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This is a dress-up world, a debauched theatrical masquerade party heightened by the fantasy of the past; it positively revels in the burlesque carnival of its own fancy.The excesses exist in the sheer numbers of different costumes on show, all clashing and competing with each other and producing a form of textural saturation that is quite overwhelming from a spectatorial position.
Skirts swish and swirl, sequins sparkle, suspenders snap, colours dazzle, textures compete and elegance abounds.
Kitsch excess is the order of the day, with every costume elaborately and minutely detailed.
Luhrmann re-appropriates the genre with a post-modern flair for reinvention, pastiche and parody.
The film makes full use of its highly theatrical setting to evoke and celebrate a world of richly and elaborately dressed caricatures.
The score runs the lyrical gamut of the twentieth century, with songs as far flung as Nat King Cole's "Nature Boy-, Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit-, Sweet's "Love Is Like Oxygen-, and Elton John's "Your Song-.
Moulin Rouge "Moulin Rouge" is a vivacious bombardment of song, passion, dance and all things above else. Encouraged to join them in their bohemian revolution, he is taken to an underground club, Moulin Rouge. The genres revolving "Moulin Rouge" are plenty to discuss.
However, the conservatism of the narrative belies the complexity and sheer audacity of the project.
As Feuer (2002) has argued, the musical is an inherently reflexive form, focusing as it does on the whimsicality of its own constructions.
This article will attempt to understand the workings and appeal of sartorial excess in a film so clearly circumscribed by cultural, especially gender, stereotypes.
It will argue that the costumes in this film stage a number of paradoxes: They are often highly constrictive fetishized garments, but also function as liberating screens behind which to perform; they contribute to the considerable specularization of the female body, yet are also used to manipulate as much as construct the gaze.