Category Archives: Media
We’ve spoken already about the title for Catching Fire. We’ve accepted the long-winded but inevitable The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and keep trying to use it wherever applicable.
Is this a Marvel movie? Is it Jurassic Park, Alien, or Terminator? Is Peeta going to speed by in a tricked out sports car and jump 10 dump trucks on a highway? HUNGER GAMES 2: REVENGE OF KATNISS. Katniss is back, and she’s ANGRY.
There’s a distinction to be made. Yes, it’s a sequel, but not having a number after it implies something pretty basic for those who have read the books. Catching Fire is a continuation of The Hunger Games, not a reiteration. The Hunger Games trilogy reads as one long book, and there’s no reason to believe the movies won’t be a similar experience.
Calling it Hunger Games 2 is just plain lazy. A quick Google search can tell you that’s not what it’s called. A simple “Catching Fire” is fine if you want to shorten it (guess what, it’s one character less and there’s no fiddling around with the number row on the keyboard).
Can you say pet peeve?
Thanks to @HGHumor for inspiring this post.
The new book trailer for Catching Fire launched earlier this week. It is– dare I steal a word learned from Lydia on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries?– ADORBS!
In addition to Kimmy from Mockingjay.net and Aldrin from Down With The Capitol, who were part of the original fan trailer video, this one features Courtney, aka Twiffidy’s partner-in-crime over at Welcome to District 12! Along with many other totally worthy fans who submitted great videos!
What we love about this is that it’s NOT some professional thesis on why we should love the books. With a few exceptions (here’s lookin’ at you, Katniss cosplayer and hi-def camera green screen gal!), it’s quick and blurry and shaky. It’s geekily over-excited, despite the guy who says “It’s the perfect blend of everything you want in a novel” as if he’s reciting a meatloaf recipe.
Why do we enjoy the chaos of it so much? When we tell people about the books, IT’S LIKE THAT. We’re throwing our arms around and squeaking. A special “all over the place” version of the plot is described in ten seconds flat and we’re pretty positive that the person we’re speaking to didn’t understand a thing. And then we let out a little cough and say something like “Really, though. You should check it out. It’s great.”
By spotlighting fans for giving their simple, honest opinions on the series, you allow the book to sell itself much better than an expensive campaign quoting authors and critics. There’s a critic out there who LOVED the worst book ever written, we’re sure. The books are already pretty high on the credibility scale, so just let the existing audience tell it like it is!
The video is only oart of PHASE ONE of a great summer-long promotion from Scholastic! Get the details on all the fun UNDER THE CUT!
Read the rest of this entry
Ladies and gentlemen of Twitter, HEMSY IS IN THE HOUSE! …Sort of.
We briefly mentioned in another post that Liam Hemsworth has joined the 21st century as far as young celebrity staples go by getting himself a Twitter account, @LiamHemsworth. The man himself has tweeted twice since opening the account, once to introduce himself to this new-fangled form of communication and the other to thank everyone for rabidly following his account while simultaneously attacking him with tweets.
But there’s another player in this game. A team of them, even! They call themselves “Team Liam”, aka the gaggle of PR reps that are actually responsible for running the account. We’re sure Hemsy will get his tweet on every now and then, but it’s going to be simple and career-based and pretty lame. No talks of favorite foods or pictures of pets or corny jokes. Right now, half of his four tweets reveal what the account is actually going for: Advertisement, advertisement, advertisement.
We actually have to tip our hats to Team Liam for their honesty. Many celebrities have their account run by PR reps posing as the celebrity, giving false impressions that the celebrity is totally absorbed in their carefully mapped out career with ZERO personality. There are cases where that is the actual celebrity and they’re just that sad, but usually it’s a PR team. Kudos to Team Liam for having the courtesy NOT to pose as the man himself.
