I am anxiously and shamelessly awaiting Baz Luhrmann's latest film, The Great Gatsby. As a director and producer he is probably best known for his Chanel No. 5 advertisement (180 seconds for $45 mil) as well as the titles Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge!, which are part of his 'red curtain trilogy'. The first film of the red curtain triptych is the lesser known Strictly Ballroom, which I highly recommend if you are interested in getting to know Luhrmann's style. He has also done a number of great shorts in collaboration with the Met and Costume Institute, which encompass an imagined dinner conversation between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. Prada, by the way will be doing some of the costuming for The Great Gatsby. She previously collaborated with Luhrmann on Romeo + Juliet- remember Romeo's oversized wedding attire?
The red curtain style of filmmaking is what he devised as his own version of actively promoting audience participation. I count Baz Luhrmann among my creative influences not only because I discovered his movies and production theory during those formative angsty-teenage-artist years, but because I simply find his work to be enjoyable. I feel like I am indulging in the visual version of a gluten-free vegan chocolate cake that still tastes like butter, cream, flour, egg and chocolate melting on my tongue. He understands the need for entertainment and spectacle but also brings his theory to such a level of saturation that the films themselves can be humorous and poke fun at their own epic quality. I'm not finished here yet but for today hopefully I have inspired you to do more research into the people behind the movies you love.