks sitting near the center behind us. Then those sitting in front of us joined them. Eventually even those on the sides were laughing at the right parts. Yes, it remains absurd, but now they realize that that is part of the point.

I'm somewhat hoping that Kevin is right in his prediction that this film may have some impact on upcoming fashion. God knows I'd give anything to move out of the 70's revival fashion. It was vile the first time around and it's even more vile now when we ought to know better. I rather doubt the possibility more than Kevin though. Sure, there may be more can-can costumes at Halloween this year, but I don't foresee getting the average American woman back in to skirts, let alone frilly ruffled skirts and corsets. So much the pity. If only they knew what a well made corset felt like, they'd never strap themselves into a ill-fitting brassiere again. I just can't abide by the permanent little arches made under one's breasts by an underwire, let alone the shoulder divots and red stripe around the midriff from too tight elastic. Bleh! Frankly I'll take what I can get, and far more pundits out there are suggesting that the 40's fashion featured in Pearl Harbor will be more likely to splash into Macy's in the fall. At least that's a major step up from bell bottoms and polyester double knit.

As for more on Moulin Rouge, check out Kevin's review. He says much of what I'd say. Better yet, get your butt out to your local movie palace (if you have one) and see the film. Granted, this won't be a film that everyone will like. Certainly not. But if you're willing to see something that's very different from anything you'd expect, go see Moulin Rouge. I hope it does well at the Academy Awards this year.

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