The PR-Celebrity Twitter collab does have its perks: For one, Hemsy gets to “connect” with fans on Twitter without actually having to give a damn about Twitter. ICYMI, he’s made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want to share his personal life. He can tweet about loving his job or being thankful for this or that and be done. He doesn’t have to feel compelled to read all his @replies and retweet to prove that he loves whatever country said “Superfan” is from. And though we DO NOT see him as this type, having a monitor hold his Twitter hand keeps him from going on the Internet and doing something really fucking stupid. Think Alexander Ludwig joking about having sex with pre-teen fans… and that’s only scratching the surface compared to some celebrity shenanigans.
Liam’s upcoming film, Paranoia, is getting the attention it needs from his young, possibly action-oriented fanbase via magical Internet portal, as will his future projects! He’ll occasionally acknowledge that he’s proud of his work and thankful for his fans that way too! He’ll get more love all around and more people may go see his films! Truly, it’s a sweet setup. Some fans think the deserve this semi-personal online relationship with celebrities, as if a retweet or reply means they’re OMG LYKE TOTALLY BIFFLES! But in reality, they’re not either way, so keeping it simple sure can’t hurt.
We Have Yet To Tweet Him Saying “HEMMMMMSSSSSSYYYY” Like A Loony! …It Will Happen.
The Girl With The Pearl
P.S. I secretly hope someone else was silly enough to stick the non-existent extra syllable in the title like I did: Li-am and his Te-am! *cough* To make amends for that, here’s the Paranoia trailer:
Mockingjay casting news is just, spare. So, when even some paper I’ve personally never heard of prints a tiny article stating that such and such, or so and so, is in talks with Lionsgate about a role in Mockingjay– I sadly pay attention. Actually, I kind of have to, it’s that or I write a retrospective on why I wish Taylor Swift hadn’t been included on The Hunger Games soundtrack. And who the hell wants that?! I surely don’t. Here’s the deal, so far only two people have been rumored to have had supposed conversations with the Mockingjay films’ casting department, that I can remember, and they are Rebel Wilson– and the weirdest rumor yet, William Levy.
You read me right, and if you’re at all like me, you’re doing a little um, well “what the fuck!”-ing, right now. Yes, with arm movements, jerky ones, perhaps you’ve dislocated your shoulders in this process, maybe you’ve fallen off your chair, or your sofa, maybe you’ve gravely frightened some people on public transit who are sitting near to you? I
dunno, I’m not you, I am me– and I think the idea of William Levy, Spanish language soap opera star, Dancing With the Stars contestant, and also the guy who hits on a giant brown M & M in a commercial, allegedly being in talks to take a role in Mockingjay is the weirdest thing I’ve heard since a friend of mine told me she likes Velveeta. Yes, because this just makes the most sense ever, the guy who people thought would make a good Finnick, even though he’s clearly very much so over 30, (he’s 33), is a shoe in for some role none of us ever thought of him for, because we’re brain dead, or dead already. Guys, am I dead?
Okay, melodramatics aside, this is all just a rumor, unsubstantiated by a paper I had never heard of until yesterday afternoon. So, I’m not going to get ahead of myself entirely, I’m going to say this: If there’s any truth to this rumor at all, he’s clearly a better actor than I thought he was. However, I can’t help but go further and flail over the fact that there are simply no logical roles for him to be up for, at least not when examining the roster of characters initially. I mean, there’s Boggs, who’s middle aged, there’s Doctor Aurelius, who yeah– that’s not working, and then there’s characters like Pollux, Castor, and Messalla. If I was Debra Zane, which clearly I am not, Levy would be up for a role of someone from the Capitol, ’cause he’s a very aesthetically pleasing man person, and factoring in that the man has a thick Cuban accent that he cannot put off, my money’s on Pollux. Why? Because he doesn’t speak… at all. But who’s gonna play Castor!?
Guys, I really don’t like that Taylor Swift was on The Hunger Games soundtrack.
Them There Eyes
What does it take to be a Hunger Games celebrity? Well, we get it depends on where you’re from… and your definition of “celebrity”!
