Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Great Gatsby Trailer boasts Usher, Florence+theMachine, Filter



Have you seen this newest Great Gatsby trailer? We really get a great look at the story arc in this one plus we see a little of Gatsby's past in what look like flashbacks. Leonardo DiCaprio really channels Gatsby's desperation to grab Daisy and all she symbolizes; in the trailer you can already see his journey from smitten to total devastation. It's so visually striking - and remember, director Baz Luhrman is doing it in 3D,  so it will really be something to see. After seeing how brilliantly Ang Lee utilized 3D technology in Life of Pi - it was never intrusive or gimmicky- I'm not nervous about that aspect of the film at all. The technology and the artists' understanding of how best to use it, have grown exponentially over the last few 3D projects. I thought HUGO was masterful in terms of 3D but frankly, Ang Lee's use of it seems even more advanced. There's not a false note about the look and feel of Life of Pi. I'm hoping for the same for Gatsby.

What I am still a bit nervous about is the music. I've said I'm something of a traditionalist and it seems pretty clear now with the release of this second trailer that this is the music from the soundtrack. The Kanye/Jay-Z track “No Church in the Wild”  was in the first trailer; in this second trailer we also have  “Bedroom Hymns” by Florence + the Machines and Filter’s cover of “Happy Together.” It's not the kind of music I usually listen to (although the Filter slowmo version of Happy Together had me feeling pretty groovy) and my initial reaction is to want music from the period. Period! What Luhrman has done -  much as he did in Moulin Rouge - is to modernize the music, which actually does a couple of interesting things. First of all I think we can't help but see the events of this classic story a little differently when the music is so unexpected. I think it serves as a beacon, lighting up the moments we've read and seen before, pointing them out so we can't miss seeing them in a new way. As much as that tweak pumps up the volume as it were, it also heightens the drama. 

The second thing the music does is potentially open up this story to a younger generation of people who only know Gatsby from being force fed it in high school. The idea of reaching out via Usher and Florence+the Machine really is quite brilliant. There's a grittiness to the music and the dancing that the Charleston just doesn't have to our modern eyes and ears. Look at this tribute to the roaring 20's music and see what you think. Doesn't that Charleston look comical? I can see how a young person might not get what a huge departure from polite societal expectations the dance and the whole jazz age thing was. Luhrman's more fervored dance movements capture that energy splendidly! 2012 has been an amazing year in films based on books. But just looking at this trailer, I can't wait for what 2013 brings too.

3 comments:

  1. The first trailer I saw for this film made me skeptical, but I must admit that this second one intrigues me. I've recently re-watched the Robert Redford Gatsby and upon that watching, it greatly disappointed me, so now I think Ia ctually have high hopes for Luhrman's. (Though I wish it weren't 3-d)

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    1. I've been wanting to rewatch that one too. I've always been a Redford fan and I know his Gatsby film is not considered a success. I took a gander at a clip and partly blame Mia Farrow for her over the top performance as a Southern belle. I got a sense that the tone and energy is all off but I'll probably rewatch it anyway. And, Emily, did you see Life of Pi yet? Because that 3D is so good it's almost unobtrusive.

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  2. I do like the music but, like you, wonder about it with Gatsby.

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