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Moulin Rouge

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Moulin Rouge was Baz Luhrman's next great success after his polarizing fusion of Shakespearean dialogue and MTV stylisations that was William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. Released in 2001 Moulin Rouge caused considerable controversy amongst its audiences, with critics claiming "you either love it or hate it". In this piece of media coursework I am going to deconstruct and analyse the start and end sequences of the Moulin Rouge. I will analyse visual and audio cinematic techniques, the factors that influence the genre, and the narrative structure. I hope to explain how Luhrman tells the story, and how he establishes different moods throughout the film. I will also explain how certain techniques are used to convey meaning and engage the audience, and evaluate the success of the sequences comparing their respective moods. ...read more.


The song also suggests the story will melodramatic featuring a variety of contrasting emotions such as love and tragedy. Superimposed images in the mise-en-scene portray an early twentieth century theme emulating the style of that in D.W.Griffiths' The Birth of a Nation (1915). A sweeping shot through the streets of the city establishes a times and place. The sepia colour and grainy film quality emphasise the era in which the story is set, contrasting with the special computer effects which re-occur throughout film. The story is structured in a non-linear narrative which is established when Christians character is introduced by the voice over of Christian's thoughts whilst he is typing in his room. ...read more.


During Christian's first encounter with Toulouse Latrec and his fellow Bohemian Revolutionists, Luhrman uses a series of fast cuts to portray Christian's disorientation. Due to the use of this technique and the general confusing nature of the scene, the audience is also forced to share Christians disconcerting experience. The rapid editing and excitement within the scene is very much influenced by Hong Kong action cinemas and could be identified with John Woo's Hard Boiled. Many unrealistic spot effects are used, comparable with such sound effects used in cartoons. At this point, I feel Baz Luhrman is challenging the audience's expectations, making them aware this will be far from a realistic, but a very unconventional stylistic film. I think this scene is the Moulin Rouge's version of Romeo and Juliet's Gas Station scene whereby the audience come to the realisation that the film is rather exceptional and eccentric. ...read more.

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