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Baz Lurhmann describes ‘Moulin Rouge’ as ‘audience participation cinema’. With close reference to the opening of the film analyse the techniques he uses to remind ‘us we are watching a movie’

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Introduction

Baz Lurhmann describes 'Moulin Rouge' as 'audience participation cinema'. With close reference to the opening of the film analyse the techniques he uses to remind 'us we are watching a movie' From the opening of the film, we can see that Baz Lurhmann uses several techniques such as music, camera angles, set design, costume and lighting, to help create the feeling that we are 'watching a movie'. He creates this feeling from the idea of making everything unrealistic and stylised, it shows that it could not possibly be real life, therefore reminds 'us we are watching a movie'. Baz has a wild imagination which is captured in Moulin Rouge; he shows this through techniques such as characterisation, editing, and colour. Even from the very beginning, with the conductor, we can see that the film is unreal. The conductor has theatrical movements which are totally over the top; this does show and remind us that 'we are watching a movie'. Also the setting of having the large, heavy, red curtain and gold plated frame still gives the ideas of being fantasy and unreal. When we are introduced to Christian, Baz Lurhmann uses several camera techniques to create the stylised effect. He does this when Christian is writing the story; he has a dolly following the text that has been written. It cuts to his face crying and then cuts back to the typewriter. ...read more.

Middle

This is very illusory and still reminds us that we are watching a movie. When we first see the Moulin rouge, we see vibrant colours, saturated colours; these stand out well and help illuminate the idea of Moulin Rouge being a theatre - loud, over the top, energetic and alive. The lights and colours are vivid, glitzy and jazzy. Again it has the unreal idea attached to it. Baz Lurhmann didn't want anything to be normal; he wanted wild, lively movements and shots. This again seems unreal and therefore has the stylised approach. Inside the Moulin Rouge it's lively and upbeat, contrast to outside which is dull and boring. Inside there's fast dancing and lots of actions and over the top dance moves. All the characters in Moulin Rouge all have individual identities - dancers, courtesans. They all have their own stage personality and their own costume. This is overwhelming because all the women are over dressed, and area all playing to what the men want. The idea of having all individual costumes to fit the 'stage' character is effective. We also see characters, inside the night club, of boxers, mermaids, and an even woman with a snake, this is all very unreal and shows that it is too unreal and therefore the audience must be "watching a movie". There is a special effect on one section where Zidler does the flips all the way through entrance of the Moulin Rouge to the actual stage area. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was always music in the background or the characters were singing a song. Throughout the film music was used in different ways, it created different atmospheres. When Christian first came to Paris and he was talking about never being in love, the music created a comedy effect. Also inside the Moulin Rouge, the music was very upbeat, the can can, it had to be to go with the costumes and dancing, and was a contrast to the music anywhere else in the film. Baz Lurhmann also used different contexts of music, some songs were modern and some were fairly old. The lyrics and songs tell the story of the Moulin Rouge. This is effective because it's different. People don't go around telling stories of their life in song, so this to the audience would remind them that they "were watching a movie". Throughout the film there were different genres of music being used. There was hip hop when the dancers all sang Lady Marmalade, rock when Zidler sang the Show must go on, and even pop such as Your Song and Material Girl. All the songs used in the film kept the audience involved and they felt as though they could sing along, which is the audience participating - "audience participation cinema". All the techniques that Baz Lurhmann used created the unreal atmosphere that he wanted to create to remind the audience that they were "watching a movie". All the elements in each technique was exactly what Baz Lurhmann wanted, when put together all the elements and techniques created an emotional, contrasting film which I thoroughly enjoyed. ...read more.

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