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Auteur research study. Auteur? - Baz Luhrmann

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Introduction

Film Studies FS4 Auteur research study Auteur? - Baz Luhrmann Catalogue and Commentary The following items have been collected in aid of my research: 1. ((( 'Strictly Ballroom' directed by Baz Luhrmann 1992 2. ((( 'Romeo & Juliet' directed by Baz Luhrmann 1997 3. ((( 'Moulin Rouge' directed by Baz Luhrmann 2001 4. ((( 'Making it' feature - the making of Moulin Rouge 5. ( Imdb - website - cast and crew lists/ user reviews 6. (( Baz Luhrmann interview on Moulin Rouge http://www.romanticmovies.about.com/library/weekly/aa030902a.htm 7. ((( Guardian Interview with Baz - online http://www.film.guardian.co.uk/interview/interviewpages/0,6737,549699.htm 8. ((( Quotes from and about Baz - online http://www.bazluhrmann.org.bazquotes.html 9. (( An online journal of film studies - Moulin Rouge critic's review - online http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/film/journal/filmrev/moulin-rouge.htm 10. ( Baz's Alexander the Great Project - online http://www.hostultra.com/-bazthegreat/alexarticle38.htm 11. ((( The making of Strictly Ballroom & director biography - extra on Strictly Ballroom DVD 12. (( Baz Luhrmann Biography - online http://www.hollywood.com/celebs/bio/celeb/1672432 These collected resources have provided me with a wide range of information surrounding my chosen director, Baz Luhrmann. It contains information about his entrance into the film industry, his passion for storytelling and his work with different mediums. Luhrmann began his journey into film making as an actor, he soon tired of this and after some words of advice from British director Peter Brook, he turned his attention to the one piece act, Strictly Ballroom. My research into auteurism has led me to delve into the thread that links the films of Luhrmann's Red Curtain Trilogy; Strictly Ballroom, Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge. I will use my research material to assess how his influences colour each of these films. I spent a fair amount of time looking over the interviews with Luhrmann as I felt it important to hear of his themes and passions first hand. BazMark online, the official website created by Luhrmann himself, provided me with quotes from and about the director. ...read more.

Middle

They are set in heightened creative worlds. Strictly Ballroom explores the world of ballroom dancing, Romeo and Juliet uses the apocalyptic world of Verona beach and Moulin Rouge, Paris 1899. Despite the heightened creativity we recognise aspects of our own world in them. Modern elements are blended seamlessly into the scripts of Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge. The TV anchorwoman replaces the narrator in Romeo and Juliet, gunplay replaces swordplay and the taking of hallucinogenic drugs and drag act appear convincingly with the original dialogue. John O'Connel, choreographer and Marius Devices, musical director worked to inject an up to date feel to the Moulin Rouge; Fatboy Slim worked alongside O'Connel to create a hardcore, sexy dance..."I tried to make it a bit loser in the sense that it wasn't a structured can-can." The contemporary music within that time period invites the audience to relate, it feels like a party that we the audience have been invited to. Each of Luhrmann's films contains a device which encourages audience participation, co-producer Martin Brown salutes this technique and agrees that this is their common goal. Strictly Ballroom is told predominantly through dance, Romeo and Juliet uses iambic pentameter where Luhrmann uses the heightened language to draw the audience away from reality and the musical form of breaking into song is used in Moulin Rouge. By encouraging their involvement in the film Luhrmann gauds his audience into responding..."in a world where the audience is so into the device I make a deal with them and say 'okay the games up, I pull the red curtain back and say we the storytellers are here" He uses the frentic back and forth camera work in Moulin Rouge to put us in the same frame of mind as the main protagonist as he enters the Moulin Rouge Nightclub. Luhrmann uses his perspective of love to sign his work; Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge and his stage production of La Boheme all display the message "L'amour Fou" on either signs or billboards. ...read more.

Conclusion

His techniques have not changed but audiences have become more accustomed to his way of filmmaking. Criticism plays a highly important in the world of 'auteurs', directors work to succeed by making a profit whilst creating a film which portrays aspects of their own personality. The red curtain trilogy carries a signature, it is a product created by Luhrmann. His personality is clearly expressed through the techniques and views used in these three films. My presentation shows how Luhrmann brings something new to the film industry. He has reinvented the Hollywood musical for a modern audience. My sources, which include books, television documentaries and internet sites have aided me to draw the conclusion that Luhrmann is an auteur. This catalogue of sources has strengthened my initial belief and provided me with new angles for considering Luhrmann's status as an auteur. I believe that my research has identified key aspects of Luhrmann's and the part it plays in shaping his work. This has enabled me to draw informed conclusions regarding his status as an auteur. The diversity of my sources has proved effective in allowing me to draw evidence from different angles; my conclusion is therefore less likely to be biased. However not all of the material collected was relevant to my study and contained one-sided, uninformed views. I have enjoyed conducting this study and found the 'extra features' taken from the videos and DVD's to be particularly fascinating. I found it useful to hear Luhrmann speak directly of the techniques and ideas used to create his trilogy. Sifting material from internet sites was often difficult as it involved deciding which bits of information were genuine as opposed to gossip or opinion. I have found it very easy to get carried away whilst conducting this research due to the broadness of the subject. If I were to do this study again I would perhaps explore a different aspect of his work and determine his position as an 'auteur' using a different route. Vicky Brankovic 12BE FS4 - Auteur Research Study Baz Luhrmann ...read more.

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