For instance, when you see an article out of Georgia about a “Local Hunger Games celeb”, who do you assume it is? A tribute? E. Roger Mitchell, aka Chaff, lives in Georgia, and our female morphling, Megan Hayes, is a native. Dayo Okeniyi has lived there and is currently filming in the state. Or a major behind the scenes player, perhaps? It’s got to be something like that!
Nope. This guy.
He goes by *cough* Captain Chris. He is a firebreather. According to the local newspaper, he is a Hunger Games celebrity because he is the only firebreather featured in the Catching Fire trailer. We mean, it lasts almost a full second and you can’t see any defining features of the person behind it, but IT’S HIM!
We’re not saying that what el capitan doesn’t have some respectably dangerous flair to it, despite his ridiculous stage name. Firebreathing is awe-inspiring, especially considering that I’m still trying to overcome a fear of lit candles in my mid-twenties. But let’s not jump straight to “celebrity”! The shot made it into the trailer, but as fans who pay close attention to trailers often realize, not everything in the trailer makes it into the movie. If it does, it’ll likely be that same shot– two seconds from a distance.
It’s not that he isn’t great and we don’t appreciate his rare talent! He’s just nawt exactly someone that Hunger Games fans stand in the rain for three days for a chance to meet. They might might grab his autograph at a fair, if they’re already planning on attending for other reasons, the autograph is free, and they’re waiting for friends to finish up on that ride that always gets them sick.
We understand your pride in realizing that one of your own is in The Hunger Games, Douglasville Patch– I practically flipped when I realized my buddy made it into the first movie as an extra (that you can only really see when you pause the movie juuuuust right)– but slow your roll with the “celebrity” jargon!
Everyone involved in The Hunger Games is a talent. Some of them are daredevils, prodigies, artists, or gurus. They all deserve recognition, though most of their work goes unnoticed, sadly. But let’s not confuse talent with celebrity, especially in a world where most celebrities would much rather be recognized for their talent!
Now This Is Stuck In My Head! Damn You, Douglasville Patch!
The Girl With The Pearl
I don’t know if Jennifer Lawrence ever thought she’d have producer tacked onto her name just shy of 23 years-old, but apparently that’s what’s happening in the ladies life in the very near future. Yep, our Mockingjay (she’ll never not be the Mockingjay, I hope she knows that by now), it was announced today that she’ll be teaming up for the second time with her friend, I’m assuming they’re friends by now, I mean they certainly like to work together, so I assume friendship is part of their personal equation–Susanne Bier, as both actress and producer. Bier, if you’re drawing a blank, is the director of Jennifer’s forthcoming film Serena, y’know the second film that Jen co-starred in with Bradley Cooper. Also, if my memory serves me right, Jen’s the one who suggested Bradley to Bier in the first place, way to go, right? All right, here’s the skinny on this new film, which is titled The Rules of Inheritance, which is based on a memoir of the same title by Claire Bidwell Smith. It’s another deep character driven story, where dysfunctional people learn to cope, and thrive, at least that’s the gist of what I’m getting from what I’ve seen briefly written about it.
I’m not much of a non-fiction reader myself, so this one quite simply slipped my notice. I
have to say I’m a little bit vicariously proud of Jennifer for taking this leap, some I think were worried that she’d suffer the post Oscar win curse, but that’s simply not happening. She’s working just as much as she was before she won that statuette, more quite possibly. And the caliber of the projects she’s taking on are by no stretch of the imagination, more, well– better. C’mon, a couple of years ago she was doing House at the End of the Street, which is not exactly the best suspense/horror film ever to be made– nope the king of suspense title goes to Hitchcock, and horror– I have no clue, I don’t watch horror films. Wait, was House at the End of the Street even a horror film? This just proves how much I know about the genre! I should take a bow for my ignorance, just imagine I’m curtseying right now, ‘kay?
Now for the social networking news bits! A Star Squad 451 team member has deemed Twitter his new playground, or more like– his new tool for releasing news and trailer links. Liam Hemsworth joined Twitter! Yep, he did this while I was at Bed Bath and Beyond looking for a milk frother, and checking sheet sets for thread count. Again I’ll use the phrase, way to go– but this time it’s directed at Liam. Way to go, boy-o, you’ve just joined the 21st century!
