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Directed by Baz Luhrmann Released in 2001 Part of the ‘Red Curtain Trilogy’ An estimated budget of $52.5 million In the opening weekend the film brought in takings of : - $167 thousand - US (51 Screens) - £2.4 million - UK (284 Screens)

Background Information

This is the official marketing title for Baz Luhrmann’s first three films
- Strictly Ballroom (1992) - William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1996) - Moulin Rouge (2001)

The Red Curtain Trilogy

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Each movie begins with a vaudeville theatre (velvet red curtains) and the actual film actually beginning on the vaudeville screen Each film has luxurious design work (costume, music, set) All are based on a myth or widely known story Each film has a thematic design through which the story is told All use techniques seen within the Western, Musical and Romantic-Comedy movie genres. The style is meant to be heightened, and non-realistic, so that at all times the audience are aware that they are being entertained in a theatrical way. Catherine Martin, Craig Pearce and Marius DeVries have all worked on each film.

Opening Credits
• • • • • • • • Begins dark opens like a vaudeville theatre which signifies grandeur and high quality. Twentieth Century Fox logo in theatre and associated music incorporated by orchestra in shot. As the curtains open and close style changes to sepia toned introduction – signifies classical, old. Titles are black on sepia screen connoting a low budget show Similarities to silent movies through quality and tone of screen. Spotlight on information with dark edges in corners of screen, signifies the dark side of the world of entertainment which is not presented to the public Both the exclamation mark in the ‘Moulin Rouge!’ and the boarder within the theatre screen contain the windmill which is symbolic to the actual place, the Moulin Rouge in Paris. On the slide containing the title of the film a silhouette of a female can-can dancer performing for a male audience. This connotes the setting of the movie being France - Through this basic stereotypes are kept. A woman’s body is on show for male satisfaction. The top-hats the gentlemen wear signify the time period the film is set being in the early twentieth century Further anchorage is provided to the time period and setting by detailing ‘Paris 1900’

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• • • • • Opening diegetic music played by orchestra soft string signifying tragedy (sadness) Music alters from ‘The Hills are Alive’ which signifies love and the musical genre through the intertextual reference to the famous musical ‘The Sound of Music’. This then develops into a short, loud and dramatic section of music which signifies the thrilling and dangerous parts of the movie Finally a section of Can-Can music heavily signifying nightlife France, fun and excitement There is a dramatic end to the can-can music followed by silence

Opening shot
• • • • • The titles being to fade out when the music stops and the camera begins to zoom in on the theatre screen. The silence helps to builds tension as we begin to focus on the film itself The transition between the shots is slow which, along with the black and white editing, would suggest an older target audience The boarder is retained to show that we are still watching from within the theatre. The focus is on an eccentrically dressed Bohemian actor standing within the windmill of the Moulin Rouge. The lighting falls from directly above him, showing the audience that he is both a performer and is of importance within the movie yet as he is positioned in a small corner of the shot it suggests that he is not a central character to the plot It is an extreme long shot with shallow depth of focus giving an idea of the place the movie is focused on and slightly out of focus there is a hotel with a large L'Amour sign providing intertextual references to the other films in the ‘Red Curtain Trilogy’ and connotations of love. The backdrop of Paris further out of focus There is a spotlight on the hotel and the L’Amour sign signifying it’s importance within the movie The shot is in black and white which holds connotations of classical and tragedy The man begins mournfully singing on his own but strings quietly build up behind his voice

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The man sings of the boy who is the central protagonist. With the blade of the windmill a shot of the central protagonist fades into the screen. It’s a close up of his face, which introduces him and allows the audience to see him being happy. He fades out again with the movement of another windmill blade. As Bohemian sings, shot fades out to an extreme long shot of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in focus. This shot is in black and white and the music and singing continue but are now non-diegetic Singer is telling story of central protagonist. “There was a boy. A very strange enchanted boy. They say he travelled very far over land and sea” - lyrics connote that the central protagonist is famous/a legend Shot zooms in over Paris in one continuous shot. Focuses on entrance to small section of the city called ‘Montmartre’ is following the path of the central protagonist.

Opening shot continued...

• • • • • • Focus on Priest – connotes religion “village of sin” – signifying death, nightlife, violence, sex. Horse and cart connote the 1900’s Naked figures surrounding entrance signify the exotic red-light district it is set in. Over exaggerated sound of wind signifying that the place is empty and desolate. Grey, grave faces of people – prostitutes sickly dying man, quiet drinkers in Absinthe bar, connoting depression, lifeless. Contrast to retrospective look at same people later in the film Gives the audience an idea of life in this time during the depression. Focuses again on hotel and L’Amour sign. Slight red colour to sign strong anchorage to romance within movie with connotations of death/faded/lost love – a tragedy. Camera enters room past drab curtains – signifying working class or poverty

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Introduction to Central Protagonist

Sepia tones of room. Classical, old possibly forgotten. Unkempt, untidy room several, empty bottles of alcohol connotes an alcoholic depressed occupant. Many sheets of paper all over room, signifies he’s a writer, obsessive. Zooms in on central protagonist signifying his central role in the movie As focuses on him and as he begins to move, colour fades in – he is coming to life. Body position connotes that he is sad, mournful, lonely. His face is half shadowed/half in light which could be a reflection on his character Surrounding candles are the only light signify mourning.

Target Audience
• • • • • The target audience for this movie will be mature youth to older. This can be seen through the combination of modern and older music which will appeal to a wider audience The slow edited transitions between shots suggest an older audience. Generally a female audience is being targeted through the romantic genre and Ewan McGregor being used for sex appeal. However Nicole Kidman and the theme of exotic nightlife would be used to attract a male audience following the male gaze theory

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