The Baz Luhrmann Index: Rating The Great Gatsby Trailer, Among Others
If your your dreams were filled with anachronistic pop songs and gold glitter last night, blame it on Baz Luhrmann. The trailer for his latest film, The Great Gatsby, hit the Internet yesterday like a Rolls Royce hitting Myrtle Wilson (too soon?).
The restlessness approached hysteria?
With its thumping soundtrack, glitz, glamour, tragic romance, and frenzied edits, you'd know this thing was a Luhrmann production from a mile away. And if opinions around the Bitch office are any indicator, you either LOVE it or you LOATHE it. To help you further appreciate (or hatepreciate as the case may be) the Great Gatsby, let's look at the trailers all of Baz Luhrmann's feature-length films (don't worry, there are only five) and rate them using what I'm calling The Luhrmann Index.
The films of BazMark (apparently his given name, which rules) are known for a few things. Among them are, in no particular order: postmodernism, seizure-inducing editing (quick cuts, if you will), lavish costumes, notably anachronistic music, dramatic irony, breathy ingenues, shouting, doomed romance, and what I like to call flash (you might call it pizazz, panache, or bullshit). However, some of them (or rather, their trailers, because that's what we're talking here) are Luhrmannier than others.
So how Luhrmann is Luhrmann? Let's find out!
Strictly Ballroom, 1992
Signature shout: "What is so wrong with the way I dance?!"
Considering this was Le Luhr's first film and therefore probably his lowest budget, he's making it work. Glitter, elaborate movements, and loud exclamations are all present here, but the love story isn't doomed and, honestly, for a Luhrmann production this trailer is a little slow.
Luhrmann Index Rating: 3/5 BazMarks
Romeo + Juliet, 1996
Signature shout: "A plague on both your houses!
Now we're seeing The Full Luhrmann. Dude's got a bigger budget, and he's using it to supply shirtless guys with solid gold guns (damn I love this movie). This trailer is a bit lower in volume—at least for the first half—than some of his other stuff though, and the music (Des'Ree's "Kissing You"), while modern, was written for the movie and thus doesn't work as a pop signifier. What we do have here, though, is a doomed love story with a wide-eyed innocent at its core. The audience knows how this one ends, and it pairs the original text with quasi-modern-day style (helloooo postmodernism) in true Luhrmann fashion.
Luhrmann Index Rating: 4/5 BazMarks
Moulin Rouge!, 2001
Signature shout: "Tell me you don't love me!"
Burlesque! Men in top hats singing Police songs! An innocent in peril! A tragic love story! Neon! A literal red curtain! An exclamation point! The alternate title for this movie could've been That's So BazMark.
Luhrmann Index Rating: 5/5 BazMarks
Signature shout: Zzzzzzz...
For a Baz production, this trailer is a total snooze. The music is period-appropriate (ish), the costumes are dusty, and the love story just isn't star-crossed (or compelling) enough. Sure, the scale is epic, and there are some fires and explosions—but where's the glitz and glam? And don't try to tell me you can't do sequins in the desert.
Luhrmann Index Rating: 1/5 BazMarks
The Great Gatsby, 2012
Signature shout: "Get the hell out of here!"
OH SHIT YOU GUYS. Luhrmann in full effect! From the Watch the Throne intro music to Carey Mulligan's sad looks to Leonardo DiCaprio to all gold everything, our boy is back. And to top it off, this one's in 3D!
Luhrmann Index Rating: 5/5 BazMarks
Now that we've positioned The Great Gatsby in the Luhrmann trailer library, are you feeling it or what?
P.S. I wish I'd done everything on earth with you.
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