Them There Eyes
Batten down the hatches, fashion lovers! The capitol has got some new color for you!
Last year, Capitol Couture launched… and almost immediately went *phhhhhwumph* as it fizzled into the abyss. We got a couple new Effie stills, a press release about nail polish, and periodic photos of really cute designer shoes and accessories. Something very similar happened with The Capitol.pn currently under construction!) So yeah, that ridiculous sound effect I just made up is LEGIT.
With Catching Fire on the horizon, Capitol Couture has returned WITH A VENGEANCE! There are actual issues this time around, the first of which has a so-foreign-it’s-fancy name, Chroma Nouveau! More than that, there are multiple sections to the issue that you can actually browse through! With input and looks from tons of different fashion experts and designers! We knew something was coming, with the big Capitol Couture style launch party and all the fashion being released, but this added EVEN MORE to the visual fiesta!
We get it if you’re not a fashionista. I can barely dress myself most days! In fact, I wore tan pants and striped socks to work today (while training a new person, no less!) But if the stuff in here can lasso my interests, you might just love it. If not, click on to the entry page just to make flowers float across your screen when you move your mouse across the title. Hours of entertainment, right thurrr!
The Capitol Looks are super haute couture and impractical, but that’s what makes them such a spectacle. Because if we mere human beings tried to wear them, it would probably end in a death… or at least a fiery car crash. Trish Summerville, the costume designer for Catching Fire, is even on hand to explain why one of Effie’s outfits hit that level of outrageous. We’ve also got Victory Tour District Looks, aka the Capitol designers interpretation of each district, for 8, 9, and 10. TheCapitol.PN says I belong in District 10 so… ‘CUSE ME, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SQUEEZE MY ASS INTO THIS?! I’ll wear leather, but dear lord, THERE ARE LIMITS! I wouldn’t cut it for a day in The Capitol!
Character-wise, Effie Trinket is the focal point of Capitol Couture once again. All’s well and good with that, as Elizabeth Banks is all about the insane Effie fashion, but can a reader get some variety?! Cinna, Portia, the damn prep teams?! They’re all fashionistas, so let’s get them some “kinda-silly-fake-interview” Internet fame too!
Overall, we’re taking Chroma Nouveau as a sign of good faith for Lionsgate. They could do very little in the viral marketing department and skate by on the massive success of the first movie, but we’re seeing even more effort here. Color us impressed! (Chroma refers to color. Get it? Get it?!) The ultimate test? If it stays that way!
YOU KNOW YOU MISSED ME!
The Girl With The Pearl
We’re starting a new series, and it’s called Campaigning for Coin! Over the next several weeks fan-site reps from all The Hunger Games fan-sites will weigh in on different actresses in the role of President Alma Coin of District 13. Starting off the series we have the silver haired Miss Glenn Close, a fan-favorite to some. Read on and see what everyone thinks of the idea of Glenn Close as Alma Coin.
Them There Eyes aka Rebekah: I’ll be blunt, Glenn Close is far from my favorite choice for Alma Coin, but is she the worst choice out there? Far from it. Glenn brings everything to the table that would be required of an actress in a role like Alma Coin, but to me it would be flat out type casting. See, Glenn is known for playing tough ladies (Damages), scary ladies (Cruella de Vil), and oh yeah– creepy and/or weird/crazy ladies (The World According to Garp, Fatal Attraction, Stepford Wives). I’d even say she’s made a career of it. Personally I think taking on a role like Alma Coin wouldn’t be challenging for her at all, and if I was Glenn– I’d want to play a character that’s not something I’ve technically done before. Aside from that, logistics get in the way as well, as she’s just signed on for another franchise just this week, Guardians of the Galaxy. So, I’d go so far as to say that adding The Hunger Games franchise on top of that would be incredibly taxing on a lady who’s over 15 years older than Alma Coin is supposed to be, and if you’re a regular reader of my work on Victor’s Village, you would know I’m not a proponent of casting an older actress in this role. Glenn Close? I’ll say it loud, and clear, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Next!
