Friday, November 14, 2008

Black + White Friday: Moulin Rouge!

Sorry for the lateness, but as I originally wrote, yesterday was a very long day and so here I am doing this now. Voila!

It's is probably not at all surprisingly to learn that I spend a lot of my day thinking about Baz Luhrmann's Australia and then yesterday I had a hankering to rewatch (for the millionth time) Moulin Rouge!, the film that gave birth to what will likely be an entire lifetime of devotion to the man and anticipation of every single project he will ever embark on. However, upon rewatching it last night, I decided to take a different tact with Moulin Rouge! in this "Black+White Friday" series. Most of the other movies I have screencapped for you guys have had me trying to turn the original into something else, something classical that I think the originally was going for (see, for example, The Others and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), but while it would be easy to do this for any musical and say "let's see what it would look like if it were made in the heyday of the Astaire and Rogers!" it is impossible to do that with Moulin Rouge! It could never have been made in any other time, by any other person or in any other way, which is why it's such a case of bravura filmmaking.

So, instead, I merely found a bunch of moments that I thought would look nice in black and white - there are plenty - because to try and drain this or this of colour is both silly and a crime against humanity/cinema/life/etc, don't you think?

Upskirt shot! How rude. But seriously, what an incredibly shot.

Proof positive that Nicole Kidman would've been a star in any generation. Not every actor can look so classic in both colour and black and white, but she does it. But, then again, we already knew this, didn't we?

This shot has always made me chuckle. Something about it makes me think it should be in a horror movie about a brood of bald men who come together on Halloween to steal the souls of children (or something to that effect).

One of the (many) film posters I have saved onto my computer is one for the 1954 film The Barefoot Contessa (here is an alternate version of the one I have, I can't remember where I found it unfortunately) and it wasn't until I took this grab that I realised how similar the two shots are. Hmmm.

This moment reminds me of Guy Maddin's Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary. Strange, but true.

Oh Kerry Walker, bless you. And as an aside, I actually think this scene is Kidman's best in the entire movie and perhaps one of the purest in the film. A lot of people think the musical scenes only work in this movie because of the production Luhrmann puts behind it, but this tiny moment shows there's true power in it and that Kidman actually does have a good voice. I am indeed quite interested to see how she handles her next musical, Nine.

"The Show Must Go On" is routinely one of my favourite unappreciated moments from the film and I remain adamant that it is Kidman's strongest moment vocally. I do have a random question for all you Oscar-philes out there. How long was it between nominations for a musical performance? Surely Kidman's Best Actress nod in 2002 was the first for quite some time, right? Anybody know? I could try and research it myself but, ugh, effort!

How cool and retro-horror is this shot? Answer: Very.

Funny story: I once received an e-mail from somebody claiming to be Lionel Haft (who plays The Duke's manservant "Warner") - and who would fake that, honestly? - who was angry at me for ripping apart his performance in the terrible schlocky Aussie crapfest Solo. I mean, it doesn't top receiving an e-mail from Rena Riffel (another true story), but it still amuses me.

Similar much


Anderson said...

Dying to see this!

J.D. said...


will said...

I was also curious about the time between performances from musicals being nominated; if you don't include movies about musicians, the last nomination before Nicole Kidman was Amy Irving for Yentl in 1983. If you don't count *that* performance (since Barbra Streisand is the only person who sings in that movie), it goes to Julie Andrews, Lesley Ann Warren and Robert Preston for Victor/Victoria, in 1982.

Glenn said...

Thanks! I had forgotten about Victor/Victoria. Good work, Will!