'Freedom, Beauty, Truth and Love': An investigation into the storytelling techniques, mythology and style within Baz Luhrmann's Red Curtain Trilogy
(2016) 'Freedom, Beauty, Truth and Love': An investigation into the storytelling techniques, mythology and style within Baz Luhrmann's Red Curtain Trilogy, no. 37.
Introduction (part): The Red Curtain Trilogy is comprised of three films; Strictly Ballroom (1992), Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Moulin Rouge! (2001). The trilogy is the brainchild of director Baz Luhrmann, who set out to create the series as a way of demonstrating his Red Curtain Cinema technique, which is a combination of cinematic and theatrical elements, fused together by popular culture (Everett 2005, p. 1) This study aims to examine the theatrical elements within the trilogy, and discuss how they are implemented in order to further the narrative within each film. Ultimately, this study aims to establish that music is the most important storytelling device within each film in the trilogy. Each film uses a distinct theatrical motif; Strictly Ballroom uses dance, Romeo + Juliet employs Shakespearean language and poetry, while Moulin Rouge! uses song. When examining the storytelling within the Red Curtain Trilogy it is also pertinent to consider mythology, both in terms of its effect on the narrative and how it is used to ground each film in a world which "must be fantastic and new, yet also familiar at the same time" (Everett 2005, p.2). Finally, this study will consider the style of the Red Curtain Trilogy, and its significance in working to meld together theatre and cinema to create Luhrmann's brand of Red Curtain Cinema.