Arianna from Down With the Capitol: Honestly I’m all in for Glenn Close as Coin. I never thought of her until her name was brought up for this project. She could most definitely play the part as Coin aka an evil woman in power, especially after playing parts in movies such as Cruella De Vil in 101 Dalmatians and her role as VP in Air Force One. She also has the perfect Coin look which is a bonus. Glenn would only add amazingness to the already stellar cast we have.
Amanda from HG Girl On Fire: This is actually a hard call for me. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind what so ever that Glenn Close could pull this role off. I think she could, and she would extremely well. I think she has proven her acting chops time and again especially with this type of role. One of the things I think is very important for the role of President Coin is that the actress not be too likeable, and be able to pull off being the “bad guy.” I want to be happy when we get to the end, and (spoiler alert) Katniss murders Coin, which in this scenario I don’t think would be a problem, especially when I picture that scene in Fatal Attractions where she’s boiling the pet rabbit. My one and only problem is that Glenn Close does not fit the mental picture I have of Coin. I pictured her as being younger with darker hair, but with that being said I think with hair and makeup that would be and easy fix, and I’d rather see someone who could play the role very well, and not concentrate on looks so much.
Savanna from The HG Fireside Chat: I adore Glenn Close and think she’s immensely talented, though I haven’t seen much of her recent work. I loved her as Queen Gertrude in the 1990 film adaption of Hamlet, and her performance as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard is just…magnificent. To say the least. But for some reason, I’m not too into the idea of Close as Coin. Maybe it’s because she’s too big of a name and too recognizable. Honestly, I’d rather see a lesser-known actress have a chance to take on the character and have it become a career-defining role. That being said, Glenn Close can do absolutely anything, and if she were to be cast as Coin, there’s no doubt in my mind that she would be phenomenal. She does the cold, hard, calculating thing very well and would certainly be a believable leader. The best thing she has going for her, in my opinion, is her powerful, almost magnetic presence; whether she’s onscreen or onstage, it’s impossible to not be drawn to her.
Crystal from Mockingjay.net: I’m not the biggest fan of Glenn Close. I know, I know, she’s got a stack of Oscar nominations, but that doesn’t mean I think she’s consistently a great actress. I’ve already seen her play an executive office role in Air Force One and for those of you that haven’t seen it, she was pretty awful while I thought Harrison Ford, Halle Berry, and Gary Oldman carried off their silly cliche action roles off rather well. I need someone who makes me feel like withering into the floor and an actress who has been in Mars Attacks! is just hard for me to take seriously. She’s got the hard look, but for some reason I’m just not confident she’d pull it off with the right amount of cold Coin swagger.
Kristen from MyHungerGames.com: Obviously, Glenn Close has had quite a bit of commercial success in family movies, including her hysterical take on Cruella De Vil in Disney’s live-action version of 101 Dalmatians—but let’s not forget the role that really made her a star: Alex Forrest in the 1987 thriller Fatal Attraction. If you haven’t seen this movie (and if you’re old enough to watch R-rated films) stop reading right now and go watch it. I guarantee you will never see a creepier interpretation of the sociopathic “woman scorned” character on film. In the interest of keeping spoilers to a minimum, let’s just say that Glenn Close plays a manipulative nut-job so well, she’ll make your skin crawl. That being said, I would absolutely LOVE to see Glenn Close as the ruthless, power-hungry Alma Coin. I think she has amazing range, and is beyond capable of convincingly portraying the cunning, unscrupulous leader of District 13.
Angie from TheHob.org: When I think of actresses that could portray our infamous
President Coin, Glenn Close does seem to fit the generic Coin mold. Glenn is a little older than President Coin, but I still think she could pull off the character. She possesses the “look” that President Coin should have: shoulder length gray hair, eyes that could bore into any soul, and a serious stature. What sets Glenn apart from the rest in my opinion is her previous role as Cruella de Vil in the 101 & 102 Dalmations movies. Glenn shows that she can play the role of a ruthless, selfish villain that truly only has one main objective. The characters are alike considering in both films they are willing to do or kill whatever or whomever they need to get their way – whether its puppies or medics or children.
