Fly Away? I Wish.

I don't know what exactly it is, whether it's the general buzz of the one-week countdown to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows combined with the fifth movie being out at the same time, but fictional characters seem to be all I can think about lately. And somehow everything in the world is conspiring to remind me that pop-culturally, I am a child of the mid and late 90s and they were a long time ago, in a city that is now far, far away*.
I kind of think Moulin Rouge sucked, mainly because I'm probably far too used to the Bollywoody garble model Baz Luhrmann based it on to really find anything novel in the format, but he (or rather his wife, Catherine Martin) did have an excellent handle on the costumes, which were lush and OTT enough to make John Galliano proud. And I know the Shakespeare purists will probably want to disembowel me with a hot poker for making the following statement, but I honestly do think Romeo+Juliet was much better evidence of genius than anything else the man (Luhrmann, not Shakespeare) made. I can't think of too many other film adaptations of literary works that have done a better job of nailing the spirit of the original (I'd place The Virgin Suicides in the same league, but it's much more literal and I'm a bit of a Coppola fangirl) and it's really quite amazing to watch Claire Danes playing Juliet, not least because I'm madly in love with her costume from the Capulets' ball. And oh, for the love of those angel wings...they're so potentially absurd but utterly lovely on her. I think if I ever have a wedding I'm going to ditch the veil and wear wings instead (not that I want to get married- but the idea of a nice, fun wedding sans bridegroom could be an excellent one: cake, gorgeous dress that'd look absurd at any other time of life, lots of friends around and everyone giving you presents- what's not to like?). Even a pair of pretty pleated appendages like Ms Stam wore at Balmain wouldn't be unwelcome. There's something just whimsical about the entire effect, and somehow it doesn't look like the costume designer was on acid when she picked them out. Plus, imagine how they'd look going down a city street..
*There was stuff by Oasis and No Doubt, among others, playing on VH1's Classics Hour. And that was three years back.
On a side note, does anyone else think that Behati Prinsloo looks quite a lot like Claire Danes? The way Claire looked ten years ago, I mean.


Maddy said...

I rather like Moulin Rouge, although they could have attempted to make reference to Toulousse Lautrec in the cinematography rather than naming a minor and kind of obnoxious character after him. I might have liked Romeo+Juliet had the actors had a better idea what the lines they were saying actually meant.

Shelby said...

I really like Baz Lusnfjdsknfljdf's version of Romeo and JUliet. I had to do a project on R and J in pop culture, and that was one of the better versions. And I have an affection for eye popping, random, messy movies.

Jennifer said...

I love that last oufti so angelic!

Young Thos. said...

I liked Baz's R+J - even though I'm one of those people who read everything by Shakespeare in the original text first. I had a bit of a crush on Claire Danes then.

And I agree with you about that outift.

blushing apples said...

HMM.. i dont see a resemblance b/t Behati Prinsloo & Claire Danes! but maybe from the side... Really you would wear wings to your wedding? def. a great idea, i agree as long as their not too fairyish!

Yohan said...

I really loved Moulin Rouge! I think the Bollywood connection was overplayed. It was all about the art direction, and the sheer verve. And the use of music, of course.

I saw the new Potter movie. I havent seen the earlier ones, but I liked this one. It was my least favourite book, but the movie was not bad at all. I was reminded that the casting is spectacular - Luna Lovegood seemed much more interesting that when I read about her. Snape, McGonagall, Trelawney - all perfect. As were Black, Bellatrix Lestrange and Mad-eye Moody.

The only ones I don't much care for are Harry and Hermione. Hermione to me was always bucked-toothed and bespectacled.

Perakath said...

Here's my two bits:

(1) Claire Danes in R+J was just out-and-out beautiful

(2) The casting in all the Harry Potter movies is completely off, and is probably one of the worst things about them. No-one is anything like they're supposed to be in the books. Perhaps Ron comes a little close. But then what can you expect from Americans who chose the ghastly American 'Harry Potter' font for the movies...

(3) Moulin Rouge was good fun thanks to the music. Love lifts us up where we belong!

(4) Who is Toulousse Lautrec?

Teresa said...

