Tag Archives: Luhrmann

The Great Gatsby

12 May

‘The Great Gatsby’: Fitzgerald classic remixed with lots of spectacle, but no soul

By Tom Meek 

May 10, 2013


F. Scott Fitzgerald never really made it in Hollywood (he was an uncredited revisionist on the script for “Gone with the Wind”) and Hollywood never got his seminal novel “The Great Gatsby” right in four attempts and a TV movie, or the latest go by gonzo stylist Baz Luhrmann.

The bookgot midling reviews when it was published in 1925 and sold only 20,000 copies. Fitzgerald died in his forties unfulfilled and unrecognized, topics (fame, wealth, longing and loneliness) that are recurrent and at the fore of his works. Some of his works, such as “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “The Last Tycoon,” his reflection of his feckless times in Hollywood, have translated well onto film, but not Gatsby, not yet.

The original title Fitzgerald had for the book was “Trimalchio,” a reference to the Roman purveyor of porn who orchestrated wild orgies in “Satyricon.” Luhrmann takes this all to heart, staging the bashes at Gatsby’s estate on the near tip of Long Island as both festive and fetishistic. Imagine Victoria Secrets’ angels, salvos of fireworks and bottomless buckets of confetti in a ceremony of pomp and display with all the resources of an Olympic opening or closing gala – and a descendant of Beethoven is brought in to tickle the keys on the massive pipe organ.  Continue reading