Courtney/Tiffany from Welcome to District 12 : Glenn Close for Alma Coin is something we never knew we wanted until it was first suggested. She quite often plays a woman in power, like the Vice President in Air Force One, and can play a great villain, like Cruella De Vil in the live action 101 Dalmations movies. Some may argue that Glenn Close is too old, but we think that’s silly since the casting in The Hunger Games has not limited actors for their age. For example, Lenny Kravitz and Donald Sutherland are WAY older than the characters they play, yet they are fabulous additions to the franchise. We’re more concerned with the actor themselves than the age, provided that they are not on the extremes of the age scale. More than anything, it would be nice to round out The Hunger Games cast with yet another critically acclaimed actor. While never having won an Oscar, she has been nominated several times and has won everything else under the sun. We think Glenn Close has the look as well as the range to play good, evil, and a woman in power: All necessary traits to play Alma Coin.
Betcha can’t wait to see who’s up next!
My oh my, the location scouting rumors for the Mockingjay films are running wild, and crossing boarders! Right so, here’s what’s up, or a refresher if you will– only a matter of weeks ago rumors surfaced that the Mockingjay films were slated to be filmed in Boston, Mass, Atlanta, Georgia, and Los Angeles, California. And then a couple of weeks later more rumors surfaced that Detroit, Michigan, and Paris, France were on the table. The latest, and the most detailed rumor however, is now that a Bristol, England housing project (estate), is also being considered. Holy globe-trotting Batman! I don’t know about you, but I certainly never thought that the final installments of The Hunger Games would take an international twist, so to speak.
Remember way back when rumors starting peeking out over the Internets about location scouts checking out properties in South Carolina, and the camera phone images gave us chills, because the made up company that was doing the scouting was calling its self Ludus? Exciting times, huh? Yeah, all the way back to 2011. Now though, now we’ve got more than over eager fans tripping up, and making crazy eyes at anything that resembles Hollywood types in our midst. I wonder what a location scouter even looks like to your average person? A stalker? A really attentive tourist? An OCD person in a rental car? Do they wear vests with lots of pockets, and deer stalker hats? Do they talk in air quotes? Like “well, Francis is looking for ‘this’” Whilst standing in a concrete alcove in a Bristol housing estate? I have no clue! But about the rumored locations, I know our resident Girl With The
Pearl would be hell-a disappointed if Boston was taken off the table, and me– well I’d be disappointed for her. Los Angeles I think, or making an educated guess here, is probably still on the table, but likely not for location heavy filming, i.e. probably soundstage work. Detroit being one of the rumored locations actually greatly intrigues me, because Detroit has an Art Deco laden downtown, which ties in very well with the Brutalist styles established in The Hunger Games for the Capitol. And, well– Detroit has a lot of empty neighborhoods, abandoned downtown properties, and really not many people are going to kick up a fuss if Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, and whoever gets cast as Boggs and the rest of Star Squad 451, are running around playing commando fighters. Why? ‘Cause no one’s around most likely. Paris? That was a bit of a head scratcher at first, and then I remembered the tunnels that are infamous in that town, but that would be all kinds of morbid, and not at all how I think any of us, including Francis Lawrence and co. thought of the underground tunnels of The Capitol.
Whatever, just want ‘em to make some great films, and if they choose England– Sam can potentially sleep at home. Win for him!
Sometimes it takes 88 years for something great to finally come out of something equally as great. Broad words, I know– but here I am continuing my series on book to film adaptations, and I’m coming back with a biggie. The Great Gatsby was published 88 years ago, April 10th, 1925. To date there have been six film adaptations made from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, and as of now I’ve seen three of them; Jack Clayton’s from 1974, Robert Markowitz’s from 2000, and now Baz Lurhman’s from this year.