Angel wings are good...in small doses. I mean those giant pterydactyl wings over at Victoria's Secret are a bit much. Stam looks great in the Balmain ones though.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Hey I meant wings about the size of the ones in the pictures, those giant wings worn by Nativity play angels and models and Victoria's Secret are just ridiculous. And wings would be doable if you ditch the veil/tiara and don't wear a frou-frou dress.
As far as R&J goes...the movie was what led me to read the play. And I don't know what it is, but I can read Shakespeare undiluted perfectly fine, with minimal explanations of the text- something I haven't been able to manage with any other playwright.
And to make it really short, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec was a turn-of-the-century French artist who used to hang out at the Moulin Rouge and around Montmatre a good deal, and they formed the subjects of most of his paintings.

Yohan: I saw it too. It kicks ass. And it's good to be reminded why I will never be able to touch anything pink and fuzzy without shuddering.
And why must Hermione be ugly if she's the smartest person around? Her teeth got fixed by Goblet of Fire (not an issue in the movies, and I don't care) and she's never been described as bespectacled- that's Harry.

ambika said...

Agreed about Moulin Rouge. Loved the costumes and sets but didn't see why people were wetting themselves over the songs or plot.

And Romeo + Juliet was fantastic, *especially* Juliet's costume. I wanted to braid my hair into a pseudo-halo for months after.

Yohan said...

Funny. I thought Hermione was described as having glasses. Amazing how the nerd streotype works subconsciously. But I sort of find Emma Watson annoying. Sort of full of herself. Maybe it's just me.

Perakath, I'm surprised you disliked the casting so much. If anything the casting to me was even better than Lord of the Rings. Both lead characters are sort of weak - Daniel Radcliffe and Elijah Wood - but they are supported by people with the right look and feel. I repeat: the professors were especially good.

Perakath said...

My God man, the original Dumbledore (Richard Harris) was a total ass in the movies... he talked too slowly. He sounded exactly like the old king in Gladiator, which makes sense because he was the same man. Dumbledore is (was!) a sharp man who spoke at normal speed, at least in my head. Ian McKellen would've been perfect for the role; as you may know he declined the role of Dumbledore saying that he found it hard enough to live up to one legend (Gandalf). I hate Alan Rickman's performance as well.

I don't know, I seem to be alone in my views, but basically - nothing about the movies matches with my mental image of the same, from the music to the actors to the accent to the lighting and general ambience. That's why I hate them so.

Perakath said...

And Hatgirl, I give you Hermione is never described as plain or unattractive (except by critics such as Rita Skeeter and Pansy Parkinson), but the general impression one gets from the first book is that she's not overtly attractive.

Alanna said...

baz luhrman's romeo and juliet is probably the most beautiful film I've ever seen. But I'll have to disagree with you on Moulin Rouge because I absolutely loved it, maybe it's just because I love baz luhrman though

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Richard Harris was a very sick man at that point of time...he died shortly before the release of the second film, so shortcomings in the performance department can, in retrospect, be forgiven.
And Hermione is ELEVEN when we first see her, and also hanging out with two boys who aren't masters of being observant(they didn't notice she'd got her teeth shrunk till ages after it happened). It's like, you're not really buggered about what your friends look like, they're just there and that's what matters.
As for overtly attractive, it's all a matter of perception- I don't think Emma Watson is astoundingly gorgeous on-screen, she still looks like a normal-ish person. And I'm not buying any idiotic rule that a girl who's smart must necessarily be non-pretty, or remain that way if she is. It's flat-out offensive to many girls (I don't mean you personally, but I've run up against the argument enough times to be tired of it).
Alanna: I can understand what he was going for with Moulin Rouge, it's just that the story itself does nothing for me, my melodrama mus come toned down :) I did appreciate the costumes and sets though.

Meg said...

Claire Danes was perfection in R+J, and while I was never a DiCaprio fan, I had a certain thing for the scenes where Radiohead was playing and he was smoking...and generally brooding. Strictly Ballroom is my favourite Luhrmann film though. And Moulin Rouge blew. I hate Nicole Kidman, she's such a cold fish.

Re: I hear there's a petition online for Rowling to continue the HP books past the 7th one. I'm dreading the read in case it makes me bawl my eyes out like the 4th one did when Cedric died (And Robert Pattison is so attractive that it's a shame he's not in the rest of the films).

Perakath said...

Well, I saw Order of the Phoenix last night. Much better than the earlier films, overall, especially the 2nd half. They changed the plot details so much that the film became interesting! And I really appreciated the 'lighter' feel of the film, and the new music.

Everyone acts much better too, I must say. And Luna is too cute! (Crookshanks and Umbridge's kittens were, too :) )

Diana Coronado said...

Lovely dress

About Me

My photo
Fondest of upbeat music and brightly coloured sweets.