I read The Great Gatsby for the first time when I was 13 years-old, it was an assigned book my 8th grade year, and I’d never heard of it before I was handed a copy one innocuous day back in the ’90s. We had a whole unit centered around that novel, or perhaps I did a self appointed unit centered around it, because after reading it I did biographical project on Fitzgerald’s wife Zelda Sayre, the inspiration behind the female lead in Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan. So, I think I can say with authority that I immersed my self in that world pretty much in a drenching all consuming fashion, meaning when I see film adaptations of the world that Fitzgerald interpreted, and created– I take it damn seriously. Sadly with each adaptation I’ve seen up until now, there have been screaming missteps. To me without any qualms, I have this to say about Clayton’s 1974 version, and Markowitz’s 2000 version, they were boring ass boring films, which as a Fitzgerald fan, and a film fan, disappointed me, and pissed me off. What I’ve been craving, yearning for for over almost 20 years where it comes to an audio visual interpretation of this novel for me, has finally came true. I’m going to say it loud, and proud right now– Baz Lurhman’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby is the only adaptation in my eyes, in my heart, in my book loving, film obsessed head– who has finally got Fitzgerald’s story onto film with the right mix of reverence, respect, artistic flair, daring, and theatricality.
See, what’s always been missing for me from the other Gatsby versions, was a vision of the story that wasn’t afraid of taking chances, or going a little crazy, and quite possibly, or frankly, but in a wholly respectful manner, forgetting that they were adapting one of the greatest novels every written– into a film. Markowitz’s and Clayton’s versions like I said
were boring, and to be even more blunt, felt like I was watching someone’s sepia toned memories being put through the filter of a tortoise. They were both afraid of taking this violent, romantic, colorful, and rich story, and making it violet, colorful, and rich. Sure, they got the romance down, that’s why they used muted tones, or seemingly filtered every scene that Daisy was in with a sheen of mist, or whatever, but it didn’t work for me, it didn’t grab me, didn’t shake me, didn’t move me to feel anything except a lack of interest, and a painful need to imagine I had to go to the bathroom so I could leave the room for a few minutes. Lurhman’s style doesn’t allow you to think about your bladder! Lurhman’s style grabs you by the eye balls, the ears, and the heart stings by using color schemes, and musical scores that are modern and classic all at the same time. He uses film stock, and shooting techniques that don’t allow you to get bored, because he changes angles, and speed, and filters, and elements like water, water’s a favorite of his, and jars you, and pleases you to the point where you’re immersed, just like if you were sucked into a novel for the 1st time, rather than watching a history being told at a plotted, and measurable pace.
Maybe I should have stated this before hand, but I’m an old school Baz Lurhman fan going all the way back to 1992 when he released his first feature film, Strictly Ballroom. Also, I snuck out of a life drawing course I was taking in 1996 to go see his Romeo & Juliet, yep– said I had a doctors appointment, which I did, the doctor just happened to be William Shakespeare, who had an 8th grade education and a fire in his britches. Lurhman has a style, it’s loud, it’s brash, it’s dramatic, and it’s theatrical, and it’s an acquired taste
unfortunately. For me Lurhman’s films are like watching where directors like Busby Berkeley and Vincente Minnelli left off, in fact I’ll make the educated guess right now, that those two men greatly influenced Lurhman’s own style. I have a point in bringing this all up, Lurhman’s style isn’t a style that your typical literary type is going to appreciate, because literature for so many people is quiet, is peaceful, is private. But Lurhman came from a theatrical background, or better yet an opera background, where quiet, peaceful, and private doesn’t go over that well, because you have to get the person in the back of the room to believe they’re getting their money’s worth, along with the people with the box seats right above the stage. So, when I see people ragging on Lurhman’s Gatsby by saying “it would have been better if he’d read the book.” I sit back and go, “oh, honey– he’s a theatre geek, he probably has the book memorized, and does each character with a different voice at the dinner table.”
It also helps that Leo looks really good in a three-piece suit. Who wants to come over and watch Scott and Fran on VHS!?
Them There Eyes